Exploring Nature Play: Building scarecrows

  • DATE: September 2013

Making and building at Shiremoor Adventure Playground, North Tyneside.

The magical part of Exploring Nature Play is that you can use your imagination to create the most amazing structures.

Thinking of new and exciting ways to engage children with the natural environment through play is easy when you ask children what they want to do.

During a school visit to the adventure playground, several children asked if they could make scarecrows. Sending the children off around the site to look for loose parts to make their scarecrows resulted in a brilliant afternoon of creativity, discussion and fun.

The children found pieces of wood lying around to make the basic structure, nails and hammers in the tool container to build it, they ‘acquired’ straw from the hen house for padding, and persuaded their teachers that they should use spare clothing, brought with them from the lost property (in case of rain), to dress the scarecrow.

The children had a great time talking about why farmers use scarecrows, why they scare birds, how they keep the crops safe, the type of crops they ‘guard’, which types of birds would be most frightened and how they could carry their creations back to school. They had a competition to see who could make the biggest scarecrow, the smallest scarecrow and the scariest scarecrow!