Tuning into the seasons and noticing the parallel changes in nature can be a wonderful way to learn about wildlife. Connecting to the seasons can help us navigate our own way through the cycle of change every year, appreciating the seasons for what they offer, even in the colder, darker and barer months. Doing this with young children, can help our little ones understand the changes around them from an early age too. By focusing on the awe and wonder that they can experience from being outdoors, children can grow up understanding that summer in the natural world brings energy and abundance. They can learn that autumn is a time of plenty when wildlife starts stocking up from the harvests for the colder months, winter is when nature rests, and spring is a time to start noticing new life emerging and little babies hatching.
Time spent outdoors and in nature also helps children build confidence, tap into and expand their knowledge and creativity, make new friends, as well as providing a variety of health and wellbeing benefits. Once children are able to spend time outdoors and experience the enjoyment, they can then also think about how to take care of our natural world as they grow older. If you’re outdoors in the spring with your young nature lovers, here are some fun things to do this spring:
Notice new patches of colour and the hints of fresh floral aromas
Turn your spring nature antennae on. What colours can you see emerging? Are there any buds bursting with new life? Have you spotted the white snowdrops, the yellow daffodils or the multicoloured crocuses blooming in clusters around your neighbourhood? Do any of these new bud bursts have a spring fragrance?
Listen out for bird song
The birds are singing again. Why not see if you can identify the different bird calls that you can hear. Or what about the ribbit of frogs? Did you know that they are another early sign of spring, making their way to their birth bond, to find a mate.
Get your hands dirty and plant some seeds
Plant some seeds and make a bee and butterfly garden! Think local by buying wildflower seeds to plant in your garden, and create a perfect place for our colourful pollinator friends to feed once they bloom. A small action for nature that won’t go unnoticed.
Come to one of our family sessions – this will engage all of your senses!
Avon Wildlife Trust run a variety of outdoor learning opportunities for families through our My Wild Child and Wildlife Watch projects that help children and their parents or carers learn about and connect more with the natural world. Come and join us! This is another great way to spend time outdoors, with others, to learn about nature and wildlife. Our sessions are seasonal, incorporate craft and nature-based activities, encourage exploring and child-led wild play and always introduce new species or topics for families to think about together.
“I think it develops their imagination, confidence and responsibility. Teaching toddlers to be kind to bugs etc and not squash them! To look after flowers and not pick the petals off! And to feel safe in nature. It also gets them moving and used to different terrains in all weather.”
- Emma, My Wild Child Mum
After a small winter break, Avon Wildlife Trust’s My Wild Child and Wildlife Watch sessions for families are restarting around Bristol for the year. Our My Wild Child nature play sessions are for toddlers and run regularly during term time at The Bommie – Knowle on Wednesday mornings, St George Park on Thursday mornings and at Feed Bristol on Friday mornings. Our Wildlife Watch Club sessions are for 5-10 year olds and we host these on the first Saturday of the month at Feed Bristol.
Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting these sessions. To find out more about My Wild Child or Wildlife Watch and other opportunities for families to engage with nature through Avon Wildlife Trust, visit avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/families