Exploring nature in our back garden

It is very easy to forget the things which are so close to us, I’m guilty of opening the back door to let the kids out to play then going about all the jobs which need doing around the house.  I rarely spend much time out there myself as other things always need doing instead.
Stopping to slow down to appreciate the things around us usually takes a back step in a busy family however I have started to realised that the jobs can wait, the hovering does need doing BUT it doesn’t always have to be right now.
My children are growing up too fast and are very inquisitive and I love that, I want to encourage their questions and love of everything.
This week we have been enjoying the garden in all weathers, we’ve been bouncing on the trampoline in the rain, running through the sprinklers in the boiling sun and cutting the grass together and then having a grass fight with the cuttings (trust me to forget I have Hayfever!).
We have also been bug hunting and talking about where the bugs live, what they eat and the children were very keen to know where they slept – this was inspired by them watching Puffin Rock all week and seeing the Puffins sleeping in their burrows, they were convinced that all bird lived in trees so I had to take to the internet to show them this wasn’t the case at all.  Don’t forget you can see Puffin Rock on Nick Jr every weekday at 3.10pm.
They then wanted to build their own birds nest in the garden.  We talked about the types of things birds collect to make their nests and to make them comfortable – they suggested leaves and sticks and we then talked about adding moss and feathers as birds will collect these things too.
Emmy and Harry spent ages making a perfect nest, the lined it with moss and leaves to make the bottom comfortable for their eggs and then arranged the branches and sticks into a circle to keep the eggs safe.  Of course I wasn’t giving them real eggs to play with so we decorated polystyrene ones instead.
Of course Harry being Harry wanted to sit on it and it led to tears and he squashed the eggs and the nest but the tears soon stopped once we found some new friends amongst the leaves in the garden.
We found 2 caterpillars and the children were able to hold them and squealed with laughter when they kept running up and down their hands and arms.  After looking at them and holding them they then made them a safe den under our trees and put them back.
Getting outside and slowing down enough can bring some lovely surprises and they joy on the kids faces is certainly worth putting off the housework for a little longer.
*Posted in collaboration with Puffin Rock*

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