Let them discover …
The great outdoors can be the best ‘classroom’ for young children as it allows them to develop their curiosity about the natural world. With secure outdoor areas for the children to enjoy, Pilgrims encourages outdoor play and learning in so many different and creative ways. Our children can climb up to the top of the Look Out tower on our school field to watch out for birds finding somewhere to build their nest, observe the frogs and newts arriving in our pond and even discover the marks made by a visiting badger!
Let them listen . . .
Bird song fills the air at the moment. Our school is surrounded by trees, making it the perfect place for birds such as blackbirds, great tits, robins and song thrushes to make their spring nests. We have a blue-tit who returns each year to our nesting box and, by means of a nest-box camera, the children are now watching with great interest as she builds her nest, ready for the arrival of eggs and then the chicks!
Let them learn …
The children develop their interest for wildlife during their Forest School sessions – whether it’s lying on their tummy on our pond decking with their net, ready to collect frog spawn, or keeping count of the bees who visit our ‘Bee Bungalow’, the children love this time of year. They have just created some wonderful pieces of artwork inspired by Spring which have been on display during our annual Art Exhibition.
Why not learn along with your child, by looking out for …
- Hibernating animals beginning to emerge from their winter sleep, the most famous of which is perhaps the hedgehog. Bats and dormice also hibernate and will be starting to wake up after slowing their bodies down during the winter while food is harder to find. With the arrival of Spring their food is back in supply and it’s time to get up for something to eat.
- Their first annual sighting of a bumblebee or butterfly – it’s an exciting hint of the summer to come. Warmer weather entices queen bumblebees from their hibernation sites (usually underground) to buzz around in search of flowers to gain energy and also to look for suitable places to nest. Butterflies such as brimstone, peacock, orange-tip and speckled wood will also start appearing as the weather gets warmer.
- Beautiful blossom, one of the most iconic signs of spring. Blossom is a sign of winter receding and it can be found on hawthorn, blackthorn or fruiting trees but only for a short time. It doesn’t last very long so enjoy it while you can.
- Frog and toad spawn is a classic sign of Spring. Adult frogs and toads don’t breed until the warmer weather begins and the thick mass of clear jelly found on the surface of small ponds which develops into a new generation of froglets and toadlets can be absolutely fascinating for children.
And beyond all of that, there are eggs of the chocolate variety for your children to spot and these might make them more excited than anything nature can offer.
Wishing you all a very happy Easter!