The days are getting longer, the birds are singing and some are even inspecting the bird boxes we put up in the garden. All around the signs of Spring are showing, almond blossom, early bulbs flowering and the hedgerows showing a dusting of green. Every year I am surprised by the perfume of some daffodil flowers though not as sweet and heady as narcissus and jonquils.
Even though the weather can still be capricious it is wonderful to be out doors. Wrap up warm, take a simple camera or paper and pencil and a large magnifying glass with you and become nature sleuths. Children have such sharp eyes and love to find new things.
Look through the magnifying glass at the newly flourishing buds, look at the patterns in moss and lichen and watch how they change as the months get warmer. Using a simple camera you can get amazingly close to objects, insects and flowers and then use the zoom to magnify the picture.
I love to play games and tell stories whilst I’m out. (well, I’m a kidult!) There are lots of games to play in the park or garden which involve running, jumping, hiding and searching. What are your favourites? As for stories my favourite is to make up stories about the plants and trees. For example “Why the Snowdrop Hangs it’s Head” or “Why the Snowdrop Has Three Petals and Three Hearts” or “The Fairies Who Live in The Sticky Bud Tree” (Horse Chestnut Tree)
Another game we loved was to pick three clues and then tell a story about them and take it in turns to tell a more convincing version. The clues can be three things you spot whilst walking; an abandoned shoe, a broken twig and a bunch of red berries; or you can make a Story Bag full of little clues. Each person can make their own bag and collect small objects to put inside. Perhaps a stone or fossil, paper clip, tiny doll, beads, hair clips, fabric, picture or small toy. Swap bags and draw out three objects at random and let your imagination flow.
“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing” [Benjamin Franklin].