Information: * lockdown 2020

Muddy Faces is open!

We are getting orders out as quickly and efficiently as possible whilst ensuring we adhere to safe working practices.

Over the last few months we have been busy creating activities, searching for recommended resources and making videos. We hope the information below will help you get outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdown, and please visit our Outdoor Hub – a massive free resource of activities and information.

We really value your input – please do share any resources or recommendations with beccy@muddyfaces.co.uk. Thank you.

Introduction

From Liz Edwards, Muddy Faces founder & director

2 boys and a woman in waterproof coats and hats sitting on grass on top of a hill, smiling into the cameraI hope you are staying well during this period. I, like so many others, have had to be very creative to balance work and life with two boys at home.

My children have been helping by setting up a Muddy Faces YouTube channel and creating videos in the hope of inspiring people to get busy in their gardens during lockdown, complementing all the resources we have already on our Outdoor Hub.

I am proud that we have kept Muddy Faces open, with a reduced, socially-distanced staff. Our turnaround has been terrific and any supply chain issues have been clearly communicated with customers and resolved. I have created a specific tab, especially to say thanks to my brilliant team and amazing customers as I couldn’t fit it all in here.

a massive cliump of bright blue forget-me-notsAt home it hasn’t all been harmonious by a long stretch but, as a family, we are noticing so many extra little things – how fast the broad beans are growing, the birds seem louder, the wild garlic smells stronger. In April we noticed the cacophony of dandelions and now, as the dandelion seed heads are providing us with so much fun, the blues of the forget-me-nots and the bluebells are catching our eyes.

These little daily connections to nature are so important and it is all strengthening my passionate belief in the restorative and beneficial powers of the outdoors. My aim has always been to help people spend time outdoors – this has never been so important as now, and I am inspired to do more. Early this year we released our Reasons to be Outdoors booklet (part 1) which explores the benefits of being outdoors. We are giving away a free copy of this booklet with every order placed (more about this on the Get Outdoors pack tab).

Hopefully we can inspire you to be outside more (following guidelines) during the COVID-19 lockdown and any information that we find that is specifically focused on that subject we’ll post here – it’s being gathered and added to as and when we find it – so do keep checking.

Take care
Liz

Muddy Faces is open!

We are getting orders out as quickly and efficiently as possible to our customers whilst ensuring we adhere to safe working practices.

To support you to get outdoors at this time, we’re giving away a free GET OUTDOORS PACK with every order! (see next tab for more info)

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of our staff so we have put in a number of measures to create a safe working environment for all our employees. This includes having fewer staff in the offices and warehouse so that we can ensure that we are able to adhere to the Government guidelines on social distancing, and we have also introduced increased hygiene and cleaning procedures.

child holding pans full of flowers and water, holding them up to the camera and smilingDue to these changes to our working practice, orders may take a little longer than usual to process.  If there are any issues or delays with your order we will let you know as soon as possible.

Contact us

Our telephones are being staffed Monday – Friday 9am til 5.30pm. Please leave a message if the phone is not answered and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please call 0114 221 9617.

Free Get Outdoors pack

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23rd March, we have all been asked to stay at home, where possible. This can bring pressure on both our mental and physical health.

a selection of bookletsAt Muddy Faces, we are passionate about the outdoors and during this time of uncertainty recognise that spending time outside will provide both mental and physical benefits. To support you to get outdoors we have created our Get Outdoors pack, and will include one free with every single order we send.

