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Nature Days has created innovative Outdoor Learning, Independent challenge cards.

These are suitable for KS2 but also can be used with KS1 and EY with support.  

The cards pose enquiry questions for students to explore independently, using the school grounds as a resource for discovery.  

The cards are divided into 6 Area of Learning and Experience:

Health and Wellbeing – including P.E

Science and Technology – Including all sciences and D.T.

Literacy and communication – Including languages.

Maths and Numeracy 

Humanities – Including Geography, History and R.S.

Expressive Arts – Including Art, Drama, and Music.

There are over 50 cards, each in a set format to encourage students to undertake the challenges independently.

Each challenge is supported with; Success criteria, Prompt questions, Identifies resources you could use, Examples of methods which could be used and Extension tasks and questions to encourage additional learning. 

Cards are also available individually on request.

The Outdoor learning cards encourage independence and can easily be undertaken with social distancing.

The Outdoor Learning cards are also suitable for use for home schooling.  The activities are suitable for any outdoor space so can be undertaken in a garden or any open space.  

As they are designed to be undertaken independently, they can be used by schools not only in school as a resource for undertaking learning outdoors, but to bring home schoolers and in schoolers together in undertaking the same activities.

Also in case you missed the Free outdoor challenges for home schoolers or use in school grounds on Nature Days Blog and You Tube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDXOJ1IVfClsnj99NuCHmAQ

I hope you will be in touch and use Nature Days services at this challenging time.

Buy now by emailing naturedays@reynoldston.com

or on TES

For more details look at the Nature Days web page www.naturedays.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @DawnNaturedays #Naturedays

Lots of free resources on the Nature Days blog and You tube channel #Naturedays

Dawn Thomas 07779950126  naturedays@reynoldston.com

The Elderflowers are out!
My challenge for you is to collect some elderflowers and make some elderflower cordial.
Check out my you tube video for instructions.

What you need:

20 heads of elderflower (picked on a dry sunny day)

1.5kg Sugar

3 pints of boiled water.

30g Tartaric or citric acid.

2 sliced lemons.

What to do:

Put boiled water into a large pan.  Add sugar and tartaric or citric acid. Stir until dissolved and leave to cool.

When cold, add elderflowers and the sliced lemons and stir.  Leave for 24 hours stirring periodically.  

Strain and bottle in sterilised bottles.

The cordial is ready to drink straight away and if kept in the fridge, will last a few months, or it can be frozen.  Dilute to taste with still or sparkling water.

And for all the grown ups, there will be a recipe for elderflower champagne in the next few days!

If you make the elderflower cordial then I would love to hear what you think of it. So tweet comments #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays or post on the Nature days facebook.

Did it rain with you last night? I love the smell you get after rain when it has been really dry.
My challenge for you is to do some smell mapping!

Check out my you tube video to see how to do it.


What you will need:
A Map of your garden or local area – check out my You tube video to see how to make one. https://youtu.be/q46ImI1NvoI
Coloured pencils.
Smell Wheel. Download below on my Nature Days blog.
Your nose!

How you do it:
Take a walk around your garden or local area.
Stop every few meters and have a good smell.
Use the smell wheel to identify which smell you can smell. If the smell is not on the wheel that you can make up your own colour for the new smell. Don’t forget to add it to you maps legend or key.
Then colour that part of the map with that colour. You can walk along and see when the smell stops and colour the whole area or just colour a circle at you sample site. Use your other senses to seek out smell sources. Rub leaves, crush petals, listen for whirring fans, touch and smell textured surfaces.

Once you have completed your smell mapping look at your map and see if you can see any patterns in your data. Is there more man made smells closer to roads or buildings? Is there more natural or man made smells closer to where you live? Can you add a value to the intensity of the smell? What if there was more than one smell, was it hard to distinguish each one? If you had to add lots of new smells to you key then maybe you can create your own smell wheel for your area, remember that this smell wheel was made for urban, built up, areas and the USA.  Can you create your own rural or UK version?
This is a great exercise to do to compare with wind direction to see if there is a relationship between the movement of smell and the wind direction.

There are some great examples of smell maps on this website so you can see how people have created their smell maps so be creative.


I would love to see the smell maps you create so we can get a whole “smellscape” of the Nature Days community.
Please tweet photos #Naturedays @DawnNatureDays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email me naturedays@reynoldston.com

How do you feel about moths?
Most people think that they are the butterflies boring relation but I hope to change your mind.
My challenge for you today is to go on a moth hunt.
Last night I set up a moth trap in the my garden.
Watch the video on You tube to see the amazing moths I discovered.


What you need:

  • Cola
  • Sugar
  • Paint brush
  • Cloth
  • Wine
  • Over ripe fruit
  • White sheet
  • Bright torch
  • Pots

How to do it:
Set up your moth attractors before it gets dark.
Make a syrup by heating cola in a large pan and dissolving lots of dark sugar, about 1Kg in 500ml of cola, in it. Simmer for five minutes and then allow to cool.
Paint the sticky syrup on fence posts or trees at eye level.
Put out overripe fruit.
Wine ropes:
Heat a bottle of cheap red wine in a pan. Stir in and dissolve 1 Kg of sugar. Allow to cool. Soak 1 meter pf cloth or string in the wine. Drape the wine ropes over low branches.
Hang a white sheet up outside. After dusk shine a bright torch on the sheet.
Or just leave an outside light on and look on the wall below it.
You can even just leave your bedroom light on in the evening and leave the window open!

Wait for a mild, cloudy, still night with no moon if possible.
Set up your attractors and then go out an hour or two after sunset to look.
If you see any moths wait for them to settle and then take photos to identify them. You can use the moth identification guide below.
If you want a closer look then get the moth to crawl onto your finger but putting some sugar syrup on it or sweat. Do not touch the moths wings or keep them for long.

For more information check out the How to start mothing handout from Butterfly Conservation.

I would love to see the moths in your garden, or your moth attractors so please Tweet photos #NatureDays @DawnNaturedays of post on the Nature Days facebook page. Or if you want help with identification email me naturedays@reynoldston.com

My challenge for you today is to go on a ‘B’ hunt!

Not that kind of bee, the letter B.

What my video on You tube for more ideas.

What you need:
A bag
A camera or phone
A pot with lid.

What to do:
Walk around your garden or you local area and collect as many things as you can which begin with the letter ‘B’.
You could collect them in a bag if they are plants or objects or if they are small animals in a pot with holes. Or you could just take photos of them.
Then arrange all the objects on the ground and take a photo of them to make a ‘B’ collage. You could stick them to paper to make a 3D collage.
If you are not sure of the names of plants take a look at my B plant spotter sheet.

I would love to see your creations so please Tweet #NatureDays @DawnNatureDays or post on the Nature Days Facebook page or email me your photos.

Nature Days can provide expert advice and training for taking your learning outdoors.

Reduce the pressure on your indoor areas by using the school grounds for teaching.

Many primary schools, especially early years, use the outdoors for teaching but less so in secondary.

Dawn Thomas is a qualified secondary science and geography teacher. She can provide training on using outdoor learning for teaching the science and geography secondary curriculum or any other outdoor learning provision.

Webinar, outdoor or in-school training can be undertaken which is bespoke to meet your school’s needs, be it;

  • Health and Wellbeing,
  • First steps to teaching outdoors,
  • Creating effective outdoor spaces,
  • Delivery curriculum content outdoors.

For more details contact Nature days naturedays@reynoldston.com 07779950126

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