Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Nature Rockz!

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein

Here at Children’s University, we like to encourage children to explore the world and the natural wonders that fill it. You can learn so much just by immersing yourself in nature and questioning what you see and what you know.

That’s why we love Learning Destinations that teach children about the natural world, as well as how to respect and care for it. Be it sleuthing in the woods with the Woodland Trust, walking the Forestry Commission’s trails, or honing survival skills in various workshops across the country, we can’t get enough of the great outdoors!

This is quite fortunate really, as the Haven Holiday Park in Berwick, Scotland has just been validated as a Learning Destination thanks to their amazing Nature Rockz activities! These fantastic challenges, available to campers at the park, let children get back to nature with 4 different groups of activities, and some of our Passport-holders have been along to see what all the fuss is about:

Bush Craft

First up, was the section designed to turn you into the next Bear Grylls! If you got lost in the woods at night in the middle of winter, could you survive? Would you know how to purify water to make it safe to drink, forage for food or navigate your way to safety? The Berwick Park Rangers teach visitors all of these skills, as well as how to keep warm by building shelters and lighting fires.

During their visit, our young people got to try their hands at these latter two activities and were given a rather spectacular demonstration of just what can be achieved with a little potassium permanganate and Anti-Freeze...The result can only be described as an explosion in a cup!

Get Creative

A very bold robin lives around our garden. We’ve called him Batman (the bat that lives under the eaves of the house is called Robin), but we don’t know exactly where he lives and are worried that the tree he had made his home was recently chopped down.

It would be lovely to build a home for him in the garden itself, but I wouldn’t know where to start… Fortunately, I can now ask some of our Passport-holders to help me as they’ve had a go at making bird boxes, as well as ladybird hotels and beautiful nature-inspired works of art, at Berwick! The Get Creative group of activities lets the children get to grips with tools, paints and that all-important, ‘peelable’ PVC glue!

Park Safari

Having gotten covered in paints and PVC, our little band of evaluators were shown just how many ways there are to simply enjoy and explore the natural world, from a pirate treasure trail to pond dipping! Not to forget the mini-beast safari, which our brave children chose to do. There’s nothing more disgustingly brilliant than lifting up a rock or log and seeing all of the worms, woodlice, beetles and spiders squirm and scuttle away to safety!

The Coast

Finally, the children reached the coastline, where they were able to make the most of the vastly different landscape. First, they built sand sculptures, including this fantastic dinosaur (which, unfortunately, got a bit wet soon after this photo was taken…thus teaching the children an important lesson in tidal forces!). Then the Park Ranger took them rock pooling when they got the chance to get up close and personal with crabs, starfishes and all their fishy friends.

Safe to say, the children had a fantastic time learning all about the great outdoors. I don’t know about you but I want to have a go now! So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself down (up?) to the Haven park in Berwick and immerse yourself in the beautiful Scottish woodlands and coastal areas, and find out just why it is that Nature Rockz!

Catch you next time!