Free Get Outdoors Pack with every order

Each order placed with Muddy Faces will receive a free Get Outdoors pack, which includes:

Our new booklet Reasons to be Outdoors, Part 1  (worth £3.99)
Being outdoors is good for both our physical and mental wellbeing. Reasons To Be Outdoors outlines many of these benefits. It is focused on early years but the information is also relevant for older children and adults

A Leaf Bashing / Hapa Zome activity card
A simple activity that connects us to nature and helps us see the awe and wonder in the everyday

One of our very special UK-grown wooden discs
We are starting a #CookieCraze and we’d like you to join in! Get creative with your wooden cookie and share your creations with us! Take a photo and tag us – we’ll inspire others by sharing it on social media and on our website

A copy of our 2020 Catalogue
As well as products our catalogue features some interesting info about getting outdoors

Outdoor Hub

The Muddy Faces Outdoor Hub is all about supporting people to get outdoors and spend time in nature, whatever your resources, whatever the kind or size of space you have access to. Although these lockdown resources are very relevant right now, the whole of our Outdoor Hub is here for you to explore – it’s all free for everyone and designed to inspire you whatever your level of experience.

Getting outdoors is good for the health and wellbeing of adults and children – we hope we can help you find ways to do it.

Our Outdoor Hub has 6 main sections – every section has much more in it than you might expect! Treat it like the great outdoors – come and explore!

Activities

Events

Information

Links

Mud 

Forest School

Lockdown resources

What resources have you found useful / are you working on / would you recommend, specifically to support people/children to access nature/the outdoors during this lockdown period?

Something missing? Let us know: beccy@muddyfaces.co.uk. Thank you.


Adventure at home

“We’ve created some adventure-themed activities specifically for young people to do from home. We hope the videos will be entertaining as well as help young people understand how much value adventure and the natural world can bring to their lives.”


Corona Times Journals

From the Children’s Parliament – written by young journalist aged 8-14. “Helping adults to understand the impact that the coronavirus is having on children’s lives.” 3 produced so far (as at 1 June 2020), and ongoing … editions have looked at learning at home and being online, health and wellbeing, and learning in lockdown and the return to school.


Council for Learning Outside the Classroom eduation resources

CLOtC have gathered this comprehensive list of organisations providing resources that “can be used to help keep children learning (and make it fun) whilst schools are closed.”


Countryside Classroom Home Education Hub

“A wealth of free, downloadable resources to help with teaching and learning at home on the themes of food, farming and the natural environment. We have resources for all ages, on a wide range of topics, and for use indoors or outdoors.

Our full bank of resources are available here, but we have also selected some that we think are especially relevant to home education, and will be adding to these in the coming weeks.”


Curiosity Box: 10 nature adventure ideas for families

“It’s great for our physical and mental health and something grown ups and kids can enjoy together. Getting out in nature is a great way to fill our lives with wonder and joy! Here are my top 10 nature adventure ideas for families:” Also has a Coronavirus Toolkit with “child-friendly Coronavirus information from reliable sources.”


Dream Big At Home from the Woodcraft Folk

  • Weekly challenges.
  • Weekly programme of live workshops, storytelling and virtual campfires – connecting children and young people online and continuing a sense of community and connection while we are physically apart.
  • Educational activities to do at home – games, craft ideas, things to try indoors, in your garden or on a walk, and a chance to learn about big ideas from climate change to social justice.

Learning Through Landscapes outdoor learning online support

Free virtual forums to guide families and educators on outdoor learning. Two groups on Facebook – one for families and one for educators and teachers – with FREE weekly outdoor learning and play activities and training guides. Tutorial videos – downloadable resources – learning plans – Q & As. Plus weekly newsletters for parents and carers teaching their children from home, and learning professionals working remotely. Plus webinars and online training sessions for early years educators and trainers


Little Forest Folk Youtube channel

Regularly adding new things to do outdoors plus lovely story time videos.


Living Streets free resources & activities

“Walking & staying active during lockdown. This page is for all teachers, school staff, parents, carers and all families with children of primary school age #WalkingFromHome. We will be releasing new resources and fun activities on a weekly basis, so keep coming back for more. 


Outdoor Classroom Day

“In response to the coronavirus crisis, the movement will look a bit different in 2020. Following consultation with teachers and parents around the world, we are launching Playful Nature! Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing ideas for connecting to nature through play that can be done from anywhere. And on 21 May, which should have been the next Outdoor Classroom Day, we’re inviting you to celebrate your connection to the natural world by bringing Playful Nature to everyone.”


