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Outdoor fun in April

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By Rose Joyceaccredited trainer and facilitator at Learning through Landscapes

It’s still cold and the wind can be fierce, so make sure you are well wrapped up and protected from April showers as you enjoy these exciting activities

Open the box

Invite the children to work in pairs or small groups. Give each group a small plastic box or bag. With parental permission, take the children for a seasonal walk and quietly ask each group to find something different, for example, five hard, soft, heavy or wet items. Don’t let the other groups hear what you are saying. When everyone has collected their items, gather together, ask the children to swap boxes with another group and see if they can guess what kind of things they were asked to find

Ready for rain

Encourage early independence in dressing themselves by gathering the children together outside and sharing the story How Do I Put it On? by Shigeo Watanabe and Yasuo Ohtomo (Red Fox). Use the children’s waterproofs or wellies to re-enact the story by trying to hang wellies on ears, put arms in the trouser legs and so on. As you play, demonstrate the correct way to put these clothes on and how to ask for help.

Make a sound

Half fill a bucket with rainwater and place a container full of bark chippings alongside. Next to the chippings, put a hard plastic container turned upside down, and then a metal or enamel plate or container. Ask the children to choose a natural item such as a stick, small stone, conker, pine cone and so on, and drop it on to each surface in turn. What sound does it make? Are all the sounds the same? Encourage them to drop something else. Does it make the same sound or is it different?

Find the fruit

Place some fruit in a brightly-coloured bag without the children seeing and hide it in your outdoor area. Make arrows on the ground as clues using chalk, small stones, twigs and so on. Explain to the children that all the snack-time fruit has disappeared. Tell them you thought you saw it disappear out through the door in a brightly-coloured bag. Ask the children to put on their coats and go outdoors to help you find it. Follow the arrows with the children and celebrate finding the fruit by singing this song to the tune of ‘London’s Burning’:

We’ve found the fruit bag

We’ve found the fruit bag

Hip hip hooray

Hip hip hooray

Fruit! Fruit!

Fruit! Fruit!

Let’s go and eat it

Let’s go and eat it.

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