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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

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


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.
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


Have you ever wondered what animals live in your garden but you never see? While you are asleep in bed lots of nocturnal animals are feeding and moving around your garden and you wouldn’t even know.
I wanted to find out what I was missing so I set up some humane small mammal traps.
I caught a mouse in my garden last night!
Have a look at him in this video.

Watch the Youtube video to see me set him free and also learn how you can make your own small mammal surveying kit.

What you will need:
A cardboard tube – kitchen roll or toilet roll inside
Double sided sellotape – If you haven’t got this you can use sellotape and just fold it over on itself to make it sticky on both sides.
Seeds and or nuts
Ink pad
A sheet of Paper

How you do it:
Stick the tape along the inside of the tube.
Place the tube in a place outside. Either beside a wall, in a hedge or along a vegetation border.
Scatter the nuts and seeds at the ends of the tube and inside the tube.
If you want to get some footprints of your small mammal then you can put some flour at both end of the tube flattened out. Or if you have an ink pad you could place at one end with the whole set up placed on a piece of paper.
Leave the mammal sampling tube in the garden overnight. Make sure it is a dry night and check it as soon as you get up in the morning.

You can identify the colour fur of the animal in the morning by looking at the tape. It might be easier to tear open the tube and see the tape as it is sticking down.
The footprints can be photographed in the flour or you can keep the paper with the ink footprints.

There is a file attached with an identification guide for footprints which you can use to identify the small mammal you have surveyed.

Don’t forget to Tweet any photos of the survey tube set up and any hairs or footprints you find #NatureDays or post on the Nature Days facebook page or email them to me naturedays@reynoldston.com

informative purpose
Mouse in my garden

I have a problem in my garden.
My hosepipe isn’t long enough to reach my vegetable patch.
My challenge for you is to design and build me a water transportation system which will transfer water 8.5m down a slope from a hosepipe to a vegetable patch.
Here is the youtube video to show you the problem.

As you can see it will take a bit of designing to get the water transported along the 8.5m.
Think about the types of materials you could use around your house to create the system.
There is a help sheet attached to undertaken an investigation to test if materials are suitable.
Please Don’t forget to share any photos you have of your aqueducts here on facebook or on Twitter #NatureDays

My Aquduct

My challenge for you today is to design your own outdoor Obstacle course in your garden.

Think about the types of areas you have in your garden.

Do you have different levels or steps you can use as part of the obstacle course?
Do you have equipment such as trampolines, hoops, balls, planks and slides you could use?
Think about the route you need to take. Where will the start and finish line be?
Do a risk assessment. What could go wrong? How could you get hurt? How could you hurt the environment?
How might you make you obstacle course safer?

Time yourself running the course and maybe challenge your family to have a go too.
You could try doing a commentary and filming your family. Look at my obstacle course and commentary on you tube.

Once you have all had a go think about how you might improve your obstacle course to make it more challenging.
How might you do part of it blindfolded or backwards?
You might also design the ultimate obstacle course in you garden on a story board. How would you like zip-lining over your house, or skiing down the roof?

Don’t try this!! Just draw a picture or you could photo shop a picture of you doing it!

Don’t forget to share photos of your obstacle course.
Tweet any photos of your obstacle course #NatureDays or share on the Nature Days facebook page or email them to me. naturedays@reynoldston.com


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

If you are planning an Easter egg hunt in your garden on Easter Sunday, then why not use the skills and resources you have developed through Nature Days outdoor learning resources?

Create a map of your garden using the You tube video.
You can mark the locations on the map.
Generate grid references to tell people where they are hidden.
See this video of how to use grid references with your map.

Also you can develop clues and facts about your garden to tell people where you’ve hidden the eggs.
In the SE corner of the garden.
Under the bush in blossom at Easter.
Exactly 10m down the path to the west in the hedge.

Don’t forget to have fun this Easter!
1. Try egg rolling in your garden. Who can roll their egg the furthest?

2. Have an egg catching competition. Do you risk using real eggs? You can hard boil them if you don’t want to get messy.

3. Challenge your family to create an egg transporter. It can be along the ground using k’next, lego or cardboard.
Or you can try through the air. Can you drop the egg out of an upstairs window and get it to land safely without smashing?

Don’t forget to Tweet any exciting Easter activities you get up to on Twitter @DawnNaturedays #NatureDays

Have a very Happy Easter!

Egg transporter
The sun is out and the butterflies are flying around. So my challenge for you today is to go on a butterfly hunt.
You don’t have to have a butterfly net but do not pick up butterflies with your hands.
If you see butterflies in your garden then start by just watching them and follow them around the garden seeing where they land and what they do.
Use the ID guide to identify which type of butterfly they are.
Once you have found their route, then locate yourself close to most popular bush and just sit and watch. Then when you see a butterfly settle on a leaf, very slowly inch your way closer to the butterfly. If you are sweaty then run some sweat on your finger if not squirt some salty or sweet water on your finger. Hold it next to the leaf, without scaring the butterfly off, and hold you finger out and the butterfly might crawl on to your finger to drink the liquid with its unwound proboscis. If it doesn’t want to then just watch it.
If it is on a flower you may see it unravel its long proboscis, tongue, and poke it down the flower to the nectar to slurp up the nectar. Once the butterfly has flown off have a look at the flower it was feeding from.
Can you see where it was trying to feed from?
See if you can use a cotton bud to absorb the nectar and try it for yourself or if you dissect the flower, see if you can see the where the nectar is stored. Why is it in such a difficult location? Why isn’t it at the top of the flower? Think about what the flower wants to get out of the butterfly visiting.
Write a fact file about the butterfly you have observed. You can use the outline from Nature Days Blog. www.naturedays.co.uk/blog/
Don’t forget to Tweet and photos of butterflies you see or your fact files #NatureDays @DawnNatureDays or Facebook.

Take some time out today to connect with nature with this meditation exercise.
Let Dawn take you to a moment of discovery surrounded by nature.

Help to relax and switch off from all that is going on.
Connect with the birds singing and really immerse yourself in nature for a short while.
This exercise should help with anxiety and calm you.
Please share and Tweet any comments or questions about your experience @DawnNatureDays #NatureDays