Friday Fledglings online – stories, crafts and rainbows

Bringing outdoor learning online

Little Mouse with a dandelion clock

Bringing the outdoors online

The MERL’s popular weekly outdoor learning session for under-5s, Friday Fledglings, has moved from The MERL garden to online during the museum closure. Our session leaders Charlotte and Fong have been telling us stories from their gardens and sharing crafts and activities. These activities are inspired by The MERL garden and collections, and use things you probably have at home, always with a keen eye on reusing and recycling. We want you to continue to enjoy the benefits of outdoor learning at home, where most of us have been spending a lot more time these last 100 days!

Those of you who have been to Friday Fledglings before will recognise Little Mouse; a cuddly knitted friend of Charlotte’s who accompanies her to snacktime, and who often has the lead role in storytime too. We thought our Fledgling regulars might love to see some familiar faces, and for those who have not been to the sessions before, Little Mouse can charm pretty much anyone!

Our first online Fledglings post was inspired by a message to Little Mouse from a museum staff member who’s been looking after the MERL chickens during the museum’s closure. We got to hear about how the chickens were taking to their temporary digs and all about their exciting adventures. There was also a chicken themed craft activity – it’s never too hard for us to find something chicken-themed here at The MERL…

Two hens made out of card coloured in pencil
Pecking hen craft

We then moved our sessions onto Facebook where our activities are published as an event on Friday mornings. With rainbows becoming a symbol of hope during these Covid-19 times, the Fledglings team thought we would use the colours of the rainbow to inspire each session. Just like a rainbow, we started with red and enjoyed a ladybird themed session. One day you’ll be able to visit the Ladybird Books gallery again, but for now why not have a look at the gallery online?

Little Mouse reading a book in Charlotte's garden
Little Mouse reading a book in Charlotte’s garden
The next Friday was May Day and so the perfect opportunity for Little Mouse to celebrate the special day in his very own garden. Fong’s activity was to make your own mini colourful Maypole with all different coloured wool.

Mini Maypole craft
Mini maypole craft

Dandelions inspired us for the next session. Little Mouse learned a little bit about the yellow wildflower that most of us have in our garden or green space, and Fong’s craft was to make some rather dandy creatures.

Our last session of the half term was during Mental Health awareness week. Charlotte told a story about a ‘happiness flower’ and Fong had a heart frame craft for us to enjoy. Little Mouse felt especially happy noticing the purple and pink flowers blooming all around us that week.

More Fledglings online!

During this last half term we focused on a different sense each week. Check out the event page to find out more about these sessions.

We hope to be able to resume Friday Fledglings back in the lovely MERL garden soon, but until then we hope you enjoy our online activities and are finding ways to explore the great outdoors from home!

Craft heart frame with daisies
Rainbow heart to frame what you find in nature

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    The Museum reopened in October 2016, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

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