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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!


Decoder

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.
soil
stones
sticks
Moss
Grass seed
silver foil
or
newspaper
Plaster of Paris
Paint
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:
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!