Remember the time that Ev spent a month wearing a hard hat and reflective jacket for EVERY activity? Park trips, toddler groups, the lot. You might recall that I fully embraced the yellow. Aside from the fact that it made him super easy to spot and extra safe at the park, I loved seeing his personality shining through. The zero cares. The flamingo feathers. So it might not surprise you to hear that when Ev declared that he needed to resemble his latest love, CBeebies’ Andy, I didn’t bat an eyelid. I googled ‘How to make Andy’s Gizmo‘ (no pun intended), and will admit to Amazon Prime-ing an explorer pack and matching hat.
Ev was overjoyed. The hat and backpack have been worn all day, every day. The Gizmo has only come off for washing and essential bodily functions (the line had to be drawn somewhere). And I am enjoying seeing him embrace nature, explore wildlife, and enjoy some fresh air with renewed vigor.
I wanted an activity that he could throw himself into ‘Andy style’ and so the ‘nature hunt bingo’ was born.
You only need some paper or card, and colouring pens, pencils or crayons.
Before you get started: be sure to check out my 8 Principles of Play!
Simply draw some pictures on your paper of things that you might spot when taking a little walk round the block or to the park in the sunshine.
Ideas include: a twig, bird, grass, mud, cloud, berry, cat, leaf, tree, bee, ant, stone, snail, flower, and butterfly.
Then, simply go for a little potter with your adventurer. Allow time to stop and peer at the pavement to spot ants. Encourage them to look up at the sky, see the shapes of the clouds and listen to the singing of birds. It all sounds so very basic but, honestly, it’s worth it!
We went for a walk, with no real destination in mind (other than to find Andy’s safari mobile as Ev is very upset that our car refuses to fly) and Ev fully embraced the bingo. He became quite excited each time he spotted an item on his cards, and spent time looking at his surroundings. When we began inching closer to home, he declared that he wanted to complete the lap all over again.
It’s not fancy. You don’t need a hat or backpack. But with a little bit of time spent, a simple walk can become an adventure!
This is great for observation, communication and vocabulary!
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