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This Sunday is our next GSY activity a Spring Stroll.

With the lockdown in place it is not possible for us to have our GSY activity in its usual form with us all meeting in one place.

However this should not stop us exploring the natural world or learning about what is going on outdoors.

Therefore I have adapted our Spring woodland stroll planned for this Sunday to a Virtual Spring stroll around my garden.

I will be going live on facebook this Sunday at 10am to undertake a virtual stroll around my garden to show you all the spring flowers which are growing there and the trees. I aim to go through the same learning we would have undertaken on the GSY event but we won’t be able to undertake the practical activities planned.

If you would like to attend the virtual activity you have two options:

Log into the GSY facebook page on Sunday at 10am to take part in a realtime lesson and stroll. with the opportunities to interact with me and ask question live.

Or log on to the Nature Days youtube channel to watch a recorded version of the live stroll with added information.

If you visit the Nature Days blog you can also print-off an identification guide so you can tick off plants as you see them on the film, or look for them in your own garden or on your daily exercise outside.

Please comment on facebook or youtube any questions or comments so I can see people are watching and engaging in the event.

It would be great to know there is someone watching!!

You can also find the YouTube page linked on twitter @DawnNatureDays on Sunday and on a facebook post on GSY facebook page, Nature Days facebook page and Dawn Thomas facebook page.

Please feel free to share with non-members of GSY or any families or teachers who may find it a useful resources.

I hope to see you on Sunday.
Best regards

I want you to put all the skills you have learnt over the last few weeks together to go an adventure!

You can do this today, this weekend for during the holidays.

Now an adventure does not have to be to a distant location or even somewhere new, so you can still do this in your local area and even your garden.

Going on an adventure is all about having an adventurous frame of mind.
As any adventurer like @SteveBackshall will tell you going on an adventure is all about planning and preparation.

So first think about where you are going to go and what you are going to do.You can visit somewhere you know very well but just take a different perspective.

Maybe bring a map of the area and see if you can follow your location as you go. You can print off sections of OS maps for free https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/51.58045,-4.16794,15

You could plan a route before you go and try to follow it.

You could lead an expedition with your family so you take the decisions like the route you take and what activities you do.

Next you need to pack your provisions.

Watch my You tube video to see what provision I am packing for my adventure.

Then don’t forget to check the weather to make sure you have on suitable clothes.

Lastly, very importantly think about your safety and anyone else you are taking on an adventure.

How are you going to make sure you are all safe?

Here are some ideas:

Don’t go on your own.

Take a charged phone with you incase you need it.

Take a spare layer or waterproof.

Take some spare water and food.

Take a map or means of finding out where you are if you are going somewhere new – download what3words App.

Take a small first aid kit.

Then it is time to go on your adventure!!

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, explore, play, discover and learn as you go.

When you are back home take time to enjoy the comforts of home.

Taking off your boots and stretching sore feet.

Sitting on a soft chair.Running a tap for a drink.

Having a cold drink or ice cream.

Removing layers and waterproofs.

Thinking back over what you have experienced.

Looking at photos of your adventure.

Create a journal or story map of your adventure.

I would love to experience your adventure so please share anything you create or any photos of your adventure on Twitter #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays or the Nature Days facebook page or email naturedays@reynoldston.com
Happy adventuring!

Happy outdoor classroom day!
Everyday is outdoor classroom day at Nature Days so my challenge for you today is to actually build your own outdoor classroom.

Watch my You tube video for ideas.

What you will need:

How to do it:
Start by finding the best location for your outdoor classroom in your garden. Do you want it is the sun or in the shade, away from the noise of the road or out of the wind?

Then collect your resources for building the classroom. It will have to be big enough for you to sit in and if any of your family help you in your work then it will need to be big enough for them too.
You could build the structure using long sticks and string or use existing structures such as washing lines, trees or fences.

Once you have the skeleton for your classroom fill in the walls using sheets or tarpaulins. Don’t forget a roof it is going to rain but you might want a skylight so you can see the sky and birds flying past. The best thing about an outdoor classroom is to using the outdoor environment to inspire you in your work.

Once the outside of your classroom is built then think about making the inside comfy and suitable for working in. Add blankets and pillows to sit on the floor or if it is big enough you could bring in a chair or even a table.

Then you are ready to work!

Why not try and do some of your home schooling today in your outdoor classroom?

I would love to see pictures of your outdoor classrooms so Tweet them #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email them to me naturedays@reynoldston.com.
Enjoy your outdoor classroom day!

My challenge for you is to build your own timeline in your garden.
Watch my you tube video to see how you can do it.

What you will need:
A list of important dates – download below or design your own.

How you do it:
Look at the dates of the various events on your list. Add some that are relevant to you, e.g. your birthday.

Go to one end of your garden.
Place an object, toy or draw a picture to show that event. e.g. Bedrock formed – place a rock.

Then look at the next date. Place a relevant toy or picture to represent that date.
Now complete the timeline for all the dates.
Try to space the objects for the datesdates out so that they are representative of the spaces between each event.

Once you have finished can you take me on a tour of your timeline? I would love to see photos of films of what you create. Please Tweet #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays
or post on the Nature Days Facebook page or email me naturedays@reynoldston.com

I do love a good adventure story.
Watch my you tube video to see me try to recreate some of my favourites in my garden.

My challenge for you is to come up with your own adventure story.

