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As it is nearly Easter and Holy week my challenge for you is to create an Easter garden.
Watch my video on You tube to see one I made.

What you need:
Somewhere the build – a flower bed or a plate.
plants – moss is great

What to do:
Remember the story of Easter and recreate the key symbols of that festival in your garden.
The Cross on Golgotha.
The empty tomb.

You can use you items to recreate the scene of the Easter story and use moss, stones and landscaping to make it look like a real model.

What you need:
Somewhere the build – a flower bed or a plate.
plants – moss is great

What to do:
Remember the story of Easter and recreate the key symbols of that festival in your garden.
The Cross on Golgotha.
The empty tomb.

You can use you items to recreate the scene of the Easter story and use moss, stones and landscaping to make it look like a real model.

During Holy week or Passion week you can also remember the key events in this important Christian festival.
Why not draw up a story board each day completing what happened in Holy week.
Here is some information to help you.

Holy week:
Palm Sunday – Sunday before Easter.
Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowds welcome him waving palm branches.

Monday – Jesus clears the temple.
Jesus overturns all the tables of the money lenders in the temple.

Tuesday – Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus and the disciples go to the Mount of Olives and Jesus warns them of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Judas Iscariot negotiated to betray Jesus.

Holy Wednesday – Jesus rested.

Maundy Thursday – The last supper.
Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
The disciples and Jesus celebrate Passover and have the Last supper.
Jesus and the disciples go to the garden of Gethsemane to pray.
Here Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and Jesus is arrested.

Good Friday – Jesus is crucified.
Pontus pilot washes his hands of Jesus’ fate and the people shout to crucify him.
Jesus dies on the cross at Calvary – Golgotha.

Saturday – Jesus is laid in his tomb.
Jesus’ body is laid in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers.
His body was anointed with spices.

Easter Sunday -Resurrection day.
Some women go to Jesus’ tomb but find the stone rolled back and an angel tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead.

Easter garden
The tomb where Jesus was laid.

Today we are going to do a virtual pond dip.

To take part watch the video on my Youtube channel.

Video River Dipping: https://youtu.be/mYQzpdAlck4

Activities to be done:
Once you have watched the film use the identification guide and ID dial to find out what the animals are called and what they eat. Then complete the river worksheet.

Count how many different mini beasts there are and group them. How could you sort them? Is there more of one type than another? Use the River health worksheet to calculate how healthy this river is.

Draw one of the mini beasts and identify the key features that make it adapted for the habitat it lives in. Use the river animals worksheet to help you.

Write a story of a day in the life of the mini beast. What do they eat? What do they hide from? What does it feel like?

Look on a map and find this river. Can you draw a map of this river or a river close to your house. Don’t forget to put a scale and a north arrow and labels.

Draw a picture of an imaginary mini beast perfectly adapted for the river habitat. A super river mini beast. Explain why it is super.

Don’t forget to post any of your work on Twitter #NatureDays

Did you hear the rain last night?
Have you ever wondered what is would be like to be a raindrop?

You challenge today is to write a story of a raindrop.

I’ll start you off.

It was a dark and stormy night and the raindrop was happily living with all its friends high up in the sky in a rain cloud. When all of a sudden a great big squeeze pushed the raindrops all together until they were so squashed the cloud burst and the poor raindrop fell down, down, down, plummeting towards the ground. Until it splashed onto the roof. It tried so hard to hold on tight to the top of the roof but the weight of its water was pulling it down the sloping roof and as hard as he tried he began to slide and slither down the roof tiles As he started to slide down the bumpy roof he wondered where would he ever end up? Then he bumped into lots more raindrops and he felt relief in being with his friends again. That didn’t last long as the gutter they had all fallen into started to send them down, again. The gutter was so slippery that they slid faster and faster and up the sides like a waterslide. All of a sudden it went pitch black and all the raindrops screamed as the ground beneath them vanished and they fell downward rushing and gurgling as they went deeper into the dark drainpipe. A tiny circle of light appeared and slowly started to get bigger and bigger until the raindrop crashed into the drain….