Play Scotland Home Play Pack

This pack was created to support children and families to stimulate their imagination, creativity and play time during these challenging times. Available for organisations in Scotland to order.


Teaching Resourcefulness from Big Dreams Little footprints

A lovely list of indoor and outdoor creative ideas “to teach children to be more resourceful, less wasteful and more environmentally-aware.”


Wilderness Foundation Wildtime

“Every week we are posting new material to help you engage with nature in the best way you can, through videos, photos and fun for all the family … activities to keep you focused, fit and entertained during the corona-virus outbreak. Looking after the mental and physical health of you and your family.”


Woodland Trust nature activities for kids to do at home

“We’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home in the coming weeks and months due to the coronavirus crisis. With schools now closed, we know many families are looking for ideas to keep children entertained. To help, we’ve pulled together some simple, nature-based activities you can enjoy together at home or in your garden.” A growing series of blogs posts.


WWF Learn to Love Nature: educational activities to enjoy from home

“Whether you are a teacher looking for inspiring and enriching content for your students to access and use independently from home, or a parent seeking ways to make the most of time at home with your children, we want to help.
Each week, we’ll be providing engaging ways for you to connect with nature and learn more about our amazing planet. Our themed weeks will include live learning events via our dedicated Facebook group, an opportunity to participate in fun and insightful webinars with WWF experts, and links to our popular educational materials. And in case you miss any of these live events, you can revisit and access all content as and when you need to.”


WWT Home Learning Hub

WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust) have launched a new home learning hub to help parents teach their primary school aged children key parts of the science curriculum. New resources, covering different science topics, will be released on a Monday morning each week. Families will have access to lesson plans, written specifically with this audience in mind, divided up into bite-sized chunks, including an outdoors element for those with access to outdoor space. These are supported by instructional videos, fun ‘make it’ activities and a quiz to show how much they’ve learnt each week. 


WWT 30 Days Wild

“We are aware many schools, businesses and care homes are not open at the current time, but hope these packs will provide you with inspiring activities that can be adapted no matter your living, working or teaching situation.”

“This June, join thousands of people taking part in our annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild! We want you to do one wild thing a day throughout the whole month: for your health, wellbeing and for the planet. That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness. You’ll get a free, downloadable pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond!). “


100’s of wonderful outdoor & nature-based ideas from around the world-wide-web

Creative Star Learning has gathered this incredibly comprehensive list, divided into sections for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and websites. Probably anything else mentioned here will already be on Juliet’s list!


Your Facebook recommendations

At the end of April we posted this message on Facebook:

“We want to follow more projects and organisations on Facebook so we can share with you more of the wide range of brilliant and inspiring outdoors-focused opportunities and resources there are out there. Who should we be following? Who inspires you? Feel free to suggest yourselves!”

Your responses are listed below, in alphabetical order. Do share any more with beccy@muddyfaces.co.uk. Thanks.


