Make a change

Continuing with the springtime theme of change and transformation, today is all about the power of making little changes in ourselves and noticing the world around us in a different way.

Change…your view. Use a small mirror placed across the bridge of your nose to see what is happening up above you. With a partner as a guide (linking arms and giving quiet, clear instructions to keep everyone safe). If you can be under the trees, imagine you are a squirrel looking for the best tree to build your drey. Or take a closer look at the clouds and what’s going on overhead above you (not suitable for bright sunshine).
Great for working together, listening carefully, looking with interest from a different perspective.


Change…your walk. Make cards from a selection of … like a spy, like a bee, like a deer, like a police officer, like a monkey, like a pirate, like a dinosaur, like a queen, like a robin, like a ballet dancer, like a spaceman, like a cat. Take turns to move in the way that your card tells you to move and ask others to guess your card.
Great for observing, being active and describing movements in preparation for descriptive writing.

Change…your expression. Explore what happens when you move around showing different facial expressions. How does it make you feel when you are smiling? When someone smiles at you? When you frown or look surprised?
Great for understanding the power of a smile and developing self-awareness.

Take a tiny seed

Springtime seed planting can carry on in gardens and window sills around the country. Here’s a couple of ideas for your seed planting.sunflower-seed-1213766__340

Create… a tiny masterpiece

seeds-1918001_640Look closely at tiny seeds to develop observation skills.
Make sketches of a range of seeds before sowing them in the garden or using them in seed bombs (below). The incredible range of shapes and sizes can be explored and represented through simple pencil and coloured pencil drawings. Or choose one seed to magnify for a large picture, scaling up a hundred times (is that a little maths hiding in an art activity?)


Grow… a quick winter salad

Plant quick-grow salad leaves in pots or a tray inside.  Cress is the familiar one but also try a range of more exotic micro salad leaves, like rocket and pea shoots (most seed companies now produce micro-leaf seed mixes and many are delivering on-line).
Micro leaves are usually ready to harvest within a week or two of sowing, a satisfyingly swift result for inquisitive children. 

The first leaves that emerge from a seed are called cotyledons, or seed leaves. The next pair are the true leaves of the plant. Some micro leaves are harvested as soon as the first seed leaves emerge, and others when the true leaves grow.

bloom-1239031_640 When your micro green leaves have grown, use to top a pizza, make a winter salad, or egg and cress sandwiches and enjoy!


Make… a seed “bomb”

Guerrilla gardening greens-up empty and abandoned areas with native wild plants or edible herbs and flowers, preferably bee and butterfly friendly varieties. A seed “bomb” is compost mixed with flour and water and your chosen mix of seeds. Once thrown and the seeds have begun to germinate, the components will slowly break apart. The soil will then provide a base for the seeds to start growing. 

Empty your chosen seeds into a bucket or tray.
Add compost to the bucket. Stir to mix everything together.
In another container, put the flour, add water stirring until you have a gloopy mixture, i.e. glue! (approximate ratios:  1 part seeds/ 6 parts compost/ 2 parts flour mixture).
Add the flour and water mixture to the compost and seeds mixture and stir it all together.
Gently roll the mix in the hand to form small balls.
Place the balls in a tray or box and allow them to dry for 24 hours. 

sunflower-4206171_640 Take to a neglected patch of soil to bring it back to life, checking out how the seeds are growing each week.