Get the family outdoors this half-term


No school for a week? No need to feel bleak

Here is a list of treasure to seek

Something in bud
Some footprints in mud


Moss on a tree
A stump older than me


Three different birds
That like to be heard


Something in bloom
Any kind of mushroom


Fluffy clouds at dawn
Clots of frogspawn


One tiny beast
One wearing a fleece


Tick these off this week
For a winning streak


Get outside in the sun
Get some air and have fun


Notes for the Grown Ups

This has been written for February half term in the UK and Ireland so everything on the list should be (relatively) easy to find.

Trees and flowers are starting to come into bud even if everything is still looking a bit sleepy.

For footprints in mud, so far this month we’ve found birds, deer, dogs and sheep. Human footprints will work too!

Mossy trees are everywhere and any tree stump will do — the rings are easier to count on freshly cut trees but exact numbers not required 🙂

Plenty of birds around at the moment — the noisiest likely to be robins, blackbirds and sparrows. Lots of raucous seagulls and ducks around too of course.

Trying to hear the differences in how the birds sound can be a great exercise in presence and being in the moment. Just as beneficial for parents as for kids, especially after (another) six weeks of homeschooling 🙂

For blooms, there should still plenty of snowdrops and some daffodils should flower any day now. Bonus points for anything else you can find in February.

Dawn is at 8am these days so not too early to look out the window to see lovely pink clouds — sunrises are very beautiful at the moment (assuming the sun obliges of course). Did you know that getting outside into natural light early in the morning can help wake you up by flushing out all the sleep hormones in your system? In turn, this helps regulate sleep later in the day.

Frogs should be spawning anytime now – look in still(ish) water — we’ve found them in ditches, ponds and puddles.

There are lots of mushrooms in wooded areas, the easiest to find will probably be ‘turkey tails’, these are multi-coloured fungi that grow on tree trunks and fallen trees in wooded areas.

Not so many insects around at this time of year but still dung beetles, spiders and woodlice. Lift up stones or look under wood or leaves to see what pops up.

Something wearing a fleece was included purely for rhyming purposes. Adults dressed in outdoor gear will constitute a correct answer if you aren’t near any sheep.

Just a bit of fun to get kids outside and see what they can find in the natural world this half term. When life has been reduced to screens for school, socialising and entertainment, it’s great to get out into nature and reconnect the big beautiful world around us.