Tag Archives: eco schools

Runner Beans

The children have been very interested to learn about planting and growing runner bean seeds for our new family centre.  By placing a runner bean seed in a zip lock bag with some wet cotton wool and sticking this on to the window, the children were able to observe the seeds germinate as the roots and shoots started to grow. 

“I can see the roots going down and the shoots going up.”

“They are going to be so tall.”

“The roots are getting really long now.”

After about 10 days the children filled some small plant pots with soil and carefully planted a seedling in each one and then watered them all.


“I will give them some water.  They need water so they can grow.”

The children took responsibility for checking that the soil in the pots was not too dry and made sure each plant had enough water to help it grow.

“The beans need a little drink of water.  I touched the soil with my finger and it felt dry.”

To prepare for planting the runner beans outdoors a handheld drill was used to drill drainage holes in planters, the planters were filled with soil and canes were added to provide support.

“I’m turning the handle round and round.  I can see little bits of plastic at the bottom.”

 

 

To help carefully remove the plant from the pot without damaging it, the children learned about gently rolling and squeezing the pot with their fingers and hands.  They were very interested to see how the roots had grown inside the pot.

“Look at all the roots.  There are so many.”

When the children had finished planting all the runner bean plants they chose a sunny spot to put them in the garden and gave them a big drink of water. 

“The beans are really tall.  They have lots of leaves.”

Further information about growing runner beans can be found on the following website:  https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-grow-runner-beans/

Remote Learning: Eco Schools

Responsible Robbie

As a nursery community, we are on a continuous journey to empower our children to improve their environmental awareness.  

There are lots of wonderful ideas that you can do as a family to learn more about the natural world and care for the environment, which supports STEM and literacy learning, as well as your child’s health and wellbeing.

RECYCLE

Introduce your children to the concept of sorting household rubbish for recycling into categories such as plastic, paper, metal and glass.  This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about different types of materials used for packaging, how they are made and how they can be reused.  

National Geographic have a great online game to do a recycle round-up and clean up the park: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/games/action-and-adventure/recycle-roundup-new/

RE-USE

Instead of throwing things away, encourage your child to think of great ways to reuse items.  Egg cartons work really well for growing herbs, glass jars are perfect for storing loose parts for play, and tin cans make really good pen and pencil holders.

COMPOST

Composting helps to teach our children about reducing the waste that heads to landfills by converting it into nutrient-rich soil.

There are lots of free and easy ways for your family to start composting.  

Use a recycled plastic drinks bottle – https://www.changeworks.org.uk/sites/default/files/Make_compost_in_a_bottle.pdf 

Recycle some wooden pallets – https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/startcomposting/

You could also simply create a compost trench in your garden or use an old bin or container – https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/Kindergarden/kidscompost/CompostingForKids.pdf

So what should you put in?

Greens – these are things that rot quickly, and provide important nitrogen and moisture

  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Old flowers and nettles

Browns – these are things that rot more slowly.  They provide carbon and fibre and also allow air pockets to form

  • Cardboard
  • Egg boxes
  • Paper
  • Leaves
  • Twigs and branches
  • Sawdust
  • Egg shells

LITTER PICK

Visit a local park and spend some time cleaning up the litter.  You will not only be protecting the wildlife and caring for the world around you but you will also be helping your community.  It will hopefully inspire others to join in too.  Count how many bits of rubbish you find – you will be amazed!  Don’t forget to wear protective gloves and take a rubbish bag.     

GARDEN SAFARI

You don’t have to go far to encounter some amazing living things.  Going on a back garden safari in your own garden or to a local park or woods will be a real voyage of discovery.  It is such a fun way to explore and learn about local plants, animals and minibeasts.  You can simply sit and watch, take photos or a video, do a scavenger checklist or record what you found by drawing a picture.

There is lots of information on the WWF to help you get started – https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/love-nature/garden-safari

GROWING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Getting your child involved in growing fruit and vegetables is a great way for them to learn where their food comes from and make healthy eating choices.  Children can see first hand the growing cycle and develop an awareness of the seasonal nature of food.

