Super-duper bird feeders

We had greatly reduced numbers this week, due to some illness and other unavoidable circumstances, but we didn’t let that stop us.

We had an absolutely fab time making really simple, yet effective, feeders to help our little feathered friends get through the rest of this winter.

Step 1:

Gather some sticks about the length of an adult hand.

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Step 2:

Add bird seed, grated cheese and, lard or baking fat to a bowl.

Step 3: Get your hands right in there and mash it all up.

Step 4: Take a handful and mash it on to the end of a stick. Repeat until you have a big blob.

Step 5: Use a larks-head knot to tie a piece of string to the stick and close the loop with a simple over-hand knot.

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Step 6: Find somewhere to hang your super-duper bird feeder.

Step 7: Congratulate yourself with a story, cake, and a cup of milk.

Remember, although it looks like a delicious lolly (and you’ll come to no harm from eating it), the mix is meant for birds.

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And there we have it. We have two weeks left of this block and the next block, starting on March 11th, is filling up fast. If you’d like to get your young’un involved, why not drop us a message  and we’ll get you signed up.

Until next time…

Tree rubs and wriggly bugs

We came back this week, after having to take a surprise, one week, hiatus, following the early arrival of daughter number two. Florence was born on Sunday morning so there was no way of getting out to the woods the next day. In fact, I don’t think I even left the house until Wednesday and that was to take child one out to a toddlers group and give Mum a bit of a chance to sleep whilst the baby was.

Our focus this week was bugs so we started by getting ourselves warmed up with a bug hunt.

We searched under rocks…

and inside logs…

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to see the different bugs to live in those different habitats.

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We also looked under some dead bark to see what lived there.

After all that, we needed a bit of a rest so we read about some bugs…

and ate some cake.

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It’s always nice to see your own daughter waiting until she’s offered. Today is not that day.

After all that, we got to know the different trees, and the varying textures of their bark, by doing some tree rubbings.

And there we go. That’s our weekly round up.

We have four weeks left of this run of Tiny Acorns. The next block of six will begin on March 11th.

If you’d like to get your child involved, why not drop us a message and we’ll get you signed up.

 

Dinosaurumpus

Well, we’ve just had week five of this run of Tiny Acorns. We’ve only one more before we break for half term. The time has absolutely flown by.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and it’s been an absolute joy getting to know all my tiny acorns.

This week, was probably my favourite week so far. I based it around a book by Tony Mitton called Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus which came highly recommended by the guy who trained me, Chris Wishart.

Bumpus jumpus

The kids had a great time. They were jumping and bouncing around, doing all the actions of the “rumpus”. I had to read the book a second time and would have had to go a third if the dinosaurs hadn’t appeared to draw the kids off on a quest.

It’s so great to see this group gelling and becoming such firm friends in such a short space of time.

It’s also great to see how their imaginations are growing along with their confidence. After we found the dinosaurs and hid them a second time, the kids really let their imaginations take over. With no input from the adults present, they began hiding the dinosaurs themselves and searching for other dinosaurs from the book. They found their own clues and created their own narratives. It was really beautiful.

Next week, we’re going to have a special Halloween themed party with costumes and pumpkins and spooky stories. It’s going to be absolutely wonderful.

Hopefully we’ll see you there.

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Tigers and Dragonflies

We had another superb Tiny Acorns session this week. It was only the third week with this group and I can already see a marked difference in the group as a whole. The children are growing together as a group. They are working together, swiftly becoming good friends who care for and consider each other. They are also growing in confidence every week, each becoming more willing and able to explore and experiment with our woodland area.

Interestingly, this gelling and confidence seems to bubble over and affect anyone who comes along to the group for their first time. It’s as if it’s infectious.

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This week’s book was There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart. It’s a beautiful story about using our imagination to explore the world around us, no matter how mundane we may think that environment may be, and is a firm favourite in our household.

The children then collected leaves of lots of different shapes and sizes to use for rubbings with lots of different coloured chalks. The results were beautiful and, after tearing around these, we tied them onto sticks with coloured yarn to make dragonflies the size of birds.

Chalk rubbings

Chalk rubbings.

It was a lovely task that was enjoyed by children and adults alike.

If you have a toddler, or know a toddler that would love to come along to Tiny Acorns, we still have a few spaces left on the scheme so, why not drop us a message and get signed up.

Tiny Acorns; starting to grow

Tiny Acorns has been running for two weeks now and the response has been fantastic with kids and adults enjoying themselves in equal measure.

I’d say were starting to find our rhythm too. Each session has a book at its centre, with fun games and activities that link to it. Our first week was The Gruffalo and the children had great fun making houses for mouses and playing hide and seek. This week the children gathered sticks, before being helped to tie them together into the shape of a man. We then read Stickman before going on an adventure to the river to play pooh sticks. Everyone had a blast!

Every session also includes a healthy home made snack and a drink. So far we’ve had two different types of naturally sweetened flapjack.

(Don’t tell anyone but this week’s was actually vegan and no-one noticed.)

Take a look at the pictures and, if you fancy popping along to our next session, why not drop us a message and get your name down. We’d love to hear from you.