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Nature Binocular Scanners

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

Going out walking has been what's kept us going over the last 3 months with lockdown being enforced. Yesterday we ventured out together and I can't express how much I needed that time out to recharge for the week ahead. Whilst out yesterday I packed a bag with a couple of activities for the children to do whilst they were out in the woods. Usually we would create at home and take things with us already made but it was a game changer taking our crafting outdoors in the woods for a change.
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Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

I always have a stash of cardboard ready to cut up and make things with. I cut 3 pieces up and drew around a candle holder to create two circles before joining the circles up together in the centre. I used a Stanley craft knife to cut these out. This was to create the binocular scanners. In a bag I packed some paint sticks which have been a complete game changer for us. They quickly became our favourite art resource!

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

They were perfect for todays activity because you get the most wonderfully vibrant colours and within a few seconds they are completely dry! 

We found a fallen down log in the middle of Oversley Woods, Alcester. It was our first visit here and it was wonderful. Woodland as far as the eyes could see. Pine Trees in abundance reaching up into the sky. I have never seen so many butterflies! Pinecones littered the floor. Bird song filled the air. It was so peaceful! The children took their cardboard viewers and started decorating them. 

They were so calm and focused on what they were doing. They loved being outdoors doing this activity so I shall definitely be planning more. 

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

The paint sticks dry so quickly the viewers were ready to start using right away. The viewers were fantastic at really getting the children to slow down and take notice of what's around them. 

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

They looked for animal tracks, the explored the patterns in the bark of the trees, flowers, long grass, pebbles and puddles. They found different coloured leaves. I was surprised as for the duration of our walk the children used these with real enthusiasm. Keen to explore and find new things to look closely at. It really helped keep them walking too. My 3 are usually very good walkers anyway but this was a great distraction to keep them moving forward.

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

I often get messages from people asking how far my youngest two will walk as their children of similar ages are more reluctant. Activities like this could really help keep them distracted and keen to keep exploring.

Lets see this activity in action:

Over the last few years I have taken activities to do outdoors but today has reminded me that I need to do more of this. What a lovely place to be creative. No limitations, fresh air and nature. The perfect environment!

We have also made portraits using nature and dough out in the woods. So many nature treasures out there it's perfect to do this activity at any time of year. When I shared this on Facebook I had a few messages to say that they do this activity with mud which would also be lots of fun!

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

Towards the end of the walk the children started to pretend that their creations were cameras. They pretended they had a switch and they zoomed around the woodland capturing all sorts. 

A very successful activity indeed. We brought them home with us and the children have continued to use them around the house and in the garden. Lots of fun, low prep and recycling too!

Remember to come and see us on Instagram too for simple play ideas.

Nature Binocular Scanners - Forest School Ideas

We were inspired to create some Nature Scanner binoculars by Samsgoldsworthychildminding.

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Other posts to check out on Learning and Exploring Through Play:

I love you to pieces Suncatcher Card    Melted Snowman Family    Rainbow Streamer Craft

Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Sensory Winter Play for Preschoolers

Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World
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