Throughout the year, there are many days and events to celebrate the environment, but the main day that many people remember is the 5th of June: World Environment Day. But doing fun activities to learn about the environment can be done throughout the whole year, and children very much enjoy getting messy as they help the environment.
There are many different activities that a summer camp can do for children to have a relationship with nature and learn how to treat the earth in a greenway. Of course, they could sit in a room and learn about the importance of recycling, but summer camps are about learning and finding new interests in exciting and fun ways.
Here are different activities that children can do that summer camps can after upload on the Splento App for parents to see.
Planting a garden
This activity doesn’t have to be on a big plot of land, instead, every child can be given a pot where they fill it up with soil and put a little seed in it. These seeds can be different depending on what they want to grow, it could be flowers or tomatoes or strawberries. Not only does this activity make children be outside, but it helps them learn how flowers and food can be made. All of these pots can be put in one place and every day they just sprinkle a little bit of water on them.
Doing this activity can be done on the first day, as it gives children a week or longer, depending on how long they are staying at the summer camp, to see their plant grow, even if it’s a few green specks that stick out. Even when it is time for them to leave, they will be able to take their plant back home and carry on what they have learnt.
The activity doesn’t only bring them closer to the beauty of nature, but it can also help them learn about science in a practical way, as well as understanding the importance of patience and dedication; these are useful skills that they will need in everyday life.
Planting a tree
An activity like this can be done once a year, and gradually a summer camp will end up with a bunch of trees of all different sizes depending on the year they have been planted. Campers who really enjoy their summer will also be able to come back each year and see how much the tree has grown.
Taking photos of this activity can help summer camps with marketing, as not only does it show the fun that the children are having, but it makes many want to know how the tree will look like year on year. Potentially, this could mean, when campers become adults they might send their own children to this camp so they can see the tree as well.
Art projects out of natural and recycled material
A perfect way for children to learn about the importance of recycling is by reusing different objects, such as milk cartons to create something from them. These activities will not only teach them to think if they can make something usual out of plastic before chucking them away, but it can also inspire them to do more creative projects.
Toilet roll bird feeders
What you will need for this activity:
- A bunch of toilet rolls
This messy but fun activity will let the children do something new and different than they normally do. It’s a very simple activity, even children who are not that crafty will still enjoy making a bird feeder, especially as they will be able to see their product being used once it’s done.
Children will have to cover the toilet roll with butter, this will help the birdseed stick on, as well as making it safe for birds to eat from. With the birdseed on a plate, children will be able to roll their buttered up toilet roll over it collecting the birdseed. Finally, thread a piece of string through the roll and tie it up.
Once this is all done, the tree that the children have already planted can be decorated with different bird feeders.
Creating a wind chime with recycled jar lids
What you’ll need:
- Jar lids already with a hole (This can be made with a hammer and nail)
- Embroidery hoop
This activity has a few steps, but all are very simple. Children will have the same amount of jar lids, five to six jar lids are a good amount. They will be able to paint these lids in any colour they want, perhaps they also want to paint different nature images on them, such as a bee. Next is tying the pieces of string on the embroidery hoop, after that thread it through the hole in the lids. These can also be hung on the tree that they have planted, as well as being taken back home once their camping trip is over, where they will be able to hear the chimes whenever the wind is dancing around.
Getting organised with old cans
What is needed:
- Old cans (With the label off)
- Acrylic Paint
This is a very quick and simple activity, but what is made can then be used in their room at the camp, as well as home. During the first step, children will have to paint the tin cans, they can do blocked colours or a pattern. Once dried, they can put different objects in them, pens, bookmarks, pocket toys and a lot more. This activity can help them inspire to do this when they are older, using old tin cans to use in the kitchen as pots to put wooden spoons and spatulas.
Turning old magazine into art
What is needed:
- A blank piece of paper
Before chucking away the magazines, children can use them to create images of nature such as a flower. This fun activity can grow the creativity that is within a child and set them out on a journey of finding a passion for art. Doing this activity can also teach them that art isn’t just painting, but art is all around them, they just have to find the inspiration and then they can set the world with colour.
Doing activities that are connected with nature
One of the best ways for children to learn about the environment is being outside in the world where nature lives and to see the animals in their natural habitats.
Sunny afternoons are the perfect time to go for a little nature walk with the children of the camp. Children will not only enjoy their time with their new friends as they have a mini hike, but they might end up seeing things they could never believe they would, such as different landscapes, especially if they normally live in the city this might be their first time seeing all of this.
During this time outside, when children have their breaks, they could do something creative, perhaps draw their scenery or even write a mini-story inspired by their surroundings. They could after share them, or keep them to themselves and take them back home with them.
Going to a stream/pond
Nature isn’t just what is seen in the sky or on the trees, it can be found swimming within the water. This activity can be done during the nature walk, a way for the children to have a little break from the walking. During this activity, children will be able to see all the different insects and water creatures that live in the pond or stream, for example, newts, frogs, dragonflies. To create this activity to be even more fun, have children bring wellies so they are able to go into the stream – this type of water is soft with no strong tides.
This activity might seem boring, but it can be a nice follow-up activity after planting a tree and creating bird feeders. Children can have an A-4 piece of paper with different images of birds that are common around the summer camp, all they have to do is tick the picture once they’ve seen the bird. This is one of the calmer activities, but can still be a fun way to learn about the different creatures in nature, especially if the children have to work in groups.
All of these activities are centred around learning about the environment, but they can all inspire bigger interests for each of these children. Some might find a passion for art and creativity, while others might realise they have a love for nature. Most importantly, each of these activities is perfect for the staff to snap a photo to send this memory to parents as it’s being created. Not only that, but who knows, one of these children might become the next Greta Thunberg, or David Attenborough, and having a photo that captured the memory that started this journey would be something that every parent and child would love.
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