Autumn is a great time to get out with the children into the forests and woodlands, there is so much to see. The obvious change of colour on the trees, the falling leaves which are great to kick about, pinecones, conkers and sweet chestnuts but what my boys love to go searching for is fungi!
We really enjoy fungi forays in Clumber park, Sherwood Forest, Budby Heath and just about anywhere else. That is one of the biggest joys you – can find fungi almost anywhere! We epecially love these trips with Gramps as he is quite an expert on them, however when he can’t be with us we take our trusty identification book and spend some time together looking up what they are.
We enjoy photographing them which is tricky sometimes as they are in the dark undergrowth or growing on the underside of the tree. The boys can now name a heck of a lot more than I ever could, though I am picking it up as we go along. Even when we haven’t gone out with the intention of looking the boys seem to manage to find them.
Something they do like to do but would only suggest doing if you know for a fact they are not dangerous is bringing some home in a paper bag. When we get them home not only do the boys enjoy drawing them in different media they have great fun laying them out for spore prints. This is where you lay the fungi underside down on the paper and leave overnight. During this time the spores drop out onto the paper. Some fungi need white paper, some black, it all depends on the colour of the spore.
Great fun, great outdoors, great learning opportunities and all from the humble fungus.