ENWC Week 2 – Minibeast Activities

ENWC Week 2 – Minibeast Activities

We have had another great week following the Exploring Nature with Children (ENWC) curriculum. You can read about last week’s adventures and activities here or read on for this week’s minibeast activities.

Nature Walk

Our week started with a rather wet nature walk. I did commit to going out – whatever the weather and that commitment certainly was tested this week! The forecast initially had shown heavy rain all week so my plan was to just go as planned on Monday. The weather did get better by the end of the week so I should have perhaps waited until then. We did get out again on Tuesday when we met with some friends and we did have a good time thinking about other minibeasts we have seen, not just on our wet walk on Monday.

It was actually a useful way of getting the children to think about why we might have spotted caterpillars and butterflies on different walks (ie: when it was sunnier and more summery) and also to recall the minibeasts they’ve seen when we have been picking blackberries (ants) and the such. Just because we didn’t see them on our initial walk doesn’t mean they weren’t there – just the weather made it harder to spot them at that time.

I hope the walk next week is much drier…. I don’t think my coat has fully dried yet some five days on!

Art

LIke last week, we had a go at drawing some of the minibeasts we had seen. This is very much a learning curve for me. I really didn’t enjoy art when I was at school and did the bare minimum I have to say, however, that I am enjoying drawing with the children at the moment. Miss E is quite artistic and has spent ages this week with her set of water-colour paints painting butterflies – they mostly look like the first one she did below, but she’s enjoying it and there’s a clear pattern to her work.

exploring nature with children minibeasts

Mr D chose to have a go at drawing a millipede that he had spotted in a book we were reading through. I’m quite impressed with this. He isn’t really a fan of drawing – he much prefers to rush through things like this, but he really did spend a good while doing this and I think you can see the resemblance to what he was drawing. He also, of course, set about designing a minibeast as part of the CREST science award that I hope he will get.

exploring nature with children minibeasts

I made an attempt at painting the snail we spotted in the grass. I still have some way to go with my painting and drawing, but I’m pleased with it and I think it is good for the children to see me learning alongside them.

exploring nature with children minibeasts

Maths

This week I found a couple of maths sheets on twinkl. Mr D did this minibeast themed addition sheet. He is getting really good at basic addition and increasingly better at writing his numbers – I love that none of this is forced on him – I simply print off some sheets and if he wants  to do it then great, if not then that’s fine too. He is quite into doing these sorts of things at the moment and it has thrown up then when he writes double digit figures, eg ’12’ he inverts the numbers (21) so we need to do some work on that to get him to correct that.

exploring nature with children minibeasts

We also did a pattern matching thing – this would have been slightly better had my printer not run out of the magenta ink (and yes – if I listened to Damian and replaced it then it wouldn’t have been an issue!) but we were still able to make the patterns. Miss E liked this and it’s a good one for working on cutting skills.

Online Resources

We have, again, turned to twinkl this week. It really does hold a wealth of information and we enjoyed reading through the minibeast and their habitats powerpoint (here) and this little interactive quiz which both the children enjoyed and were good at.

We also printed and coloured this minibeast dictionary which I think they both enjoyed doing too as well as this labelling exercise which Miss E enjoyed far more than Mr D.

Other Bits and Bobs

Finally, we had a lazy day on Wednesday – we were all full of sniffles and sneezes and a quiet day was in order. We got the playdoh out and some straws and pipe cleaners and made spiders and other things with them. For some reason I forgot to take photos, but they enjoyed it and playdoh is always good fun anyway. Mr H joined in too – he enjoyed pushing the straws into the playdoh and feeling the texture of it.

I also pulled some pipe cleaners into a colander for him – we pretended they were wiggly worms for him to pull out of the mud. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was supposed to do with it but Miss E stepped into demonstrate and the two of them enjoyed doing that for a little while.

exploring nature with children minibeasts

We have also enjoyed a game or two of the fabulous Bug Bingo – we love this game a lot as well as the classic Build a Beetle.

Next Week

Next week’s theme is the Autumn equinox which I know nothing about! I need to find an hour this weekend to read the curriculum for that week as well as have a look online for some activity ideas. I am looking forward to it though.

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8 Comments

  1. 16th September 2017 / 19:12

    I couldn’t believe how horrid the weather was at the beginning of the week only to clear up. Seems like you guys managed to do a lot of lovely activities

  2. 16th September 2017 / 19:35

    Lots of lovely creative ideas. We try and get out in to nature as much as possible too.

  3. 16th September 2017 / 20:12

    What lovely and creative ideas! I think it’s so much easier to do little activities when there is a theme to work around. I love the art project. Your snail is really good!

  4. 18th September 2017 / 11:19

    I like the sound of this curriculum. I am seriously considering home schooling my kids. I am not certain I can do it yet. Any tips? They are meant to start reception next September.

    • 18th September 2017 / 22:22

      I’d join some local facebook groups and try to get along to some meets. It can be as formal or as informal as you like. We are semi-structured so we follow a maths program, we do reading practice and we follow the nature stuff too. Others are very unstructured and follow what suits them. Def try and meet some local HE people x

  5. 19th September 2017 / 11:26

    It sounds like they are learning so much and I love their art work. It’s good to hear you are appreciating it too despite not liking at school

  6. 20th September 2017 / 07:56

    This looks like loads of fun! I should try something like this with my own children.

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