With the weather turning warmer there really is no excuse not to get outside with the children and enjoy the outdoors. This spring way not take the children on a nature trail to get back to nature and to show them just where our food really comes from.
Take a look at these top nature trail tips…
1. Be adventurous with your location. Add an extra dimension by doing a sensory nature trail on a farm: explore the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch of nature! Some farms will even allow children to milk the cows – a fascinating experience for little ones – and a chance to explain how natural ingredients make the foods they love, like Munch Bunch®.
2. If you’re doing a sensory trail remember to explain to your children each of their senses in simple terms at the start of the trail. Test them as you go, e.g; “Can you hear that cow moo-ing? What sense are we using to do that?”
3. Take along foods to stimulate their sense of taste – and to keep hunger pangs at bay. Dairy snacks like fromage frais, squeezy yogurts and tangy fruit are all good choices, rooted in nature.
4. If you do get to see the cows being milked, you can talk to children about how milk contains calcium, which is important for healthy bone growth. To make it fun, ask the children to give their toothiest grins, or test each other’s strength.
5. Use themes and challenge your children to seek out objects and plants, sounds or sights that are certain colours or begin with different letters – e.g; …’who can see something starting with B’ or ‘can you collect 3 things that are green?’
6. Create a tick-list for children to mark off as they find things and even create a certificate for the end of the trial.
7. Older children might like to take photographs of their finds, or even film the trail using your mobile phone
8. Always be prepared for a sudden down-pour, this is Britain after all!
9. Use Easter as a great opportunity to talk about the life cycle of real eggs. Children are fascinated with which animals give us which foods. Why not create a quiz for the children, e.g; “which animals give us the main ingredient in fromage frais?” Or, “list as many milk-based foods as you can”.
10. Early Spring is a good time to plant summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. You can do this at home, or, if your farm has a fruit patch, why not go down and offer to help plant them with your little one – then you can go back when they’re ripe later in the Summer and pick and enjoy the fresh fruits together.
11. Chat with your children about how fresh fruit is seasonal but we’re also lucky in that we can enjoy fruit year round too.
12. In the Summer pick-your-own fruit farms are a great place to teach children where their favourite flavours in foods like fromage frais come from and how different fruits grow.
13. Children love messy play and squishing and squashing fresh fruits – but don’t waste them. You can use as delicious toppings to decorate fromage frais and attempt to make smoothies with them.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Munch Bunch®