What you need:
Figures or actors – your family
Paper and pencil
Camera or phone

What to do:
First take a walk around your garden to find inspiration for an adventure story. Does any part of your garden lend itself to a good backdrop to setting the scene for a particular story? Do you have a jungle, A swamp, A savannah – grassland, Or a post apocalyptic landscape?
Now create a story board or story map to turn the landscape in your garden into the location for an adventure. Don’t forget your characters, the plot, the exciting chase scenes and the sound effects.
Next plan the filming of the adventure.
You can use family members to act out the scenes or use toy figures. It can be a stop motion capture film or just you moving the models.
You may need to put a voice over on top of the footage.

When you have finished don’t forget a title for your adventure story you can even come up with a theme tune and a movie trailer like mine!

I would love to see you adventure stories so please do share them with me on Twitter #Naturedays ‘DawnNaturedays on the Nature Days facebook page or email them to me naturedays@reynoldston.com

Do you know what a food chain is?

Watch my you tube video to find out.

My challenge for you is to build your own food chain.

You will need:
4 or 5 pots

What to do:
Walk around your garden and find a plant.

Place it in the first pot.
Then find a herbivore that is eating that plant and place in the second pot.
Look around and see if you can find a carnivore which would eat your herbivore, such as a beetle or centipede or ant. Place it in the third pot.
Look for evidence of a secondary consumer, such as a small bird, or a top predator such as a bird of prey, in your garden. Either place something that represents that animal, a feather, a pellet or bone, or draw a picture or write the animals name and place in the other pots.
Take a photo of your food chain.
Write underneath each pot what is inside the pot to write your food web like this.
Grass -> Snail -> Slow worm -> Peregrine falcon
Producer -> Primary -> Secondary -> Top Predator
Consumer Consumer
Plant -> Herbivore -> Carnivore -> Carnivore

Tweet a photo of your food chain #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email me Naturedays@reynoldston.com

Then I can create a food web from all of your food chains so we can see how all of our gardens are connected. 

I have a secret message for you!

Secret message

Watch my you tube video to see it. 
Do you think you can crack the code?

If you are stuck then download the decoder below.

My challenge for you today is to send some natural secret messages.

You could use my alphabet or make up your own using natural things found in your garden.

Other ways to send secret messages are using leaves and making a message using pin pricks.

Laying a trail in your garden to follow to locate the hidden message. You can see how to do this in the laying a the trail document.

You could set up clues or use your map.

Use semaphore to send messages from outside to inside through the window.

Have a go at morse code, great for doing at night!
See how imaginative you can be!.

I would love to try and crack the code to your secret message so please send photos of them to me either on Twitter @DawnNaturedays #Naturedays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email me naturedays@reynoldston.com

Once I have cracked it I will send you a reply!


I hope you have been enjoying your daily walks in your local environment in this lovely weather.
My challenge for you today is to build a Local Landscape model.

Have a look at my You tube video to see how.

What you need:
A tray or box or cardboard.
Grass seed
silver foil
Plaster of Paris
Flock – fake grass made a sawdust painted
Dry moss

What to do:
Think about the area local to your house. You can use a map or your memory.
Create the shape of the landscape first using soil.
Then think about the important landscape features in the area and use stones, twigs or flour and sand to place them on your landscape.
You can use sticks for trees and silver foil for ponds.
If you are using craft material you can make the shape of your landscape using scrunched up newspaper. Paint with plaster of Paris or use pape-a-mache.
Then paint the landscape and cover with PVA glue. Before adding details with dried moss and flock or stones.

I would love to see your creations so please Tweet photos on Titter #Naturedays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email them to me naturedays@reynoldston.com

Model Cefn Bryn
Model Mountain

All through history simple machines have been used to reduce the force needed to move objects or get work done.

Watch my you tube video to discover more.

Simple machines include leavers, included planes – slopes, screws, pulleys, pivots – seesaws.

My challenge for you to to use simple machines to create a chain reaction machine watch this video to see one in action.

What you need:
Dominos or books or blocks

How you do it:
Try to plan the machine on paper first taking into account the environment you are using such as slopes or steps.
Collect your resources and see what machines you can make.
Try them individually before you put them all together.
Don’t forget that building requires testing and failing for your machine to work so keep trying if it doesn’t work.

I would love to see your machines so please Tweet any photos or videos #Naturedays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email me naturedays@reynoldston.com.

My challenge for you today is to go on a shape hunt.

Watch a video to see how.

Print the data collection sheet and go around your garden looking for different shapes. Use a tally to see how many you can find in your garden and house.

Once you have collected your data you can create graphs using J2Launch or Excel and see if you can observe any patterns in your data.

I would love to see you results and compare to other peoples gardens to see if we are the same so please Tweet pictures or post on the facebook page or email naturedays@reynoldston.com

Have you noticed how there seems to be some new mini-beasts flying around that you haven’t seen before?

These are spring bugs which are hatching from their larvae found in the soil and they are around for just a short time to mate, lay eggs and then die.
So you only have a short time to see these animals.

My challenge for you is to go on a spring bug hunt.

Watch my You tube video on the St Mark’s fly.

Then have a look in your garden and see if you can spot one. If you do, then as they are so slow you can try and draw one as they sit still.

Please share your pictures on the Nature Days facebook page or Tweet #NatureDays or email any photos or pictures to naturedays@reynoldston.com

St Mark’s Fly – Male