You want your kids to connect with wildlife but in a city apartment that can be really hard. From Paris to London to Istanbul, lots of us live in environments where the concrete dominates and gardens and parks are getting smaller. But you don’t want that to stop your kids from learning about nature.
We’ve put together a series of Safe Play in the City blog posts for parents and kids who feel they don’t have much space for play because they live in an urban environment. Our selection of safe play activities focus on nurturing a child’s mind and making any activity accessible to every child whether you’ve got a garden or not.
Browse our Kids’ Activities page for more safe play ideas to do with your little one. The truth is we often share our concrete jungle with a whole host of creatures and birds. So here are a few ways your children can get up close and personal to nature no matter how small your garden.
Nature for kids: Fun ways to meet local creatures
Insects live everywhere so there are plenty of opportunities for learning about bugs for kids in the city no matter how urban your environment. Even if you don’t have a garden or there’s no local park, if your little one can’t go to the wildlife, you can create an environment where the great British wildlife comes to you.
As well as being fun, these safe play activities with nature will help child development. Your little one will be challenged to use their hands and fingers to make an insect café, developing their fine motor skills as well as teaching them nurturing and caring qualities.
Insect café: Learning about bugs
A “café” for insects and bugs is easy to make. You just need a few things:
- Shallow tray
- Small dish or saucer
- Small stones
- Damp soil
- Fresh leaves, weeds or bits of bark
- One stick
Put the tray in a corner of your garden, front step or balcony or even on a window ledge. Cover it with soil and then with stones and bark. Now put the saucer in one corner and fill with water then scatter the leaves over the tray. The idea is to create a sheltered, damp place for bugs and other small creatures to hang out even when it’s really hot. If your child is feeling creative, get them to make a sign for the café. What’s the café called? Encourage them to have fun and express themselves when playing wildlife for kids’ games.
Play the perfect host to local birds
You can create a homemade bird feeder very simply and provide snacks and goodies for your local bird population. Take a fresh orange or grapefruit, cut it in half and hollow out the fruit - it makes a refreshing snack! Then fill the halves with bird feed mixture and hang from a window or wall or if you live in a big city hang it on your balcony or even take it into school to hang in the playground.
You could research what your local birds like best, but usually you can use things you have in the cupboard such as seeds and nuts, raisins, peanut butter or dried fruit.
Use a wildlife diary to keep track of your new friends
Your child will be surprised by how many new bug and bird friends come and pay a visit. Encourage their creativity by getting your child to keep a picture diary of who they meet. Maybe they can use the drawings for researching different birds and learning about bugs? It could be the start of a life-long friendship with wildlife.
Picked up some smudges and stains?
Most stains from soil aren’t hard to wash out. Whether your child’s wearing cotton or synthetic clothes simply let the soil dry, then scrub with a brush, once you’ve scrubbed, wash on a normal cycle using Persil small & mighty. Just check the label for care details of the stained garment before cleaning the stain. You can find lots more stain removal tips here.
How did your little wildlife explorer get on?
Did your child enjoy the freedom to play with the local bugs and birds? Share your experiences of British wildlife for kids with us here in the comments below.