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Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

Style 2

Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

Style 3

Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

Style 4

Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

Style 5

Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

Style 6

Curiosity v COVID

Engaging vulnerable children in STEM and bridging the gap created by COVID-19

The COVID pandemic is severely impacting children living in the UK’s most deprived areas. We believe that science belongs to everyone and now, more than ever, we must support vulnerable children in our society. Therefore we’ve committed to sending STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) resources to 20,000 children in deprived areas in the UK. That represents 0.5% of children living in poverty in the UK[i].

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT OVERVIEW HERE

10 nature adventure ideas for families

It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:

1. The Woodland Trust: We know it’s hard to get out and get supplies at the moment but there are so many things you can do with what you have to hand. The Woodland Trust Blog provides oodles of ideas in the home and outdoors, most of which use up waste or simple supplies like pencils and paper. I particularly love the nature pirates activity and the fairy door activity. Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone when they discover your fairy door!

2. Finding your words: Nature has long been the inspiration for many artworks and music, so why not get inspired and creative with the help of The Lost Words.  Their free downloadable Spell Songs feels like a deep, luxurious and calming breath in. Just what we all need right now.

3. Backyard Bioblitz with St. Andrews University: The diversity of creatures you can find in your local green space might surprise you. It did surprise me, the first time I did a Bioblitz! St. Andrews University is hosting a Backyard Bioblitz on the 5th and 6th of June. It’s like having an expert with you as you explore and get to know your backyard better! I could only find details on their Facebook Page

4. Skomer Island Live: Set off the Westest West part of Wales is the breathtaking Skomer Island. I visited with my family last summer and even my skatepark and computer game-mad son soon relaxed into the beauty and ruggedness of it. We would have been heading off again on Friday – this time to see the puffins, so the Skomer live feed has at least gone some way to filling the gap. Find out more about Skomer and indulge in a bit of Puffin Loving’ here

 

5. Muddy Faces: I know mud is a bit like marmite and gives some people the heebie-jeebies. If you love the cool squelch of mud, then Muddy Faces, a brilliant forest school, has got enough to get you properly covered. They also have a lovely shop with lots of tools and nature adventure kit. I particularly love the wooden construction blocks!

6. Spot baby birds: It’s fledging time! There are baby birds abound at the moment and if you can’t fall in love with nature watching a baby blue tit learning to fly then, well I’m not sure anything will! Take a look at the baby Robin on RSPB live streamed Robin nest!

Telling the difference between all the birds you might see can be tricky but the RSPB has loads of resources to help you. I particularly like their “Ask an Expert” section where you can get access to lots of top notch info, and ask questions of people who really know their warblers from their wagtails. 

7. The Great Big Bug Hunt: If you aren’t a fan of creepy crawlies then perhaps now is the time to look away. But how can anyone not love the intricate patterns, the incredible movement and sheer business of bugs? The Great Big Bug Hunt is a competition run by The Royal Entomological Society (it took me 3 goes to spell that correctly!) and The Association for Science Education 

8. Camp Out: I asked my nature-loving daughter (12) what her favourite thing has been since lockdown and she said camping in the Garden and I totally agree! This had the double advantage of giving my hubby and I some peace in the evening! I realise we are very lucky to have a garden the kids can camp in. If you don’t, then a dawn or dusk walk, where you can watch the sky changing and listen to the animals is so calming and beautiful.

9. Your Top Adventure Destination: Imagine the place you would want to go most in the whole world? What does it look like? What kind of animals live there? Does it have any unusual natural features? When you can’t get outdoors, bring the natural world indoors and go on a virtual holiday to somewhere amazing! Since lockdown began hundreds of “virtual adventures” have popped up. Some of my favourites are:

The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
an African Nature reserve live streamed 
Yosemite National Park 
Madagascan Dugongs in the Seagrass 

10. Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Bumblebees!? The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their fabulous resources had to make my list of 10! I do have a bit of a confession to make. The first time I ever saw a Bumblebee I absolutely freaked out. I was 20-something and had not long arrived in the UK. We don’t have bumblebees in Australia so I had no idea they could be so HUGE! A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee came buzzing towards me and I was so scared! Anything that size in Australia flying towards you is your signal to RUN! Now I know they are harmless, their peaceful buzz in music to my ears.

