Enjoying nature this summer with your young nature-lovers

(c) Lianne de Mello

The wonders of a beautiful spring and summer in bloom seemed so much more magical during lockdown. For families with young children time outside was the perfect way to find freedom, creativity, learning and play in a world that suddenly felt very restricted.

As we start to redefine how we will be able to enjoy our city again, we can reflect on the valuable role nature plays in our daily lives. It is important for children to be able to enjoy the amazing health, wellbeing and learning benefits that are inspired by connecting with the natural world.

How has nature helped you and your family over the last few months? The easing of lockdown hopefully means that you’re able to find more opportunities to soak up the magic of nature and wildlife with your family this summer. Whether you’re staying close to home or are off to the beach for a family staycation, here are some great ways you can enjoy the outdoors with your family:

Go bug hunting to see what mini beasts you can find

Summer sunshine creates the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. With the sun comes a myriad of insects to our gardens, nature reserves, window boxes and wild spaces. A fantastic place currently teeming with insects and wildlife is our wildflower nursery Grow Wilder in Stapleton - every weekend we have a nature trail around the site, a simple nature craft activity for you to do with your kids, and spotter sheets available so your family can explore and discover the amazing wildlife around the site together. This weekend the theme is pollinators: make a bee or butterfly out of clay, and explore our pollinator trail.

If you can’t get to Grow Wilder this weekend you can download some ID sheets from the Wildlife Watch website for you to use in your garden, local park or closest nature reserve. And once you're done, you can use the insect-friendly plant guide to choose which plants you need to attract the bugs you want to your garden. You can order native wildflowers to your door at growwilder.co.uk and plant them with your family. Find out more here: wildlifewatch.org.uk

Celebrate National Marine Week, at the beach or from the comfort of your home

This weekend marks the end of National Marine Week, 15 fun-filled days to allow for the variation in tide times around the country. Over the last few weeks we’ve been thinking about the health of our marine environment, but this is something we must do all year long and help children think about from a young age. Enjoying our fun marine-themed activities with your little ones will be a great way to get them loving the sea and all of the amazing creatures that depend on it. From making your own seal mask, being a rockpool detective or colouring in a seahorse colouring sheet, there are lots of ideas of activities you can do at the beach if that’s where you’re headed this summer or even from the comfort of your own home: wildlifewatch.org.uk/national-marine-week

Follow us online to see updates about activities for families

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we are redesigning our activities for toddlers, children and families in Bristol so we can relaunch them safely in autumn.

To stay tuned to see how these opportunities for families will come to life again, please do keep an eye on our social media channels @avonwt, or our My Wild Child website page. You can also join our Facebook group for families where we post regular updates and activities to enjoy with young children.