Sunday, 4 October 2015

Let's go outside

Make the most of sunny skies
with these stained glass kits
I feel thoroughly spoilt at the moment with the weather. Sunny days, clear skies and some fantastic sunsets have allowed us to make the most of Autumn's arrival. We've also been able to benefit from enjoying all that nature has to offer - from collecting conkers and acorns to talking an interest in native wildlife (which is the theme to class names in my children's school this academic year adding to the interest levels). We also recently got a puppy which has meant more walking amongst ripening berries and falling leaves. And plenty of time to admire the scenery as the little dog stops to sniff!

And since getting out and about in the fresh air can boost your health and your mood, I'm keen to encourage and celebrate the outdoors with some seasonal craft...

A walk on the wild side

Making sure kids are connected to nature and the wildlife that inhabits it, is essential if you want adults that have empathy for animals and a sense of responsibility for the environment. Experiencing nature in the outdoors may also contribute to tackling obesity, heart disease and mental health problems. Some research has also suggested that when kids stop going out into the natural world to play, it can affect not only their development as individuals and society as a whole. So being outside and learning to appreciate nature it's an essential part of a happy, healthy childhood - and will set up healthy habits for adulthood.
Make a hedgehog and learn
about endangered British wildlife

Why not encourage your kids to learn about native creatures - like the hedgehog, which in just the last 10 years, has declined in numbers by 30 per cent. As well as hoggy craft, looks for ways to make your garden safe for this mammal - including leaving some areas of wilderness where the hedgehogs can snuffle for insects and putting out a bowl of dog food or meaty cat food around dusk.

Another declining creature in the UK is the bat - there's 17 species of British bats in fact, with Pipistrelle the most common and the smallest. The population of pipistrelles has declined in the UK over the past 30 years, and between 1978 and 1993 there was a national decrease of 70 percent. Now all the UK species of bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Why not take part in the Sunset/Sunrise Survey - and see if you can spot bats as they are leaving, or returning to their roosts. And batty masks and kits tie in well with all the fun of halloween too!