Mountain and countryside: very natural activities for children

Spending holidays in contact with nature, whether in the mountains or in the countryside, is a unique opportunity to share with the children recreational and educational activities, interesting and very novel for them, especially for those who live in a large city. Having animals close to them, observing them and learning their way of life, and knowing more about the vegetable world can be an unforgettable experience to enjoy summer as a family.

Build an observation post

If you want to see the animals of the field up close and without frightening them, you can build an observation post that will allow you to be hidden and go unnoticed. It's something like building a cabin. The best thing is to look for a place hidden in the mountain, where there is tranquility.


-You need several strong branches that serve as a framework: with them you will realize the basic structure of the post.

- If it is necessary to reinforce or join the branches safely so that they do not fall, use ropes.

- Put lighter branches covering the main branches.

- Conceals the set with leaves.

- Once you start using this small cabin to observe animals, keep in mind an important detail: it is likely that you need a lot of patience!


Hunting insects with light

At night, hang a white cloth between two trees and illuminate it with a lamp. Soon, you will see how a lot of insects of all kinds will come attracted by the light and will rest on the fabric. You can catch them with a butterfly net or insert them carefully into a can (perforate the lid to allow air to enter). You will discover in this way nocturnal butterflies of all kinds, ephemeral which are very elegant and delicate insects and that have two or three tails that characterize them; mosquitoes and the occasional beetle.

The light also attract other animals, bats. Although rather, we should say that they come to hunt the insects that are concentrated around the light. To observe the bats, get under a lamppost. You will see how fast they fly, how they catch insects and you will hear the screams that they emit, very similar to the creaking of the crickets.


Capture and take care of crickets

The crickets live among the leaf litter, under trunks and stones from humid areas, where they usually dig their burrows.

For capture crickets in the field, it is necessary to have a container ready. It is best to capture them with your hands, gently picking up the cricket by cupping your hands around it.

If you do not want to touch the cricket, use a plastic container and place it in front of the animal. Give him a little push with great delicacy so that he jumps inside the container. Close the lid quickly before it comes off.

When you get home, deposit the cricket in a small terrarium, fish tank or Tupper, which you have previously conditioned with earth, leaves, stones, twigs * so that its natural environment is well reproduced. The crickets are omnivores, and to feed them you can turn to pieces of tomato, potato, cucumber or carrot. The feed for dogs and cats also like.

To drink, put a bottle cap and fill it with water every day. Apart from all this, you have to take into account two things: the male crickets are very noisy and can be screeching all night. The second is that they are quite similar to cockroaches, so it is likely that this animal does not like some members of your family.

Headdresses and fans with feathers

Birds often lose their feathers during moulting or when they fight among themselves. Look for feathers of good size: on the beaches and coasts you will find seagull, and in areas of gardens or crops, you can find ravens, pigeons, magpies * if they are dirty, clean them with a damp sponge and smooth the beards so they recover their shape .

Afterwards, you can make an Indian headdress with which the children will surely have a great time during their games.

To make the headdress, you just have to sew the feathers' reeds to a cloth tape; You can also use a strong glue if you do not feel like sewing them.

Another activity that can be done with feathers is to make a fan. It's very simple, you just have to cut out cardboard or fan-shaped cardboard, and then stick the feathers in a row.

The feathers can also be collected and learned from which birds they come from. For that, you have to pay attention to what birds are in the area where you pick them up. You can help with a guide.

Observe the spores of the mushrooms

Spores are the seeds of fungi, and their general appearance is that of a fine dust. To observe them well, you have to take a mushroom and cut the foot to stay only with the hat.

Then, we will place the hat on a card and leave it there for hours (you can leave it overnight). After that time, carefully lift the hat and you will see that a thin layer of powder that reproduces the shape of the lamellae of the hat has been deposited.

You have to bear in mind that if the mushroom sheets are white, you should use a black card, and if they are dark, a white card. This will make it easier to see the spores. To preserve the pattern, spray a layer of varnish over it.

Preservation of pressed flowers

The flowers can be preserved by pressing and is a very simple procedure, even simpler than that of algae, since the flowers do not have as much moisture.

- After picking the flowers, put them on paper, not too close together, and place a sheet of blotting paper on top of them.

- Put heavy books or a board on top, very carefully. Leave the flowers in this state for two weeks. After that time, carefully remove the books and blotting paper and remove the pressed plants.

- Pressing is a method that botanists usually use to conserve the species that interest them. Pressing will always work better on plants that do not have a lot of water.

Wood whistles

You can carve a very powerful whistle from only one elder or bamboo cane.
- The cane has to be dry and measure about 10 cm.
- Cut one end in bevel and remove the cord using a wire.
- Carve a thin sheet of dry wood. Rub it in sandpaper so that one end is thinner than the other.
- Tie the wooden sheet to the bevel with a thread or adhesive tape. The end of the bevel has to be free of tape, since that is where you have to blow.

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