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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:
Balls
Dominos or books or blocks
Buckets
Slopes
string
tubes
sticks

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

With the wind still blowing and spring pushing on some plants are spreading seeds using the wind.

My challenge for you is to go on a seed hunt and race some seeds!

Watch the video on You tube to see what the willow seeds and dandelion seeds look like now.

What you will need:
Wind dispersed seeds from your garden
Tape measure or stop watch

What to do:
Go around your garden and collect seeds that are ripe.
Create a start line then let go of the seeds one at a time.
You can measure how far they go using a tape measure or time how long they take to land.
Repeat with different types of seeds.

You can make a graph of your results or have a race with other people and other seeds.

As there are no sycamore seeds, helicopters, ripe at the moment you can make a model to compare to your wind pollinated seeds. Download the template below. Add a paperclip for a weight and either throw into the air or drop from high up.

Compare to you wind dispersed seeds. Do helicopters go further?

Don’t forget to share photos on Twitter #Naturedays or on the Nature days facebook page or email me naturedays@reynoldston.com

I have been lucky enough to watch a sparrow building a nest in the eves of my house.

Have a look here.

My challenge for you is to build your own nest.

What you need:
Nest material from your garden.

What to do:
Collect small twigs, grass, moss, feathers.
Start to create the shape of a nest by weaving the materials in and out so they stay together.

Line the nest with soft materials such as feathers and moss.

Test your nest is soft and warm by placing you hand inside.

You could even put some eggs in the nest to see how snug it is or time how long ice melts compared to being out in the sun. 

You could even put some eggs in the nest to see how snug it is.

Don’t forget to post any photos of your creations on Twitter #Naturedays or on the Nature Days facebook page.

Bird Nest

It’s a windy day! Mae en wyntog!
My challenge for you today is to build and fly your own kite.

You will need:
Material – card, plastic bag, fabric or grease proof paper.
String
Scissors
sellotape or masking tape or duck tape
Kebab stick
Cotton reel or cardboard

What to do;
Watch the video on You tube to see the three types of kite you can make.

Then go and fly your kites!

Don’t forget to Tweet any photos #Naturedays or post on the Nature Days Facebook page or email naturedays@reynoldston.com

Have you ever looked at the rocks and stones in your garden? I mean really looked?
My challenge for you today is to go on a geology hunt.

What you will need:
A bucket or bag.
A tray
A magnifying glass
A penny

A nail or butter knife

What to do:

Go around your garden and collect as many different rocks as you can. Collect them in the bucket or bag.
Next empty out the rocks and sort them on the tray.
You can decide on how you sort them but use the magnifying glass to look at the details of the rock.

Here are some ideas of how to identify and sort your rocks.

By rock type:
Sedimentary – made under the sea
Igneous – Made by volcanoes
Metamorphic – one of the other types that has been heated and squashed.

Look at the guide to see how you can determine which type of rock you have.

Hardness – Use the penny and nail to try to scrape the surface.  See attached worksheet for instructions.

Sound – can you make a tune with your stones?

Natural
Man made – cement or concrete

Colour – Can you make a rainbow or a pattern of shades with your stones?

Texture – Can you sort your stones by texture?  Does it link with the hardness?

Don’t forget to Tweet any photos of what you have found on Twitter #Naturedays or on the Nature Days facebook page or email naturedays@reynoldston.com

And for any teachers;

If your students are enjoying these outdoor learning challenges then stay tuned to find out about a set of new outdoor learning challenge cards Nature Days are about to launch!

My challenge for you is to investigate how to collect the most rain water. Check out my You tube video for more details. 

Once you have measured the volume of water from each material you can draw a graph or write a report.

The information you have found can now be used to create a rain gauge to undertake further investigation into rainfall.

Look at the attached worksheet on how to make your own rain gauge.

Once you have made one or many rain gauges you can use them to investigate the rainfall in different parts of your garden.  Where does the most rain fall?  What is the effect of the tree canopy on rainfall to the ground?  Does more rain reach the ground under a hedge or tree?

Don’t forget to Tweet photos #Naturedays @dawnNaturedays or email me your photos at naturedays@reynoldston.com

Also if you are enjoying these outdoor learning challenges, then stay tuned to find out about my exciting outdoor learning mission cards which I will be available for teachers to purchase soon!

It is a rainy day and so my challenge for you is to create rain pictures.

What you will need:
Paper or cardboard (Watercolour paper works well)
Powder paint or coloured spices like Turmeric and chilli powder
Rain

What to do:
Place the paper or card outside while it is raining or before it starts.
Sprinkle your paper with powder paint or spices.
Leave the rain to wet the paper.
Shake off any excess colours.
Then leave the picture to dry.
Come back and see what picture the rain has made.

You can look for patterns in your picture.
You can join the dots made by the rain.
You can add to your picture or even put it out again in the rain with a different layer of colours.

Don’t forget to post any pictures you have made on Twitter #NatureDays @DawnNaturedays or on the Nature Days facebook page. Or email me at naturedays@reynoldston.com

Before
During
After

Today’s challenge is to undertake a mindful, creative activity, to build a Mandala.

Before you start, just take a moment to check-in with your feelings. Don’t dwell on them just notice how you feel so you can check-in again after you have finished.

Watch the Youtube video
What you will need:
An empty space in the garden.
Sticks
Bucket or bag

How to do it:
Collect different textures, colours or flowers from your garden.
Sort them into piles.
Create a frame for your mandala out of sticks, flour or spices. It can be concentric circles divided into sections or around a tree following the form of the roots, or along the side of a flowerbed.
You can work alone or together with other people to fill in each section of the mandala.
You can be creative in any way you like just let your mind flow through your body down into your hand.

After you have finished spend some time standing focusing on your creation. Check-in again on how you feel now. Has the creative process made you a bit calmer, more creative, energised?

Share any photos of your creations on Twitter #NatureDays @DawnNaturedays
or on the Nature Days facebook page or email naturedays@reynoldston.com

Mandala