Tag Archives: outdoor learning

Introducing Cart Mill’s butterfly family 🐛🦋

On the 1st of June our caterpillars arrived at the centre and we have been doing a great job of helping to care for them each day since. We started by investigating the caterpillars 🐛 we watched how they wiggled when they walked and counted how many feet they have; can you believe they have fourteen?!
We watched as they ate their food and got bigger and bigger. They have to shed their exoskeleton in order to grow and we got to feel it, it was very fluffy! Then when we came back after the weekend they had formed their chrysalides! We learned that butterflies come from a chrysalis and it is moths that come from a cocoon.

“They’re so hairy.” “I have caterpillars in my garden.” “Argh, they’re wobbling!”

The chrysalides shook as we transferred them to the butterfly net and we found out that they do this to scare off predators. Next we had to prepare for the butterflies emerging.

“I think they like the nectar.”

When the first butterfly came out from his chrysalis we prepared sugar water for him to drink and put it on some flowers. We also cut juicy oranges and placed them in the net. We learned that butterflies use their feet to taste their food and their mouth is like a curly straw; they unfurl it to drink and then curl it back up again when finished. We now have five butterflies and we have named them Ozar, Mo, Flutter, Anna and Ruby.

“It goes round and round and round.” “I’m colouring my butterfly’s wings.”

After watching the process of the caterpillars changing to butterflies, we were inspired to create our own version of the lifecycle.

Then this morning it was time to let them go….

We started by putting sugar water and oranges on the butterfly table we had previously made with Lauren. Then we opened the butterfly net and waited. And waited 😆 The butterflies were a little hesitant to come out but when they made an appearance they wanted to get up close and personal. One of them landed on the jacket to get a quick cuddle before flying off and the other let us have a turn of holding him.


Exploring our garden

Today in our garden we have been exploring a variety of areas. We have been focussing on developing our fine and gross motor skills and practiced this by using our pincer grip to create a den. We also used our obstacle course and pieces of material to develop our den building skills.

We have also been making the most of the huge puddles the rain had left us overnight! We put on our puddle suits and wellies and had lots of fun jumping in the muddy puddles. We have also been practicing measurement by pouring and filling using different sized containers.

And finally, we have been developing our balancing skills on our obstacle course that we put together ourselves. Look at how high the children can jump and their excellent balancing

Sunflower seeds

Here at Cart Mill we were very lucky to have received our good to grow package from Morrison’s, thank you to all the parents who supported us with this.

After having a look at the seeds the children asked to plant  the sunflower seeds.

We read about  the life cycle of a sunflower then  gathered together our plant pots, soil, trowels and seeds then set to work.

“we need to leave room for the seed”

”the seed got stripes”

After carefully planting our seeds we filled our watering can to give the seeds a drink before we very carefully carried them to the greenhouse.

“seeds need water and  sun to grow”

We are so lucky to have received a donation of sunflower seeds from Barrhead Garden Tidy team.  The team worked hard to harvest seeds from their own sunflowers which they have carefully packaged with sowing instructions on them.

We have used our excellent mark making skills to create some planting instructions and a lovely Sunflower display at our front door.  Please feel free to take a packet of seeds.

We would love you to share your photos of your sunflowers growing with us.  Why not ask the children to measure them and we can have  a competition to see who’s sunflower grows the tallest!


Fun at Forest School

We are always so excited when it’s a Forest School day! We have been observing the changes in the Forest over the last few sessions.  As it has been sunny and dry over the last week, it was safe enough for us to explore the river.  We collected our nets and set off!

The water was so clear we could see right to the bottom. Unfortunately we didn’t see or catch any fish! We used a stick to measure the depth of the water and then held it against our boots so that we could see where it was safe to stand.

We found our very own stoney beach where we could look for stones and throw them in the water.  As a group, we conducted a risk assessment and discussed safety rules we should follow when throwing our stones.  We had to be careful to look around us and stay a safe distance from each other before we threw our stones into the water. We had so much fun investigating who could throw their stone the furthest and make the biggest SPLASH! We found lots of different sizes and shapes of stone. We were able to identify which were bigger, smaller, heavier and flatter.  We found one that looked like a pizza and put two together to make a duck!

Of course we have to have snack when we’re at Forest School.  We enjoyed apple, hot chocolate to warm us up and a biscuit (to give us energy!)

There was just time for us to make a few trips up our favourite hill! It was hard work climbing to the top! We were able to feel our hearts beating really fast! Our favourite part was pulling Angela back down the hill with us. She was going really fast!