What happened to the raindrop next is up to you.
Will the raindrop ever get to relax in the ocean?
Will it ever find its friends again up in the clouds?

You could write the story as prose or draw a story map or story board.
Or you could write the script to a screen play or how about writing a poem.

Whatever you do I would love to hear the end of the story so post picture on Twitter #Naturedays or on facebook.

Happy adventuring and good luck.

Where does our raindrop story end?

At the start of any season there is the opportunity to look for changes and think about what new things the season will show us. A great way to follow the season is by colour.

My challenge for you is to discover what colour is spring?

What you need:
A small piece of card.
Double sided sticky tape

What to do:
Place the double sided tape across the small piece of card.
Walk around your garden or a local habitat and collect small pieces of every different colour you can find growing.
Stick the colours on the tape until you have an artist pallet of colours.

You can also use the plants to create natural paints for a seasons picture.
Take some paper on a clipboard or piece of card.
Find some different coloured plants and rub them on the paper to make a picture.

Looking at your artist’s pallet and picture, what colour is spring?

Take a look at the Nature Days you tube channel for an introduction to the challenge from Dawn. https://youtu.be/mPLFeFfYYpl

Don’t forget to Tweet your pictures on Twitter #NatureDays or on the Nature Days facebook page.

My Spring picture

You challenge for today is to make a map.
Look at my you tube channel for instructions. 

Use Google earth to print out an arial photo of your house and garden. Make sure the north arrow is at the top and you are directly above the garden and house.
Then measure something in your garden you can see on the photo.
Measure how big it is on the map and then how big it in on the ground in real life.
1cm : 4m
I chose my driveway which is 1cm on the map and 4cm on the ground.
But these two figures use different units so we have to convert them to the same unit.
4m = 400cm
So on my map 1cm is the same a 400cm on the ground.
That gives my map a scale of 1:400. My map is 400 times smaller than my grounds and the grounds are 400 times bigger than my map.

Now you have a scaled map you can look at other parts of your garden you can measure. The fence, the sides of the house and check them against your map to see if the scale is right.
Once it is checked then you can write the scale on the map and you can use it for making a treasure hunt.

Don’t forget to Tweet your maps or photos on Twitter #NatureDays or comment on the Nature Days facebook page.

Now that spring has arrived it gives us an opportunity to watch the plants wake up from their dormancy in winter.

Todays challenge is to go on a plant hunt.

Take the time to walk around your garden and see what plants are just starting to sprout or open their leaves.

You can undertake some citizen science looking for bud burst in trees. This tells scientists when the plants think the start of spring is and see how it changes over the years. This is called Phenology and people have been undertaking surveys like this for hundreds of years, so you can help and become a citizen scientist!

Have a look at the woodland thrust web page to see what data they want you to collect https://naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk

Bud burst is happening right now in your garden so take a look at which trees are waking up first.

There is a saying – Ash before Oak summer a soak, Oak before ash summer a splash.

This means that if the Ash trees burst their buds before the Oak then it is going to be a wet summer but if the Oak bursts first then it is going to be a dry summer.

If you have those trees near you then why not track their progress and see if the saying is right.

If you haven’t got any tress then you can always survey what spring plants you have.

Why not draw some pictures or take some photos and create a fact file about a spring flower you have found.  There is a template to help you.

Don’t forget to Tweet your photos on Twitter #Naturedays or comment on the Nature Days facebook page.


Lesser Celandine
What do you think of my sketch?

It’s a cloudy day, but what do the clouds tell us?

Your challenge for today it to try and forecast the weather for the day using the clouds you see above your house.

Download the cloud ID dial below, go outside and look up.

First try to work out the location of the clouds. Are they high level mid level or low level clouds?
High level – Cirro.
Mid level – Alto
Low level – Strato
Then look at the form of the clouds.
Wispy – Cirrus.
Fluffy – Cumulus
In lines or flat – Stratus
Rainclouds – Nimbo
Towering thunderclouds – Cumulonimbus
Look at the pictures to help you decide which you can see.
Then use the dial to read the forecast for the day.

