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BLOG: Spring activities for the May Bank Holiday

Spring activity ideas from fellow PACEY members!

With the lighter nights now in full swing and the weather warming up its safe to say that spring is here. To give you some inspiration this Spring we asked our followers on social media what they have been doing over the past few weeks to provide some fun ideas to keep your days filled!

Visit a zoo or farm

Animals are always a popular choice for a fun daytime activity, and for good reason. There’s lots of opportunity to extend learning with all of the interesting facts that are often on display at both zoos and farms and it’s a chance to explore outdoor spaces.

Farms in particular may even have facilities where children can interact with the animals to extend their learning even further. It is also currently lambing season so many farms will have newborns for children to see and, if they are lucky, feed.

Jackie, a childminder from Colwyn Bay and PACEY member, recently took the children in her setting to the zoo in Colwyn Bay where they had lots of fun learning about all the animals, ‘The children loved seeing all of the animals, in particular the apes such as this gibbon (picture below) as they had so much character and were very responsive to them’ she told us.

For more inspiration on encouraging children to embrace wildlife, read our interview with Naomi Wilkinson, star of CBBC’s ‘Live n Deadly’ in MyPACEY, where she talks to us about how little ones can connect with nature and her work with the Young People’s Trust for the Environment.

Take a trip to your local library

As childcare practitioners you’ll already be aware of how important reading and literacy skills are in the early years and a visit to your local library is such an adventure for a child. From exploring all the titles on offer to choosing some to take home with them, visiting the library can help develop a love of reading in children that could last a lifetime as well as using the many other resources that libraries have. It’s also a great way to teach children about responsibility, letting children know they have to take very good care of the books they are borrowing and remember to return them.

Recently Jemma, a mum of two and PACEY member, took her children to their local library where she was able to expand on their reading skills, “the children were given their own copies of the book I had, and they were able to follow along as I read to them”

Find your local library here.

Spend time in nature

Getting out and about in nature is a really easy way to keep the children in your care occupied. Many local forest and woods have child friendly walking routes with things to do along the way with lots of resources to help learn about the environment and how to protect local wildlife and plant life.

Samantha, a childminder from Lancashire, set up this wonderful painting exercise in some local woods which helped the children explore their creativity in the great outdoors.

Likewise, Claire from Lancashire, also used some items picked up on a nature walk to make these rabbit pictures. “They’re really easy to make, all you have to do is pick some wild garlic and doc leaves then carefully crush them to achieve the colours on pictures that the children have already created”

It’s important to remember that plant life in woods and forests can be very delicate so it’s advisable to use items that are already on the ground if possible, rather than allowing children to pick flowers or plants themselves.

If you are exploring in a local wood or forest to make sure that no rubbish is left behind, packing everything up at the end of the day is a lovely way to show children that they must bring back everything they brought with them or to use a rubbish bin.

Gardening

If there are no woods or forests near you to explore you can still have plenty of fun in the garden. With spring now here it’s the perfect opportunity to have fun in the garden and talk to the children about growing plants and flowers. You can also go bird-watching and look for interesting insects such as ladybirds and butterflies to draw.

Margaret, an early years practitioner from Hull and fellow PACEY member, recently turned her gardening activities into a fundraiser by purchasing seeds from Seeds4Bees who are raising money towards the Ukraine crisis. “The flowers that will grow are in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, it’s a lovely way to make the children aware of what is going on without scaring them as well as letting them see how the warmer weather helps our garden flourish”

Whatever you get up to in the spring weather remember PACEY is here to support you with creative inspiration. Visit the MyPACEY Activities area to see some more ideas for things to do in the great outdoors and remember to tag us in any social media posts (@PACEYchildcare) so we can see what you and your little ones are up to!

 

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