Try growing indoors whilst the weather is still cold.  Tomatoes, carrots, peppers and beans work well on a nice sunny windowsill using a recycled container that allows drainage.

https://kidsgardening.org/gardening-basics-indoor-gardening/

Spring is coming soon and the perfect time to start growing outdoors if you have the opportunity.  You can plant in tubs, make a raised bed or create a garden growing patch.  

Fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow and mature quickly are strawberries, lettuce, peas, radishes, and courgettes.       

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/easy-crops-kids-grow

We would love if you could share your learning from home with us so we can use it as part of our action plan, either via Google Classroom or Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningfromhome  

Remote Leaning: Looking after the birds

Responsible Robbie

Responsible Robbie likes to help look after the environment and wildlife.

Have you tried the recipe for bird cake in your home learning booklet?
Why not try to make your own bird feeder from recycled materials you have in the house. Here are some ideas…
Remember to throw any wire away after the birds have eaten the cereal.
The CBeebies website has some more ideas on how to make bird feeders for your garden. Why not take a look… Make a bird feeder – CBeebies – BBC
Why not join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which is happening from the 29th to 31st January and you can sign up for free. There are lots of other things to do on their website too, including stories to read and games to play.
I wonder which birds you will have visiting your garden?
Why not let us know on Google Classroom or Twitter?
 @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Catapults and Mazes

Mrs Silvester has been having fun with her recycling again! Here are some ideas of things you could try at home too…

Catapults

In Mrs Silvester’s house we set out to build our own catapults with things we had around the house to see if we could create our own trajectory devices. Then we built a basketball type game with the catapults.

Here are some of the things you could use:

  • Piece of scrap wood/ cardboard/ice lollipop stick/craft stick
  • Wood glue/rubber bands/sticky tack
  • Clothes peg/plastic spoons
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Cardboard box
  • Yogurt pots/containers
  • Projectile Ideas (safe for toddlers and preschoolers): peas, pom poms, dandelions (just the flower part)

These were some of the questions the children in my house had, which we were hoping the experiment would answer:

  • Which would go further, heavier things or lighter things?
  • Does a longer catapult fling the object further?
  • Which catapult would work better, the spoon or the lollipop stick?
Here is our basketball game.

Find more information

https://www.scouts.org.uk/activities/lolly-stick-catapults/

Maze Game

This game was fun to make and is great for building motor skills, concentration, counting and number recognition. Turn a cardboard box or plate into an entertaining ball maze game.  This is a great hand-eye coordination game to make and play with reusable materials.

Suggestions of what you could use to make your own Recycled Maze Game:

  • Scissors
  • Cardboard Box or Plate
  • Pencil
  • Paper Strips or Cardboard Tubes (Toilet Paper Rolls, Paper towel rolls, wrapping paper tubes, etc.)
  • Sticky Tape or Glue
  • A bean, marble, scrunched up paper ball or something small that rolls.

Create the Maze

1) Design your maze by placing the tubes or paper strips on the box. Arrange them making sure you leave enough space for free ball travel around the maze.

2) Then attach the tubes or paper strips to your box or plate

3) ENJOY ! ! !

You could try these other ideas for making mazes too.

Here’s a fun song to help remind us of ways to cut down on single use plastic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0798jzc/junk-rescue-songs-2-single-use-no-thank-you

Don’t forget to share your creations on Google Classrooms or Twitter @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Upcycling Challenge: Create Your Own Game

Mrs Silvester has set you a challenge! Can you create your own dice game at home?

Remember to share your ideas by tweeting @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

The lids from milk jugs have been used to make these little Plastic Lid Ladybirds for a number dice game.  To make the ladybird draw or use some button type eyes and pen dots on your lids. To Play the game, roll the dice and match the spots or numbers on the ladybird number lids to the dice.

 

What are dice good for?

Dice are great for introducing turn taking and encouraging early maths skills such as: counting, matching, comparing and number recognition.

