Getting your kids outdoors and at one with nature

Just like performing on our stages, getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors is another great extra-curricular activity for kids today.

Being at one with nature has been proven to help with a child’s development, especially when explored with friends. 

It can reduce stress, enhance physical health and creativity and improve concentration in young people.

A study by the University of Essex found that spending time outdoors produces rapid improvements in mental wellbeing and self-esteem.

It boosts problem-solving skills, focus and self-discipline. While social benefits include cooperation, flexibility and self-awareness.

With all this in mind, we though we’d share three of our favourite outdoors projects for your little ones to enjoy over the coming months…

Three fabulous garden activities

Insect exploration

lady bird

Image Credit: Devids

Discover the wide range of creepy crawlies living in your garden with this fun insect catching DIY

What you need: Small pots (ideally small margarine or soft-cheese pots), magnifying glass, compost or soil, small stones

Step-by-step guide

1. Prepare your insect boxes by putting some damp soil or compost in the bottom and adding a few small stones.

2. Explore the garden, looking for insects in cool, damp places. Once found, scoop them up with a piece of card and pop them into an insect box.

3. Take a closer look at the bugs and their behaviour with a magnifying glass and ask them to feedback what they’ve observed.

4. Return the bugs to their natural habitat.

Grow your own salad

Salad

Image Credit: Chester Country

Let your little ones reap the benefits of naturally sourced and homegrown greens with salad from their very own garden.

What you need: Good soil, gardening tools, compost, watering can, salad seeds – lettuce, spring onion, cherry tomatoes and so on

Step-by-step guide

1. Dig up the soil and mix in some compost.

2. Plant the seeds in this new bed, following the guidance on the seed packets.

3. Watch the salad grow over the coming weeks. During this time it’s a good idea to tell your children to watch out for slugs, to pull out the weeds and to be patient. Scrumptious food takes time!

Make a bird feeder

Bird Feeder

Image Credit: Garden Lovers Club

Support local wildlife with this fun DIY bird feeder project.

What you need: Plastic drinks bottles, clean yoghurt pots, string, bird seed and scissors

Step-by-step guide

1. Cut a hole in the size of a plastic drinks bottle, large enough to allow free flow of seeds, but not too large that the seed come streaming out should the conditions turn windy.

2. Make a small hole in the bottom of the bottle using scissors. This will allow any rainwater to drain away.

3. Using strong string, hang the newly made feeder from a tree or washing line.

Tip: Remember to keep your feeder well stocked – birds will come to rely on it and will go hungry if you forget.

What outdoor activities do your little ones enjoy? Tell us in the comments below or tweet your fun ideas to us @Unistage