Prince Charles offers families relief during 'incredibly hard year' with half-term activities
Prince Charles has launched a set of half-term activities for families to give them ideas for something to do while they take a break from online learning.
Charles, 72, has drawn on his and his wife Camilla's love of nature to share a week's worth of outdoor fun and games for relief after what he called an "incredibly hard year".
Over six days of half-term, the Clarence House accounts on social media will share a new challenge, from planting a seed, to painting and creating, and to finding patterns in nature.
The challenges all reflect some of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall's royal work with their patronages and have been designed to be accessible from all environments, urban, rural or seaside.
Charles, who is a grandfather of four, will encourage people to share their creations and findings with him on social media, using #POWNatureChallenge.
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In a video introducing the challenge, Charles said: "I know it has been an incredibly hard year for everyone. We’ve all had to think very carefully about how to keep ourselves and our families safe, which has meant we have had to stay very close to home.
"I am sure you feel as frustrated as I do about that – not being able to get outside as much as you’d like to, especially if you live near a park or some local countryside. And now, of course, is a special time to be doing that."
He added: "It’s at this time of year that all sorts of wonderful things start happening as Nature wakes up the world from its Winter sleep.
Buds on trees will soon become leaves, bulbs will start pushing Spring flowers up through the soil and we’ll soon be hearing the wonderful sound of birdsong every morning.
"These things will happen near you, whether you live in a town, or a city or in the countryside."
Setting the challenge, he suggested children ask their families to go out with them to "take a really close look at the wonderful things Nature is now doing", and "report back"
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The weekly activity list:
Day one - Plant a seed
Monday, 15 February: Plant a seed using an old egg box or an unused pot. Fill the pot with soil or cotton wool and scatter it with cress seeds or plant the seeds from some of the fruit or vegetables that you have eaten this week.
The challenge is supported by Garden Organic who said they hoped it would start a "lifelong passion" for gardening.
Day two - Draw an elephant
Tuesday, 16 February: Draw an elephant using things found in nature. Use the biggest leaves on a tree to make ears, and try a bark rubbing with crayons or pencils to add texture.
The challenge is supported by Elephant Family, of which Charles and Camilla are joint presidents.
Day three - Go to local wetlands
Wednesday, 17 February: Find and visit local wetlands, like ponds, streams, lakes, seaside saltmarshes and canals and spot birds.
This challenge is supported by the The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), which has a live camera on its website of their wetlands. Anyone without access to nearby water is encouraged to spot birds on the site instead.
Offering their support, the WWT said "latest research shows that blue spaces involving water may be even better for people’s wellbeing than green spaces".
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Day four - Make a mini garden
Thursday, 18 February: Make a miniature garden on a plate, using materials from your fridge, cupboards, a garden or park.
This challenge is supported by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, which the prince has been patron of since 2016.
Day five - Paint a paperweight
Friday, 19 February: Find a stone or pebble and paint it with an animal. It could be a favourite animal or one that needs protecting, like a bee or a hedgehog.
This challenge is supported by the Wildlife Trust, which Charles has been patron of since 1977.
Day six - find patterns in nature
Saturday, 20 February: Spend time outdoors looking for patterns in nature. Look closely to spot any symmetry on leaves, seeds, seashells, plants, and even in the houses and buildings you pass while out walking. Spend some time observing, studying and perhaps even recreating the patterns you find.
This challenge is supported by The Prince's Foundation, which Charles founded in 2018.
Some of the responses to the challenges submitted online will be added to a gallery on the Clarence House social media pages the following week.
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