It was very gratifying to feature in this month’s edition of BBC Wildlife Magazine. My work in schools was included in an article called ‘Wild Wisdom’ by Louise Tickle, about pupils connecting with nature by spending time learning outdoors.
This article was inspired by the Wildlife Trusts’ report published last November calling for all children ‘to have a daily one-hour nature boost’ outdoors. The benefits for children’s wellbeing are well documented.
Unfortunately, my work in schools has, of course, come to a halt at the moment, and teachers are no longer in a position to take pupils outdoors. But parents, as I write, you are! (In your garden, at least, and further afield for an hour a day.)
So, to help your youngsters (and, indeed, you) connect with the natural world, I’m creating videos of some of the ‘learning through laughter, rhythm and rhyme’ minibeast and bird poems that feature in my award-winning science-meets-poetry books, Buzzing! and Flying High! They’re the sorts of poems I would be performing if I were still able to visit schools. That’s to say, they are edu-taining and are about minibeasts and birds that you may well be able to see and hear where you are right now.
As I type this I’ve uploaded videos about Bee-flies, which are just coming out and Chiffchaffs, which are just arriving on our shores and starting to call. I’ve got more videos to follow about bumblebees, nestbuilding birds to name just two.
I’m including the words to the poems in the videos, as well as the science parts, so your children can learn and perform the poems themselves. I’d be delighted if you want to send me any videos or audio of your children doing just that. Or any pictures they draw of the nature where they are. Or poems they are inspired to write.
At this time when protecting and nurturing children’s wellbeing is so vitally important, I hope these videos will help the time you spend outside with your children be that bit more edu-taining, enriching and uplifting.