Find some more number games on the CBeebies website by clicking the link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/joinin/numberblocks-help-your-child-with-maths 

 

Remote Learning – Eco Schools at Home

This year at Glenwood we have been investigating and exploring the environmental impact of litter.  The children enjoyed many different activities including the story of Zack’s Journey (You can read it by clicking this link), mapping out how the litter travels from our local area to the wider environment and measuring the amount of single use plastic in lunch boxes.

These are all things that you can continue to learn about at home. Eco-Schools Scotland shares some ideas on their website including:

One Planet Picnic – Have a picnic that’s good for you and good for the planet. Include healthy sustainable food with as little waste as possible.

Pop Up Pocket Garden – Design and grow a small garden at home in pots or outside. Celebrate Keep Scotland Beautiful’s birthday or the Year of Coasts and Waters with colourful and edible plants.

Fight Dog Fouling With Citizen Science – Have you noticed more dog fouling in your neighbourhood? We have! While out on your daily walk, can you help us with our survey work?
Count the number of bagged or unbagged dog poos you see (and why not take a photo?), post results on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #PooPost or #TurdTag and remember to always pick up after your own dog

Some ideas we do at nursery:

  • Help sort the recycling 
  • Make a picture using recycled materials.
  • Encourage others to turn off taps
  • Do something that doesn’t require electricity (Try a screen free day)
  • Decorate used items such as tins/cartons/bottles to create a plant pot
  • Plant Seeds / Look after plants in your garden
  • Create a rain gauge 
  • ‘Junk mail crafts’ – Use scrap pieces of paper, used envelopes or cards
  • Make a bird feeder or do some birdwatching
  • Make a boat/car/robot from recycling (How creative can you be?)     

Remember to share your photos with us on Twitter by tagging @GlenwoodFC or by adding #glenwoodlearningathome 

Remote Learning – Become a Scientist

Children are naturally scientists – their curiosity helps them to understand the world around them. The children at Glenwood love to do their own experiments – developing their skills of scientific inquiry and creativity as they work.

They ask questions and make predictions, follow instructions and make observations, developing skills for learning, life and work.

Here are a few simple experiments and investigations you can try at home…

Click on the link to find out how to Make a Bubble Snake 

Here is a reminder of the bubble mix recipe:

1/2 cup of washing up liquid, 1 1/2 cups water & 2 teaspoons of sugar

You could use straws or other tubes to blow bubbles (or anything else with holes…)

Make a Paper Aeroplane (follow the link for instructions)

Which is the best design for flying fast?

Which goes the furthest?

Why don’t you have a competition with your whole family?

Create a Volcanic Eruption

This is a favourite at Glenwood – it can get messy so you might like to do it outside!

First make your volcano – you could use an empty plastic bottle or yoghurt pot and some sand or mud.

Next put some bicarbonate of soda in the volcano (along with some ketchup or food colouring  or paint to make the lava red)

Finally pour in some vinegar and watch the eruption!

Lego Boat Challenge

Can you make a boat that floats using Lego?

 

 

 

How many pennies can it hold before it sinks?

 

 

Another challenge for the whole family to get involved with!

Build a Bug Hotel

You could create a home for minibeasts in your garden – it can be big and fancy like the one on the RSPB website but a simple one using recycled materials will also attract wildlife.

Don’t forget there are some other science experiments  in your Ideas for Home Booklet March 2020

Please Tweet some photos @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

Remote Learning- The Great Outdoors

Being outdoors has many benefits to children’s wellbeing and development. It has a positive impact on mental health as the body increases production of the feel-good hormone serotonin and reduces production of the stress hormone cortisol. Being outdoors provides lots of opportunities for physical activity, which increases muscle strength, stamina and bone density as well as reducing obesity. The NHS recommends that children under 5 years have at least 3 hours of physical activity daily. One final benefit is that spending time outdoors can lead to improved sleep.

