The Big Book of Outdoor Activities

The Big Book of 100 Outdoor Activities
Laura Minter and Tia Williams
GMC Publications

This bumper book is just right for trying out now the better weather has arrived – for a few days at least. It’s absolutely jam-packed with simple and quick activities and creative possibilities that will encourage children to get involved and at the same time find out more about the natural world.

The book is divided into seven sections, the first being Wildlife Spotting – love the pine-cone bird feeder and bug hotel herein. Ditto the ‘Flowerpot person from the In the Garden section.
I’m all for getting messy especially where young children are involved: I know they will thoroughly enjoy making bubble snakes and plunging their hands into the oobleck or cornflour goop and finding petals, leaves etc to add to the mixture – always a favourite with children in my early years classes. Both these are found in the Messy Makes section along with over a dozen other ideas.

The natural paintbrushes in the Art and Crafts pages look terrific fun …

and have great potential for getting creative. So too do the nature faces although I’d rather have the children draw faces for themselves on the card.
There are lots of exciting possibilities in the Rainy Day and Games sections so it’s definitely a good idea to do as the authors suggest in their introductory tips and take a carrier bag for collecting items. You might for instance gather up sticks and fir cones and save them to make a set of the funky stick people. Once done there are lots of ways these could be used – as fridge magnets or finger puppets perhaps: no doubt children will come up with ideas of their own.

All in all this is a great book for using with children – the ideas cost very little or nothing at all – just the thing to pack into a rucksack for a weekend away, or for teachers and others organising forest school sessions to dip in to.

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