Alfresco Learning
Cobnuts Woodland Nursery & Forest School
Conker Crew online Forest School sessions every Monday, £3
Cyfleon Ltd
Cynon Valley Organic Adventure
Evergreen Explorers
Forest Explorers
Forest Friends
Forest Kidz
Forever Green Forest School: Sarah Chisam said “really enjoying their posts about things you can do at home.”
Forgotten Forest
Freerange Forest Families
Highway Farm Activity Centre- Outdoor learning & Play
Huggles Childcare
I love Nature CIC
John Muir Trust
Kids Gone Wild UK
Kin Nature Kindergarten
Ladybirds Nature Parent & Toddler Group FB group: “the first step towards creating Wales’ first Nature Kindergarten. This group focuses on your relationship as a parent with your child interacting with nature.”
Linden Children’s Centre Vanessa Collins said “Linden Children’s Centre are doing loads to support the families and children in Hackney! 👍🏼 🌈”
Little Einsteins Academy Lauren Louise said “My children’s Pre-school, they are so lucky to have their own private woodland!”
Little Explorers Childminding
Milford Pre-School Plus Sarah Rix said “Trying my best to keep our children updated with daily activities! 😊”
Mucky Boots Education
Muddy Boots Forest Adventures
Open-ended Play Spaces & Experiences FB group: ” to encourage the sharing of inspiration, resources and activity ideas for open/ended play experiences.”
Outdoor Adventurers Forest School Bury
Outdoor Learning Made Easy
Outlet: Play Resource
Park View 4U
Primary Forest Schools Ellen Blackwood said “We are sending out free home learning packs and posting regular activities 🌳💚”
Quisqueya Permacultura
Releasing their Wild Lisa Jane said “A blog of activities that you can do at home with your children.”
Rewild Play
Scotswood Natural Community Garden
Therapeutic Forest
Timbernook Camps
Trees and Seas Outdoor Adventures
Under The Trees CIC
wandermaw
West Boldon Lodge Tom Mower said “Daily activities including weekly outdoor learning, simple science & crafts 4 kids videos. Also on InstagramTwitter.”
Wild Elements
Wild Minds 
Wild Network
Wild Tots Children Outdoors
Wildschooling FB group: “this is a gathering place for nature-bonded home educators who are passionate about supporting a nature-bonded, active & joyful childhood. Here we’ll explore nature’s role in providing a nourishing, dynamic and creative education that honors the whole child. ”
Wonder Woods Education
YPTE Young People’s Trust for the Environment
YWT Potteric Carr Nature Reserve


News articles, blogs, etc

Coronavirus: Is it safe for my B.C. kid to play outside with friends?

Q & A looking at risks, guidelines and benefits of children playing outdoors with friends. City News 1130 (Canada), 26 May 2020.


Wild Child by Patrick Barkham – why children need nature

Book review. From blackberry picking to digging a pond … a perfect lockdown reminder of how having fun outdoors is essential for children, in cities as well as the countryside. The Guardian, 20 May 2020.


Coronavirus shows us it’s time to rethink everything. Let’s start with education

George Monbiot argues that a knowledge of ecology is vital. He’s been experimenting with creating an ecological education that ‘places ecology and Earth systems at the heart of learning, just as they are at the heart of life.’  The Guardian, 12 May 2020.


Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing During and After Lockdown (pdf)

“In this document, we make a number of evidence-based recommendations designed to support children’s social and emotional wellbeing. We focus on the need to afford children opportunities to play with peers in the coming weeks and months. Our recommendations are focused, in particular, on the needs of children aged 3 to 11.”

Follow Play First on twitter: “Leading UK mental health experts advocating for children’s emotional wellbeing to be prioritised via play when lockdown is eased”


10 nature activities you can do with kids (while social distancing!)

The benefits of being outside, tips for doing it while social distancing, and an unusual and inspiring list of suggested activities. Active for Life (Canada), 27 April 2020.


Cooped-Up Children Need Car-Free Play Streets, Say Experts

“Play allows children to cope with what life throws at them; it is the responsibility of adults to ensure that they can play safely, inside and out,” Forbes, 19 April 2020.


Bugs, bark rubbing and bird nests: turn your daily walk into a nature home school

“Whether making a wildflower bracelet or searching for badger footprints, here are some simple, enjoyable ways to start teaching your kids about nature.” The Guardian, 14 April 2020.


Schools outdoors

Social distancing in school grounds

Advice poster from Learning Through Landscapes. Covers: why take learning outside, how to make the most of the site, how to maintain social distancing, hygiene tips, temporary gathering/seating spaces, pupil drop off/pick up, moving round the site, and come rain, come shine! June 2020.


complex poster about social distancing in school grounds

Planning LOtC experiences

“An overview on what to consider when you start taking your lessons into different spaces. For more detail on each stage take a look at our Planning LOtC Experiences factsheet.” Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.