Next find a nice sheltered spot in your garden and something to lie on.
Lie down and look at the clouds.

Are they all moving the same direction?
Are they all moving the same speed?
Can you spot anything in the shape of the clouds?
See if you can tell a story using the shape of the clouds as inspiration.

Don’t forget to Tweet #NatureDays or comment on Facebook pictures of any interesting cloud formation you see.

Also check out Nature Days Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCxzYTdAUS8&t=15s

What can you see?

It is a windy day and I was looking for a place in the garden to sit and have a cup of tea. But which is the best spot?

My challenge for you today is to do an investigation into the wind in your garden and around you house.

You will need:
Pencil with a rubber on the end
A long pin
Cocktail stick
A plastic bag
some string

What you do:
Use the template for the windmill below and make a pinwheel.
Attached a piece of sellotape or a cocktail stick to the pencil your pinwheel is attached to, so that the pinwheel hits it when it rotates.
Then investigate the wind.

Is it faster higher up or closer to the ground?
Does it matter how high you hold the windmill?
Does it matter which way you face the windmill?

Once you have worked out the best way to use the equipment now undertake your investigation.

Go to different locations in your garden, in front of your house behind and to the sides if you can get there.

On the results sheet below write the location and count the number of times the windmill rotates in 1 minutes. You should be able to count the clicks as the windmill sails pass the pencil.

You can draw a graph of your results on J2launch or squared paper or draw a map of your garden and make a colour scale. Red for fastest, green for slowest and orange for in the middle. Colours the areas of your garden the colour depending on whether the wind was fast or slow.

If you can’t make a pin wheel then attach a a piece of string, about 2m long, to the two handles of a plastic bag.
See what happened to the bag when you hold it high and low. Then when you turn around. Now use this to measure wind speed in different parts of your garden.

Don’t forget to tweet photos of your pin wheel, wind socks or graphs and maps on Twitter #NatureDays and facebook Nature Days page.
Good luck.

It’s a beautiful sunny day and so my challenge for you is to make a Sun Dial.

What you need:
A long straight stick you can stand up in the ground.
Smaller straight sticks
Lego or stones

How to do it:
Take your long straight pole and place it in the garden where it makes a shadow and you can get all around it.
Place a line of sticks along the shadow of the larger stick.
Use lego or write on a stone the time you placed the sticks and put it next to the line. I like to do it on the hour.
Leave the stick and come back after an hour and do another line and label it.
Also place a stone or piece of lego where the end of the shadow is furthest away from the long stick.

Keep doing this until you have all the hours of the day you can do.
If you miss an hour don’t worry, look at the other lines and see if you can estimate where the line would have been in the missing hour.
Can you notice any pattern in your sun dial?
Do shadows get bigger or smaller through the day?
If you can leave the sundial up over night you can check what happens tomorrow with the shadow. Is it the same every day? Don’t forget to turn you clock forward on the 29th March! How are you going to do that?

Don’t forget to tweet your pictures on Twitter #NatureDays and on facebook.

It’s a beautiful day and the pollinators are buzzing about looking for flowers.
But do mini beasts have a favourite colour?

Your challenge for today is to do an experiment to see which colour flying mini beasts like best.

You will need:
Different coloured paper – or different coloured toys
A cup for each colour
Lego bricks

What to do:
Lay the coloured paper or toys out in a row in the sun in your garden. Put a stone on the paper so it doesn’t blow away.
Place a cup next to each colour.
Sit and watch the colours.
Every time a mini beast lands on a colour put a lego brick in that colours cup.
Watch the paper for as long as you like.
Once you have lots of lego in the cups empty each cup in turn and build them into a tower. Place the tower for each colour above the colour.
Have a look at what you have built. Can you see any pattern? Which colours do your mini beats prefer?

Tweet on Twitter #NatureDays or post on Facebook and compare with other children’s gardens.