1 / Conduct the survey
• Hunt the tracks for small animals
Who drilled that hole in that acorn? Who owns this little cobweb? What is bile? Like naturalist Sherlock Holmes, help yourself to Vincent Albouy and André Fouquet’s guide, “In the Footsteps of Small Animals” to Investigate!
• To see the birds
Introduce your grandchildren to ornithology by giving them good binoculars. Their mission: to identify the most common species in the garden. Sunbird, skate, sparrow, tit, crow, seesaw … You can use the fun and educational tool designed by the association “Knowing and Protecting Nature” (CPN).
• Listen to the birdsong and learn to recognize them with the Birdie memory app
Also read: Do you recognize these garden birds?
2 / Discover insects
• follow the ants
These small insects have the advantage of being very easy to spot in the garden! Examine them together with a magnifying glass. You can count their number of legs, observe the way they touch their antennas to send information to each other. Put different foods on a piece of cardboard (small pieces of ham, breadcrumbs, honey, fruit …) and try to find out what they prefer!
• attract butterflies
As graceful as they fly from flower to flower, butterflies move so fast that it’s hard to keep up. Place a plate in a corner of the garden that they like, with a rotting fruit in it (peach, strawberry, nectarine, etc.). See how they absorb the sweet juice with their proboscis! You can bring a guide to identify them.
also read: Make a flower for the butterflies!
• Understand bees
Follow the ballet of pollinators! Honey bees but also wild bees, bumble bees, hoverflies, cetonia … teach your grandchildren to recognize them and understand their ancestors’ relationship to plants, essential for our survival. 35% of what we eat depends on insect pollination!
Also read: The bees need you
3 / Become a budding artist
• Make vegetable paint
Pick some stinging nettles with gloves. Cut them into small pieces and let them simmer in a saucepan for 20 minutes with a little water. Collect the juice in a colander. You will get a beautiful 100% natural green paint! To get red, crush a few poppy leaves in a mortar with a little water and then sift the juice. Artists to play!
• Make bark smears
Ask your young adventurer to lay a white sheet on dry bark and rub a grease pencil flat over the entire surface of the sheet: This will reveal the structure of the bark, more or less smooth or even cracked, depending on the species. You can do the same with fallen leaves by placing a sheet on top. How about arranging an art-ber exhibition?
• Get inspired by nature!
Treat yourself to country art! leaves, petals, pieces of wood, cones, pebbles, pebbles … Gather all kinds of natural elements together. Then assemble them to obtain geometric and symmetrical shapes. Don’t forget to take pictures of your fleeting works!
4 / Take to the beach
• Search the waterline
These natural remnants left by the sea on the beach provide a lot of information about life in the sea: have fun watching them! Depending on the beaches, there are squid bones, sea urchin shells, limpets, ray egg shells, fruit bat egg shells, razor clams, shells, seaweed, etc.
• Observer Posidonia
In the Mediterranean, if you are lucky enough to live near a place where Posidonia beach grass beds are present, this is an opportunity to make a beautiful nature walk with mask and snorkel. These flowering plants are truly a haven for all kinds of fish.
• Try stone balancing!
Are you on a pebble beach? Stack them! Who will be able to fit the most stones? Be careful, you will have to be patient … For inspiration, discover the magnificent images of Canadian artist Michael Grab at gravityglue.com.
5 / Fill up your imagination
• Make a shaman’s staff
Gather different elements in the garden or in the forest: a very straight branch, of a hazel tree for example, bird feathers, small pieces of bone, plants found on the ground … The idea is then to fix them together with raffia. It’s up to you to imagine with your grandchildren the magical spells that will emerge from this stick … You can also help them cut it with a pocket knife, an indispensable companion for any budding adventurer!
• Make a stop motion movie
Making an outdoor mini movie is super fun and easy with a stop motion app! Imagine a simple story with your grandchildren, and then put the characters together (Lego, Playmobil, stuffed animals, etc.). Between each image you have to move the characters very little and the app puts everything together. You can even add your votes. Laughter guaranteed!
6 / revisit the garden
• Plant radishes
It is the fastest growing vegetable! In the kitchen garden or in a pot, sow the seeds and then show your grandchildren how to thin them after emergence. What pride to eat the radishes they planted 18 days later!
• Look for 4 clover
They are certainly rare – specialists estimate that a 4-clover grows for every 10,000 3-clovers – but they do exist. They are said to bring good luck. So all on 4 legs and good luck! Be careful not to confuse clover (with rounded leaves) with forest acid or sheep acid, the small leaves of which are heart-shaped.
• Cut everything!
Introduce your grandchildren to this fun multiplication method. Cut a stalk of geranium, but also of hydrangea, gooseberry, elderberry, put it in a glass of water and wait for the roots to emerge to plant them in the ground. Magical!
also read: 4 tips for taking cuttings and recycling seeds and seedlings