At the moment children do not have the option of visiting their local playpark so here are just a few ideas of what you might do together outdoors…

Scavenger Hunts turn any walk into an adventure! Look for signs of spring, shapes, things that are one chosen colour, numbers (in order), make up your own list or download one from online….

 

 

 

 

 

Explore nature in the garden  Go on a minibeast hunt – look under stones, pots, logs, under plants for creepy crawlies. Use an old plastic container such as a yoghurt pot to put them in if you don’t have a bug box.

Some other ideas can be found on these websites.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/looking-after-yourself-and-nature

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/03/kids-nature-activities-self-isolation/

Gardening Even if you have no seeds to plant, it’s great exercise to help tidy up the garden by weeding and digging over the soil. You might find some minibeasts to investigate as you work.

Don’t forget to plant the sunflower seeds from your Family Learning Bag. You might try growing new plants from fruit and vegetables that you have been eating – apples, potatoes and peppers are good ones to try.

Family Sports Day Everyone likes a bit of competition!

Try some novelty races – ‘egg’ and spoon, balancing a beanbag (or rolled up pair of socks) on your head, penguin waddle (hold a ball between your knees), crab walking, wheelbarrow race, dressing up, shoe box slide (put empty shoe boxes on your feet)…

Make you own assault course – go under, over, along, up, down. Use whatever you have available – garden chairs, tables, slides, planks of wood, old sheets, skipping ropes. Time how long it takes for each person to complete.

Target games – who can get closest to the target? You could use a bucket as a target or make one on the ground. Throw balls, rolled up socks, wellies… Just make sure there is nothing breakable in the way.

Or you could make some skittles using tin cans or plastic bottles.

 

 

 

We hope you are inspired to have fun in the outdoors and don’t forget to share with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

Green Flag Award

Glenwood Family Centre is delighted to have once again attained Green Flag status and we received lovely feedback from the assessors:

“Congratulations in retaining your Eco-Schools Green Flag status. It was obvious from your application that your young people and school community are passionate in preserving your environment. This was evident in the many humbling and sincere comments your young people mentioned in your submission, we particularly liked Erin’s quote- “If we didn’t pick up all the rubbish then the world would be smelly and dirty“. 

We must also mention the amazing work you have done on measuring your success and demonstrating progression of your actions in a child friendly format, eg. the bottle top graph, learning journal- well done!! Measuring is so important to recognise in your journey and you have done that part of the process exceeding well.

We now look forward to hearing about your new Eco-Schools journey when you log onto the new online process. Keep up the good work!!”

The Eco-Schools Scotland Team


Please read the minutes of our Children’s committee to find out what our plans are for the coming months.

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/eco-schools/minutes/

 

 

Our Beetroot Harvest

We harvested our beetroot and noticed something unusual when we washed it…

Emily- “Look. The water is turning red!”

Lucy-” Your hands might get all red. I don’t want red hands!”

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We used the red water to tie dye some material.

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Eilidh- “You need lots of elastic bands.”

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Emily- ” They look like lots of flowers. They are all pink.”

We then used the beetroot to make some tasty beetroot bread for snack.

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Yummy!

 

Eco Schools Green Flag

ecoschool logo

Congratulations to all the children, parents and staff who have continued to work hard over the past two years and helped us to be Eco-friendly and retain our Green Flag Status.

Here are some of the comments from the report:

“I particularly liked that the children made healthy oven chips from the potatoes they had grown.”

“Your work on charitable causes is also extensive.”

“It is clear that Eco-Schools projects are driven by the interests and questions of the children themselves. It is brilliant to see children taking the lead like this.”

“An excellent strong application and a great example for other Early Years settings – keep up the great work!”

Thank you again for your support and if you are interested in becoming a member of our Eco-Committee alongside the children, please speak to a member of staff.

The Worm

We have been entertained by and have been participating in an Eco Drama called The Worm.

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The children have been learning about the role worms have within the natural world. They are learning about composting and how food waste can be reduced and to respect the natural environment.

We have a wormery and the children have been exploring the worms as well as learning how to take care of them.

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