Family Activities to do back at home
Getting outdoors while you're on holiday with us is great. Here are some ways to carry on these experiences with your family back at home.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Bird Feed Pine Cone
Your family will need:
Suet or lard
Microwaveable mixing bowl
Choose a range from: bird seed, grated cheese, sunflower seeds and/or oats
1) Collect pine cones (they can be any size, but best if they are open a bit).
2) Tie the string around the pine cone, tucking the string into the cone, leaving a length to tie it up.
3) Put your bird seed mix (or any ingredients you are using) on a plate.
4) Put some lard in the mixing bowl and melt it in the microwave.
5) Dip your pine cone in to the melted lard, and then roll it in the bird seed mix on the plate.
6) Leave it to cool.
7) Hang your cone from a tree or your bird table.
8) Watch for the birds to come.
To see what birds are landing on your feeder, use our bird identification guide.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Making a Footprint Tunnel
Your family will need:
Plastic tube - drain pipe, plastic drinks bottle (ends cut off)
Ink (food colouring/powder paint)
A thin sponge pad (or similar)
Bait - cat/dog food and chopped up apple or peanut butter
1) Cut the paper to fit in the length of your tube, slot it in so it lines the bottom half of the tube.
2) Cut 2 squares of sponge, about 4-6cm.
3) Cut 2 squares of greaseproof paper about 1cm bigger than your sponge square.
4) Mix the vegetable oil with your ink in your bowl.
5) Lay the squares of greaseproof paper on your plate.
6) Dip the sponge squares in to the ink mix so it soaks in (this can get messy).
7) Lay the ink sponges in the middle of the greaseproof paper.
8) Put your tube out, somewhere you think small mammals might be travelling, along a hedgerow, near a tree, on the edges of some open spaces. Make sure it is flat.
9) Place the bait in the middle of the tube.
10) Lay the greaseproof paper with ink pad on top at each end of the tube.
11) Leave overnight, and look in the morning to see who has been in.
12) Identify which animals have been through your tunnel using our footprint guide.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Sky TV
No equipment needed just find a comfy spot, lie down and see what you can see in the clouds. What shapes and stories can you see moving in the sky?
You can tell a lot about the coming weather from the clouds that are in the sky click here to see the Met Offices Cloud website.
*Being careful not to look directly at the sun*
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Seeds and Fruit
What seeds and fruit can you find growing in your local area?
Seeds are formed in the female part of the flower after the ovule has been fertilised by pollen.
A pollen grain lands on the stigma when the flower is pollinated (e.g. by a bee). A tube grows down through the style to the ovary and into the ovule (known as the pollen tube). When the male pollen and female ovule join, the ovule is fertilised. The fertilised ovule develops into a seed. This seed may eventually grow into a new plant.
The ovary protects the seed as it develops. The combination of fertilised ovule and ovary is called the fruit. In scientific terms, the word 'fruit' has a slightly different meaning to its everyday usage. As well as familiar edible fruits (like apples, bananas and lemons) acorns, holly berries and sycamore 'helicopters' are all classed as fruits.
Plants need to spread (or disperse) their seeds some distance from the parent plant, so that the new plant is not in competition (for light, water and mineral salts).
Not all seeds land in a suitable place to grow. Some seeds do not even germinate, while others will die young, before the new plant is able to make seeds of its own. To overcome this problem, plants usually produce large numbers of seeds to make sure that some survive.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Cuckoo count
The cuckoo was once a very familiar part of life and a sign of spring being here. However they have been disappearing from our countryside and we would love you to join in with our #CuckooCount to find out where they can still be found.
Full details of the count and how to take part are on the Field Studies Council website:
It also has information about these birds and some of the reasons why they have been declining in the UK.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Weather Diary
After your Real Family Holiday you can create your own weather diary and make a note on the changing weather that is happening this Autumn.