The run up to Christmas can be very exciting and a magical time for children. But with the idea of Santa visiting and presents on their way, not to mention the approaching school holidays, a child’s focus on education can understandably get forgotten about. Also, with the cold weather, early dark nights and Christmas TV showing many festive favourites, children can also often get stuck indoors rather than getting out in the fresh air.
Thankfully, there are many, fun activities you can do with your child over Christmas, which can be educational too. With this in mind, Rossall School presents three educational outdoor activities for you to enjoy with your child or children this festive season.
Go on a winter nature walk
Winter is great time for your child to learn about and appreciate the fascinating nature that can be found throughout the cold season. You could visit your local park, take a woodland walk, or enjoy a family stroll along your nearest canal and see what nature you can spot together. It’s a good idea to do your research beforehand, so you can make a list of what to look out for and you can tick them off as you spot them, along the way. This can range from looking for birds searching for food, and nests in leaf-bare trees, to spotting winter birds like Tufted duck, and winter flowers like snowdrops.
Decorate a tree for wildlife
This can be a nice way to spot nature together, while enjoying the tradition of putting up Christmas decorations. With your children, choose a tree in your garden or yard, which you know is frequented by local birds. If you don’t have a garden, but do have outdoor space, you could buy a real Christmas tree and decorate that instead. You can then fill the tree with different things that will attract birds and other wildlife. For instance, you could make birdseed ornaments by decorating some birdfeeders and hanging them on the tree. You could also hang things like pinecones and dried fruits. Then, wait a few days and see what wildlife the tree attracts.
Take a tour of your neighbourhood
You don’t have to travel far to experience some festive educational fun at Christmas – just as far as your local neighbourhood. So go on foot together and see what Christmas lights and decorations you can spot. You can make it educational by testing their observation and counting skills, and list different things for them to look out for. This could include artificial or real Christmas trees, door wreaths, and garden ornaments. Depending on their age, they could count how many houses have lights around their windows, or look for common themes and colours in the decorations that are used. You could also get them to mark each decorated house out of ten, based on things like colours, design and creativity.
*This is a collaborative post