Little Green Champions

Little Green Champions are all the five and under children out there who are eco warriors, connect to nature, loving their park, helping wildlife and or are just generally having fun playing and learning in Birmingham’s green spaces.

“There’s a reason birdsong, rainfall and crashing waves are some of our favourite sounds. Nature makes us happy. We know that nature is good for our wellbeing and there’s plenty of evidence to back this up.

It’s not just for adults; children benefit from exploring nature too. The feeling of a snail’s smooth shell, the smell of damp seaweed and the sound of sticks splashing in a river – it’s moments like this that help children grow and connect with their natural world.” – National Trust

That’s why The National Trust has created ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. 

Kids need nature and nature needs kids

The National Trust created What’s ’50 things’ all about? | National Trust to encourage families to play in nature together and build an enduring connection with wildlife. We all want children to explore their senses in the wild, care for plants and creatures, and reflect on their feelings in different landscapes.

Growing Little Green Champions in Birmingham

The Naturally Birmingham Project works closely with the National Trust to develop actions that help Birmingham’s residents to get involved with green spaces and that goes for families with children who are five or under who we call Little Green Champions.

It’s not just a case of getting outdoors or visiting you local park – we want children to really explore nature in all different seasons, and build special memories to last. Research tells us these experiences of connecting with nature boost children’s physical, social and mental development. And it’s lots of fun too.

If you aren’t sure where your local park is you can find parks in Birmingham here: Find a park | Birmingham City Council just use your postcode to find green spaces by you.

But it’s not just children and adults that benefit from nature. When we build a connection with nature, we’re more likely to care for it in return. This means children who explore and enjoy nature are more likely to look after it, stand up for it and take action to protect it as they grow older.

“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”

Sir David Attenborough

There aren’t just 50 that you could do, there are hundreds of ways to connect to nature and get involved with green spaces, but we are suggesting that you try just 5 things before your children are over 5 years old – but do these at least once in all four seasons – every year!

Early Years Practitioners

Here is a taster of our “Growing Together” web based training session delivered in partnership with Birmingham City Council’s Early Years Team. This short video is just to give you a feel of what the training covers:

If you are interested in joining our next online training session please let us know and we will let you know as soon as the next session is available.

Get Moving – This Autumn

Download an activity sheet here:

Moving outside in green space is vital to aid childhood development. Muscles become stronger and heart and lungs become more efficient. Encouraging movement helps improve children’s balance, spatial awareness, core strength and coordination at the same time children develop their learning and emotional development skills. Not mention just running, jumping and having a great time.

Exploring in the Autumn brings all kinds of new wonders turning a walk in the park in to a sensory activity without even trying. An additional experience which allows the sense of taste to be part of the walk is preparing a no waste tasting box full of autumn fruits to try as you walk around the park. Depending on your child’s needs you can add cut up apples, pears, plums, blackcurrants, blackberries (or try small pots of jam) to a reusable container and use a fork or spoon to try different fruits, or make sure hands are clean if you don’t mind using fingers. If you can’t pick your own fruit at home, when you are buying fruit try and choose fruit that has the least packaging – just do what you can, it isn’t always easy.

Grow Together

We all know the story of the very hungry caterpillar – thinking about all the different foods the caterpillar ate provides an opportunity to learn about how different plants grow, where do they grow, who eats them, take a waste free picnic with you and try out tasting different vegetables and fruit, much more fun while your out and about.

Download your activity sheet here:

Connect with Nature

Often children will visit green spaces, but not always connect with their natural surroundings. Research has shown those who connect with their nature are more likely to have a positive and caring attitude towards their environment.

Download your activity sheet here:

Learn More

Green spaces can provide great learning opportunities for children whether that be about nature, the wider natural world, the weather, seasons …the list goes on and on. Encouraging children to take part in activities where they can learn about green spaces helps to build a connection with nature. Let them explore and see what they can find.

Download your activity sheet here:

Shout about it!

It’s time to celebrate and share all of the exciting and wonderful things you’ve done together! We always like to have a hot chocolate and marshmallows (don’t forget to fill your thermos) sing songs, makes some leaf bunting and share our stories.

Download your activity sheet here:

Growing Together – at Home

You can grow together a home, it’s really easy to get started. Here Hamira and Esa show us how:

Connect with Nature – through art

Using arts and crafts to think about nature can help us explore nature more deeply and start to make a better connection with it. Modelling animals helps to think about what an animal looks like. It doesn’t matter what the model or drawing looks like to us, it’s just thinking and talking about it that’s important.

Here you can watch Holly show us how to make a mud animal from natural clay:

Making Mud Animals

Shout about it! is a really important action – we want you to share with us what you like and what you don’t like. What you want more of and what you want less of. More about this coming soon!

Here is the story of “H” one of our Little Green Champions: Teeny Explorers – Naturally Birmingham Future Parks Project

So if you have a Little Green Champion or lots of Little Green Champions please let us know what you have been doing and what you would like to do more of.

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