5 things to do outdoors this half-term
Posted by on 12th February 2019
February half-term is upon us and unless you're one of the lucky ones getting away for the week, it can be one of the more tricky times of year to occupy kids. With the weather invariably still pretty cold, and the ever-present threat of rain or, even snow sometimes, it can be a bit of a chore rustling up fun things to do.
At Bore Place we regularly hold activity days for children as well as hosting many school visits. Our mantra and focus are always to encourage outdoor learning when we can and to explore ways that children can reconnect with the countryside and the outdoors through what we do. We firmly believe in the relationship between being outdoors and improved wellbeing. With that in mind, we have created a list of five free things to do outside this half-term...
1) Go on a night walk
It won't be long before the clocks go forward and the evenings are too long for younger children to do night walks. A week off school, when bedtime doesn't have to be such a priority, is a great time to stay up a bit later and explore the night time. Take a torch and wrap up warm. At this time of year, listen out for the twit (female) twoo (male) calls of tawny owls for whom the breeding season is already underway. You can also take part in the Tawny Owl Calling Survey organised by the BTO. There is also always the chance of bumping into an urban fox out in search of food.
2) Pond Watch
On milder nights, the first frogs, toads and newts will be making their way back to natal ponds (ponds where they were born). Males will get there first to stake out the best territories before the females arrive. Stop and take a look in your local pond to see if they've arrived. Keep an eye out as spring approaches to see who can be the first to spot the first spawn.
3) Build a campfire
A fun way to beat the winter chill. Enjoy the challenge of seeking out the driest sticks you can find and choose a safe place away from buildings and trees. Add to the fun by heating a pan of milk over the flames and making hot chocolate.
4) Build a den
Find a local wood and seek out fallen sticks and leaves to build yourself a cosy den. You may see the first green shoots of bluebells poking up through the leaf litter.
It's amazing how many more stars you can see when you find yourself somewhere really dark with little light pollution. On a clear night, wait until it is really dark and drive to your nearest dark spot. If you have a portable telescope or binoculars be sure to take them with you and look at the moon as well as seeing if you can identify any of the constellations. Visit Sky Map Online to get a star map of your area.