When the weather gets colder, and the frost starts settling in, it can be tempting to hunker down and stay inside. There are, however, so many benefits to getting outside and – with 16% of children in the UK suffering from vitamin D deficiency – spending time outside is both essential and, more importantly, it can be fun!
If you are looking for something to do inside on a rainy day; creating a bird cake is an indoor nature activity that kids can enjoy this winter, that can also be hugely beneficial to your local wildlife.
A Winter Scavenger Hunt
Wrapping up warm and getting children out for a walk can be a struggle in the winter, but a fun scavenger hunt – with the children looking out for certain things whilst on the walk – can help keep kids engaged and having fun, while getting some fresh air outside. You and your children can have some fun and create your own: with them choosing what they want to look out for on your next nature walk!
With older children – or to make the scavenger hunt a little more exciting – you can assign points to each item: with the harder-to-spot items receiving more points. This works especially well with children who enjoy a healthy sense of competition!
Make a Bird Cake
During the winter, the food available to birds can be scarce, and bird feeders can help bridge the gap between the available resources and the needs of local birds. By undertaking this activity your child can not only enjoy creating the bird cake, but they can also have fun spotting the different types of birds that the feeder will attract!
Making a bird cake is easy, and there’s no baking required!
What you need:
A clean yoghurt pot
While there are other ingredients that can be included, there are some things you should avoid incorporating into your bird cake, which include: uncooked rice, any salted food, whole nuts and hard fruits
Mix together all of your dry ingredients in a bowl, combining thoroughly
Add softened lard or dripping and combine into the mixture to form a soft paste texture: it’s best to use your hands for this bit!
An adult should pierce the bottom of the yoghurt pot and pull the string through, securing it with a knot so that the pot can be hung upside down
Fill the yoghurt pot with the fat mixture and hang outside
Enjoy seeing all the birds that come to your garden!
Make a Natural Stained ‘Glass' Window
With the weather getting below freezing overnight, this activity is perfect if you’re looking for a nature activity that your child who enjoys arts and crafts will enjoy.
In order to complete this activity: find a bucket or a shallow bowl and fill it with a thin layer of water (the water needs to be shallow in order to freeze overnight); add string around the perimeter of the water with the ends hanging out at the top – this is necessary to be able to hang up your stained ice window!
Find some colourful leaves, pine needles or berries and lay them in the water. Leave outside overnight, and in the morning ease your ice window out of the bowl. You can then use the string to hang your stained ice window on a tree!
Have Some Winter Fun!
While the winter can seem like a dark and dreary time, there are many experiences and activities for kids to enjoy even in the winter months. So, wrap up warm, get outside, and try one of the nature activities for kids we've explored in this article!
For more ideas, our website is a great place to find lots of educationally and physically beneficial activities to do with your child.