5 things every family can do to protect the planet during Lockdown

It may have fallen off the headlines but if lockdown has proven anything, it is how resilient nature is! This is great news because it means that the things we do (or don’t do) really can make a difference and help protect our Amazing Earth! Sometimes the problems feel so big that it is hard to know where to start. So we have compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do, starting now!

1. Plant insect-friendly seeds: Bees and other pollinating insects are so important and they love flowers. You don’t need a garden to become a pollinator protector, just a small pot could make all the difference to a tired little bee. Check out Maddy Moate’s Bee Cafe for ideas. 

2. Play the Food Switch Game: Lockdown has forced many of us to look for supplies more locally. Food from local farms and food shops hasn’t had to travel as far, is more often in season and it feels great to support local people. I think we’ve all had to learn to go without some of the things we might have been used to before, so why not keep it up! Could you play the food switch game? Find out what is in season right now and switch it for something that isn’t. Could you create a beautiful plate of food entirely from food that is in season? The BBC has produced a handy table of what’s in season in the UK each month 

3. Be plastic clever: Lockdown brings us a great opportunity to really look at how much plastic waste we create. Could you do a plastic count over three days to see exactly how much waste your family is producing? We all have to start somewhere and this will help you identify if there are certain types of plastic you can reduce. Ella and Amy, the founders of Kids Against Plastic have created lots of things to help you out 

 

4. Ditch the car: We know that this isn’t always possible, but every time you decide to hop on your bike, a bus, train or your legs, you are saving the planet. You may have noticed that you can see further, and things look clearer since lockdown began. That’s because the toxic gases in our air have halved since so many of us stopped driving and flying! Now that’s what I call a Breath of Fresh Air!

5. Transform something: If you are clearing out some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away, transform them! You don’t even need to be able to sew! Here I’ve turned an old pair of jeans into a pencil case, what could you make?

 

Easy Bumblebee ID

If you’ve managed to safely get out and about, you will probably have heard the mesmerising buzz of a bumblebee. From giant fuzzy buzzers to tiny fluffy fellows, the sunshine has brought these beautiful insects out in force!

In celebration of World Bee Day (20th May 2020) why not get out and have a go at spotting and identifying the bumblebees in your area? We found this quite tricky at first, but don’t worry. With the help of Curiosity Champion Andy Benson, we soon nailed the Bee ID (read more about how he switched volleyball for bees here)!

Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Family Learning Zone. They have ID spotter sheets and lots of age related activities.

 

DIY Lava Jar

One of the simplest home experiments you can do is make a beautiful bubbling Lava Jar! A bit like a lava lamp but without the electricity, and loads of fascinating science!

What’s going on?

Oil and water do not mix together so they will separate into layers. The oil lies on top of the water because the oil is less dense! This means that 1ml of water is heavier than 1ml of oil. The food colouring is water based so it won’t mix with the oil either so it falls through the oil layer! When you add the tablets, they react with water to form CO2 gas. The gas bubbles push the water to the top and when the bubbles pop at the top the water falls back down again!

Download the instructions and a simple explanation of what’s going on here:DIY Lava Jar

 

 

 

Vocal Visualiser

CAUTION: Lasers damage eyes. Do not leave children unattended with lasers of any kind, even if they are ones sold for pets or as “toys”. In fact especially not those ones!

Into music? Fancy yourself as the next big beatboxer? Then you will LOVE this! It’s quite possibly one of the coolest experiments ever! Take a look at Paddy in action here with what we call, the Vocal Visualiser:

Download the instructions here:

Watch the legendary Steve Mould demo-ing a high tech version here. We think Steve may have been the originator of this idea…

 

 

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