Week 3: 21st April

Welcome! If you haven't already seen the introduction to how the badge activities work, please check it out.

You can also view this week's video on YouTube or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

This week we're looking at how much Spring has changed in just a few weeks, and learning to recognise some plants and trees. We'll be drawing something from our imagination, and finally we'll be trying to make some brilliant big bubbles!

Observing nature - Naturalist badge

If you joined us in week 1, you might have already been to observe an area of nature local to you. If you haven't done this yet, don't worry, you can start this week.

Spring is well and truly here. To start with this week, head back outside to the area of nature you looked at in the first week, or choose an area local to you that you can easily and safely visit (with an adult) as part of your daily exercise.

Have a good look around, and see if you can spot any changes from a few weeks ago.

When I visited a local area again this week, I spotted everything was much greener than it was just two weeks ago:

  • Looking up, some of the trees (but not all of them yet) are starting to get their leaves
  • Down on the ground, there are all sorts of flowers coming out - yellow, white, blue and purple ones

Take a few photos, draw some pictures, or make a note of what you see this week. We'll be coming back again to see how things change as we move through spring and into summer!

Two weeks ago, these trees were bare...

...now the leaves are just starting to come out

Two weeks ago, these bluebells were just green leaves...

...now they are starting to flower!

Recognising flowers and trees - Naturalist badge

Also for your Naturalist badge, we want to learn to recognise and name some of the different flowers and trees you might see while you are out. We're going to make a poster to show what we've learned. You don't need to do this all in one go - you can start now and then add to the poster as the weeks go on and you learn more if you like.

Take a large piece of paper (if you need to, you can stick several sheets of paper together with glue or tape) and turn it sideways (landscape). Divide it into four equal columns and three rows to give us 12 boxes.

Now, in half of the boxes you need to put pictures of different trees (or maybe their leaves) whose names you learn - so that's six trees you should try to learn to recognise.

In the other half (the other six boxes) you should try to put pictures of different wild flowers whose name you learn.

Write the name of the tree or plant underneath each one.

You can either print out and stick on photos you have taken (or pictures from the internet), or you can try and draw the flower or tree instead.

Once you have learned the name, and how to recognise each tree or plant, see if you can spot them when you are out and about in future!

These web pages from the Woodland Trust might help identifying flowers and trees:

Once you have completed all 12 boxes, send me a picture of your poster to count towards your badge!

Imaginary drawing - Artist badge

In week 1 and week 2 we did some work towards the Artist badge. The activity we are going to do now also counts towards the Artist badge - and you only need to complete three activities to earn the badge!

This activity is all about drawing something from your imagination. You just need to think of a scene you want to draw, and draw it!

You can be as imaginative as you like, for example you could:

  • Imagine where you might go or something you might do once things return to normal
  • Imagine what life would be like in a different country or even on another planet
  • Imagine you are a character in your favourite book, film, TV programme or game
  • ...or any other scene you can imagine!

Create your picture using pencils, pens, paints or crayons, and send in a picture to count towards your badge!

Brilliant big bubbles - just for fun!

How about making some big bubbles using just things you probably have at home already?

You will need:

For the bubble wand

  • Two "sticks" - these could be almost anything - small garden canes, pieces of wooden dowel, wooden spoon handles, or even blunt pencils
  • Some string - it needs to be an absorbent type of string, soft cotton string is best
  • Some sticky tape - stickier kinds like electrical tape, duct tape or masking tape will work better than ordinary sellotape, if you have them
  • A pair of scissors

For the bubble solution

  • Warm water (from the hot tap)
  • Sugar (granulated or any other kind you have)
  • Washing up liquid
  • A teaspoon and a desert spoon/tablespoon
  • A container to mix it in, such as a cup or small bowl

To make the bubble wand

Cut two bits of string, one approximately twice as long as the other. You can experiment with the lengths that work best, for example you could try around 30 cm for the long one and 15 cm for the short one. Longer strings will make bigger bubbles, but they are harder to keep from popping!

Hold the end of the long string and the end of the short string together and tape them to the end of one of the sticks. Do the same thing with the other ends of the pieces of string and the other stick.

To make the bubble solution

Using the big spoon (desert spoon/tablespoon) measure 4 spoonfuls of warm water into the container.

Using the teaspoon, add one teaspoon of sugar into the container and stir it in until it is dissolved in the water.

Using the big spoon measure 1 spoonful of washing up liquid into the container, and stir until it is well mixed.

You can experiment with using slightly more or less water to find what works best - it might depend on which type of washing up liquid you have.

To make bubbles

Do this outside, when it's not too windy.

Dip the sticks in the solution so that the string gets completely covered in liquid.

With one stick in each hand, carefully lift the sticks out of the liquid, then hold them so that the two ends are held apart. The shorter string will be tight and the longer string will sag in a loop - you should see a film of bubble solution in the middle. Slowly and carefully move the sticks backwards so that the air catches the film and starts to make a bubble. As the bubble gets bigger, while still moving the sticks backwards, also move them together so you seal the big bubble and it should float away!

If you want to get fancy, you can try with different lengths of string, or you can tie the string so there is more than one loop if you want to make more than one bubble at a time!