We can’t wait to see what we can discover and explore next week!





Big Garden Birdwatch

This morning the boys and girls have taken part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2022. We started by trying to invite the birds in to the garden. Helen and the children discussed what birds might use to create their nests and filled the whisks with a variety of these items and also some seeds.

“They like fluff.”

We looked at pictures of the most common garden birds and learned the names of them and also some of their features. Then we created a chart to record which birds we saw and how many of each type.

“I like robins.”
“I see blackbirds in my granny’s garden.”

We used the binoculars to look for birds and then marked which ones we saw on the chart.

“I saw two and two blackbirds, that makes four!”

The children even drew pictures of their favourite birds. Look at this lovely starling!

The Big Garden Birdwatch runs from the 28-30th January, you can find more details on the RSPB website. Why not take part and share your findings with us on Twitter. Have a nice weekend 🦜

Fun in the snow

This morning in the garden the children had great fun playing in the snow. We decided to make a snowman. Working together, we rolled the snow into two balls. One for the head and one for the body. When they were big enough, we popped the head onto the body and talked about how we could decorate him. We found twigs for arms, stones for eyes and a bottle top for a nose ( we couldn’t find a carrot) We finished his look with a hat and scarf.

We enjoyed throwing snowballs at Lauren and Jo!

“I got you Lauren”

We practiced our throwing at a target aiming for the bulls eye.

We are so lucky to have a hill right beside Cart Mill so off we went for some sledging. It was great fun whizzing down the hill on our ’sledge’. The children demonstrated great patience waiting for their turn.

No fun in the snow would be complete without our very own snow angels.

We have had the best day playing in the snow.

Pumpkin Soup!

In the garden , the children have been discussing Halloween and have been intrigued by pumpkins especially!

After we discussed what we could do with pumpkins we had a great idea of making pumpkin soup!

We collected lots of different ingredients we wanted to add to our yummy soup!


we even added some red food colouring to give it a nice colour!

Once the soup was made we sat down together and ate it all up… yum yum!!

We’re going on an autumn hunt 🌱🌿🍂🍁

The toddlers decided to go for a walk and to keep ourselves safe we had a chat about our safety rules, holding hands and listening to the adults. As we were crossing a road, we had to be extra careful to look and listen at the side of the road.

On our walk we had to look up, down and all around. We looked at all the autumn colours of the leaves and we collected the leaves that had fallen on the ground in our special bags. We listened to the birds and saw a squirrel but it was too fast for us to take a photo 😁

After we collected our leaves we played hide and seek, had some races and saw a most interesting van that came off its back wheels and stretched nearly to the moon 😳

We then brought all our autumn goodies back to nursery where the children enjoyed decorating their autumn bags with their leaves. Some chose to paint and we shared them with our friends who may not have been able to come on our walk. We transferred our leaves to the playdough where the children were leaf printing.

Autumn is here and is providing glorious colours, textures, temperatures for us all to enjoy 😁

How did you get to nursery?

It is Hands Up Scotland Survey (HUSS) week this week and yesterday the children helped to gather information on how their friends travel to nursery. The survey shows different ways in which children across Scotland travel to school and nursery.

Last year 2,879 schools and nurseries in Scotland got involved in the survey.

The children asked everybody how they travelled to nursery that morning,

“How did you travel to nursery this morning? did you walk or drive?”

” I come in the car”

They then wrote down their findings and counted up how many travelled by car, bus, on foot etc.


Finally we submitted our findings online through the HUSS form. We found that most children travelled to the nursery by car.

The children were very confident in taking part as they felt they had a very important job to complete.

Birdies come visit our garden ……. please 🤞

The children were looking up at the birds wanting them to come down and play with us in our garden, but what would they like?

We talked about asking them to come for a breakfast, but what do they eat? We investigated through use of technology, and discovered they like fat balls made from lard and seeds.  Gail popped to the shops. We had a wee look at the seeds and lard…. YUCK the children said they much preferred their weetabix!!!

We all had turns of putting the seeds in the lard and giving it a good mix, we were all glad we had had a good breakfast as it was hard to mix the lard and seeds together. We then put them in cups with wool and put in the fridge to cool. We will hang them outside for the birds tomorrow!

A little update our cress is starting to grow!

We are all looking forward to welcoming more wildlife into our garden and growing some homegrown produce that we can enjoy both here and at home 😁