There's a week left of the summer holidays for most people, so I hope lots of you will be out there making the most of the great outdoors, getting plenty of fresh air and having lots of fun. We've not had much of a summer, so I'm expecting that Autumn will sneak up on us without anyone really noticing (did summer even happen?).
So, for those of you who haven't already planned out the last activities for your children and for those that are in your care, then why not try these ideas...
Build a den
Den building has always been a popular choice for all ages (including adults) and it allows parents to engage in the activity as well. Den building is not only fun, but it also requires a bit of skill, logic and creativity. I have many fond memories of creating dens with my brother when I was younger, It allowed us to bond and share in an activity - which is something we wouldn't ordinarily do given our five year age gap.
Make your own nature trail
Why not think of your own garden or local park as a potential nature reserve and create your own nature trail - it could be a temporary trail, or you could make it more permanent. You could look at where different plants grow, and where wildlife is seen and give that spot a name and make a sign (butterfly bushes or grassy grove?) You could also create features such as wildlife homes to place around your trail - and why not make a secret miniature fairy or dinosaur garden too - you could always use some toys to bring it to life. Of course, no nature trail would be complete without a map (and is a great way to continue the project if it rains!)
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy it!
Get surveying this summer with Wildsquare and discover different trees!
Our present survey is all about looking at how different trees can be. We want you to go out into your Wildsquare or anywhere special to you and look at the trees. We’ll be asking you to look for the shape of the leaves, the shape of the tree, if there are any fruits or seeds and what animals may be living or using the tree.
Just visit www.rspb.org.uk/wildsquare and register. Then print out a survey form, which includes everything you need to take part (except a pencil!).
Your survey will only take around half an hour to complete and you can do it wherever and whenever you like, on a walk to the park, in your garden or on a day out. So, if you spend time outdoors this weekend, why not take the survey with you?
Tell us your results and get a calendar pack
As soon as you’ve finished, you can tell us your results at www.rspb.org.uk/wildsquare. If you haven’t submitted any survey results before you will get a free calendar pack posted to you when you tell us what you saw.
I know I've mentioned getting outside and visiting one of our reserve this summer, but did you know the range of activities and events they have to offer?
Activities and events
There are all sorts of activities around the countries to keep young people (and older people) happy throughout the summer holidays. This weekend our RSPB Dungeness reserve in Kent are hosting a free Family Fun Weekend with activities such as pond-dipping, face painting and bug hunting. If you're near Cornwall, then why not make a date with nature by discovering coastal wildlife through specially set up telescope, with knowledgeable staff to guide you who knows what you might see.
Those are only a couple of things happening on our reserves in the coming week, to find out what's near you just take a peek here.
Become a Wildlife Explorer
Our youth membership package is a great way of introducing children to nature and to really develop their interest and curiosity about the natural world around them. We cater for each age group, so there will always be something to inspire them as they mature and grow - whether it be taking part in some of our competitions, reading one of our specially designed magazines for their age or participating in an activity. Your child will also receive 'welcome' goodies from us when they become a Wildlife Explorer...
Members pack for 8-12 year olds
You can take a look at what else is included in our Wildlife Explorers package here.
I'm not too sure what the weather has instore for us this weekend - but I'll bet that there will be some rain involved! I've seen some stunning rainbows over the past couple of days because of the recent mixture of sunshine and rain we've been having - and thought I would share this one with you, I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen a full rainbow like this one.
I've pulled together a couple of ideas you can do with your children in our wonderful mixed weather, while also stepping up for nature at the same time....
Make a recycled birdfeeder
Reusing is always better than recycling, as it takes less energy and resource to do - and of course, it's always interesting to find new ways of using jars, bottles and cardboard. If you need an activity to do one wet afternoon, and you have a few empty plastic bottles, then making this birdfeeder could be just the job.
Take part in our Climate Action Awards
Send off for your free Climate Action Awards booklet, which is full of activities designed to help our planet - once six of the eleven activities have been completed we will send your child a certificate and set of stickers to show everyone how much they care about climate change. Best of all, it's completely free!
Make a home fit for a bug
If the sun does decide to come out - then perhaps you would like to design a bug hotel for your friendly garden minibeasts, all you need are some unused building materials such as old bricks, tiles, piping, sand, straw and wood (as well as many more!) Your design could be as grand or as simple as you'd like to make it, we'd love to see photos of your bug hotels - tweet us them @RSPB_Learning.