Playful Learning Outdoors in June

“To support our colleagues returning to on-site instruction in June, we’ve put together this list of ideas … we have been advised that a focus on social and emotional learning is preferable this last month of school and that being outside is recommended as much as possible.” Megan Zeni (US).


An A to Z of a Nurturing Environment

“This A to Z will not cover every aspect of nurture, but I hope it can provide a starting point for a way of “being with” children and young people whose well-being and mental health are or have been at risk. Supporting and safeguarding their social and emotional development will be even more important as we help them return to school during the current coronavirus pandemic.” Dr Chris Moore, EdPsychInsight, 26 May 2020.


Schools encouraged to embrace outdoor learning to ease coronavirus concerns

“A Moray nursery that specialises in outdoor learning is encouraging mainstream education providers to embrace the natural environment even more to ease classroom concerns.” The Press & Journal, 19 May 2020.


7 tips for running outdoor lessons when schools reopen

Schools in Denmark have been using outdoor lessons to help manage social distancing rules more easily – here are 7 tips for doing it well for other schools that may follow suit.” TES, 17 May 2020.


Consortium steps forward to support schools to re-open by taking learning outdoors

Turning learning inside out – supporting schools to reopen by taking learning outdoors. CLOtC, 15 May 2020.


Scotland eyes outdoor learning as model for reopening of schools

“Local authorities are exploring how using outdoor space could optimise physical distancing.” The Guardian, 11 May 2020.


Scotland’s outdoor play initiative has some lessons for the rest of the world

“As Scotland considers the eventual re-opening of schools and non-emergency child-care facilities as the threat of coronavirus recedes, early childhood advocates are eagerly anticipating a now-delayed rollout of an important social policy experiment.” The Conversation, 10 May 2020.


Learning Through Landscapes outdoor learning online support

Free virtual forums to guide families and educators on outdoor learning. Two groups on Facebook – one for families and one for educators and teachers – with FREE weekly outdoor learning and play activities and training guides. Tutorial videos – downloadable resources – learning plans – Q & As. Plus weekly newsletters for parents and carers teaching their children from home, and learning professionals working remotely. Plus webinars and online training sessions for early years educators and trainers


Prioritise play when schools reopen, say mental health experts

“Child mental health experts have urged the government to prioritise children’s play and socialising with friends over formal lessons and academic progress when schools in England reopen and lockdown restrictions are eased.” The Guardian, 7 May 2020.


Thanks

Thank you key workers

2 lads and a dog sitting next on a road next to a chalked raibow and text Thanks NHS Stay SafeThank you for all the hard work of the key workers who have worked tirelessly during this lockdown period, often putting themselves in harms way, to help others, we are indebted.

Thank you to the Muddy Faces team

Muddy Faces has stayed open, helping people to be outdoors and hopefully having a small positive effect on mental health.

I would like to thank Clare & Lauren in (separate / distanced) offices – they are doing an awesome job looking after customers, making sure they get their orders as swiftly as possible, and keeping everyone up-to-date. Please give them a bell if you have any questions.

I have some employees furloughed, and the ones who are not have been busy doing their own jobs and other peoples with a brilliantly positive attitude.

Beccy has been doing a super job on social media letting people know about all the amazing free resources we have available in our Outdoor Hub to help get people outside.

I will also add a thanks to my husband who coordinates all the UK-wood products for us, they have been very popular during this period – he comes home on his alternate work days covered in wood shavings!

A great big thanks to all my staff for their creativity and uplifting attitude that is keeping Muddy Faces and me going.

Thank you Muddy Faces customers & collaborators

Finally a big thank you to all of our customers who have been giving us such lovely feedback during this difficult period, and our collaborators who are equally passionate about getting outdoors.

Without you there would be no Muddy Faces and we would not be able to provide all the free information we share on the Outdoor Hub to help people get outdoors, as every sale helps fund our different campaigns.