Here at Professor Scrubbington's we're always looking at new ways to encourage mums and dads to nurture their kids through nature, and when our research revealed that over half of parents outsource messy play to schools and clubs to deal with, we teamed up with The Bushcraft Company to look at the different ways that families can enjoy being adventurous in the great outdoors together. Happy adventures everyone!
- Shelter / Den Building: Living willow branches, bamboo sticks or even fallen branches make great dens by simply propping them up against a wall, fence or tree. These 'lean to' dens are best made with branches around 2m long, with a 50cm circumference and for additional support try weaving smaller twigs horizontally through the frame. Or quite simply throw a big sheet over some tables or chairs in the garden and get the whole family to dine al fresco together!
- Camouflage and concealment: Use an old rug, sheet, sacking or garden netting to get all wrapped up for the ultimate discovery expedition with your little ones. Be sure to get your hands dirty and slap some mud on your face for additional disguise, then head to a local woods or forest in search of something unusual...it might only be a stone, a spiders web, a nest or a little creepy crawly, but it is guaranteed to spark excitement about the natural world
- Backyard safari: Dig deep for worms. Identify 5 – 10 different plants, wildlife and treasure you find in the garden and set out on a trail. Children love the mystery and suspense! Create your own bug viewers with an empty jar and pierced/fabric covered lid. To make your own 'Worm Hotel' cut the top third off a large pop bottle, create layers with different earth and sand – watch the worms make tunnels in their new home
- Bring the beach home: Use little plant pots to make mud castles. Make flags from flowers and decorate all around with little stones. Let them collect mud, water, grass, leaves and other delicacies they can find in the wilderness
- Cereal bird feeders: This is great for little hands. Cut lengths of string or wire and feed on cereal hoops until you have enough to make a loop, garland or if you’re using wire a more adventurous shape. Hang in the garden and watch birds visit the garden
We asked our good friend and outdoor explorer enthusiast Chris Packham what are two fun adventures families can have in their back garden. This is what he said:
“Go on safari! Imagine you are the size of a beetle and then meet all the little things as if they were big. Ferocious predators like centipedes, winged assassins like wasps and things that might eat you - like frogs and toads.
Or camp out overnight and listen to the sounds of night - owls, foxes and mice"