Outdoor Education Activities

Given the current weather situation, here are a few snow and ice activities for you to try at home!

Ice Sun Catcher:

Snow Games:

This website has some great activities and games for you to enjoy playing in the snow

Active for Life – Games To Play In The Snow

Winter Scavenger Hunt:

Science Experiments:

CBeebies – Ice Cool Skates

BBC Bitesize – Ice Sculptures

BBC Bitesize – Snow, Ice and Water

Science Sparks – Ice Decorations

Snow Volcano Experiment

Ice Luminaries:


Mark Making:

Another great website which gives you different ideas on mark making activities in the snow.  

Mark Making


10 Sparkly Snowflakes written by Tiger Tales

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Singing Hands: Winter Clothes

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (29th-31st January)

Today sees the start of the 42nd annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which sees birdwatchers across the country join in the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project and we would love for pupils and staff at Orchard Brae to get involved.

Taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is really easy. Simply watch the birds for one hour at some point over the three days. This can be done in your garden, your local park or even sitting looking out your window!

Last year, over 500,000 birds were counted by Big Garden Birdwatchers in Scotland giving real insight into how our birds are doing.

Have a look at the RSPB website where you will find lots of fun activities and resources to help you participate in the Big Gard Birdwatch but here are a few to get you started.


Lucky Duck Story:

Make A Bird Feeder:

Make Paper Plate Birds:

Tally Sheets:

Here are some simple tally sheets that you can use to keep track of the birds you see.

Don’t forget to let us know how you got on with the Big Garden Birdwatch survey and activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Orienteering In Room 2

With Scott, room 2 have been learning the skills involved in Orienteering.

We all enjoy learning outside; following the route; looking for the orienteering flags in the playground; being first to find the flag; selecting the flag numbers (and correct colour) and matching them to the appropriate number on the orienteering board.

Room 2’s class team are very proud of all the pupils and how quickly they have learnt the skills involved.

Signs of Autumn

Some of us have been looking for signs of Autumn when we’ve been out and about. We’ve noticed the weather changing a little – while we’ve had some sunny days, there’s also a chill in the air. The autumn colours are starting to appear and we notice the trees changing colour, both in our playground and in the community. Lots of beautiful orange, red and yellow. Some of us have made autumn pictures using the leaves we’ve collected.

We have also enjoyed some relaxing music:

What Have Room 10 Been Making?

Outdoor Learning: We took a walk around the school grounds and collected items as the children saw them.  We came back to class to make ‘Natural Things’ panels, which you can see us making in the photographs.  We will use these panels to decorate our outdoor area.

Making instruments in Science and Music: We are making our own xylophones, one of which can go outside as it has been made from drainpipes.  We have rolled and used Sellotape, we have tapped to hear the different sounds we could make with our rolls.  We have used string to make knots. We are going to use some of our own instruments in class music and see what difference size and volume can make to notes and pitch.#

Back to Nursery

Our morning and afternoon nursery children at Howes Road have been very busy since starting Nursery this term. Many have been showing an interest in vehicles and we have been listening to stories and songs about cars, buses and other things that help us to move around. A favourite song is ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and great fun has been had playing the desk bells which sound like the bell on the bus. Some children have been using vehicles in the paint and looking at their tyre tracks. Others have been exploring the paint with their fingers. The garage and toy cars have proven very popular as the cars go up and down ramps whilst some children have been exploring cause and effect steering wheel toys or completing puzzles.

We also made lots of playdough as part of a group and have been using transport cutters to make shapes of planes, cars, trains and motorbikes. Some have been rolling the playdough in their hands and squeezing it as it is lovely and soft. 

We have had fun in the nursery garden, watering the flowers when it has been sunny and jumping in the puddles when it has been raining. 

Return to nursery

All the returning children from Orchard Brae at Ashgrove have settled well since starting back in August. We have been able to welcome new children to our Nursery and it has been great to see how quickly they have adapted to their new setting. They all appear to be enjoying and becoming familiar within the Nursery environment.

We have been doing lots of sensory activities with painting, gloop and shaving foam. We have also been making vegetable and fruit printing pictures. We have been planting our spring bulbs and enjoying what remains of the “summer weather.”

As the trees are now beginning to change colour we have been exploring this concept as we go for walks in the local community. Some of the children have shown great interest in our apple and plum trees which grow in our outdoor play area and have been collecting them. We have used some of the plums for our snack. Next week we are planning to use the apples to make apple pie.

The staff team at Ashgrove are all looking forward to working with the children and supporting them throughout their time with us. 

Our Sensory Garden

We were overwhelmed by the response we had to our sensory garden appeal. The donations of resources, time and money have helped to make a unique and already well loved area for our pupils to enjoy and explore.

A huge extra special Orchard Brae thanks to:

  • The Little City Garden – design and landscaping
  • Gerbera Designs – landscaping
  • James Gettka – landscaping
  • Morrison Construction – access path
  • Mike Bruce – path
  • James Millerby – boulders
  • Jenna Killoh – pallets
  • Dobbies Aberdeen – compost
  • Trees Are Us – logs
  • GI Cladding and Joinery – posts
  • Clan Miller Construction – slabs and posts
  • Bissett and Ross – tarpaulin
  • Alpha Fencing – new gate and fence
  • MB Landscapes – boulders
  • Karen Underwood – fruit tree
  • Karen Robertson – fairy house
  • James Polson Garden Creations – woodwork sculptures
  • BFLABDN – art work
  • Round Table Aberdeen – sponsorship for artwork
  • Linda Lovie – tactile sensory display
  • Dulex Paint Aberdeen – paint
  • Khyber Pass Association – donation
  • Unison Union – donation
  • Mrs Ann Thain – donation
  • Betty Craig – donation
  • Evelyn Drennan – donation
  • And last but not least our amazing fundraising families, the Simons and the Cruikshanks.

Outdoor Education Update

As the weather gets cooler, classes have been making a bug hotel in the new sensory garden.  We have been exploring different plants and textures to make a place where insects can keep warm over the winter.  We have used grasses, thistle down and a variety of plants to create a cosy environment for our tiny guests to stay in over the colder months.

We have also been setting up tasks for pupils to help keep our playground tidy, like raking the sandpit.  These jobs are great experience and provide a fantastic opportunity to be involved in real work.

We have also been establishing bird feeders outside class and in the new sensory garden.

Primary Department Activities – Week Beginning 22nd June

Our Google Classrooms have gone live!  Your child’s teacher will be using Google Classroom to share activities with you but we are aware that some families are waiting on technology and other supports to enable them to access Google Classroom so we will still be posting a selection of activities here too.  If you haven’t logged in yet or having difficulty accessing Google Classroom please contact your child’s teacher who will be able to offer you support and advice.  Here is a short video to show you some of the exciting things happening on Google Classroom.

If you would like to share how you have got on with our activities, please share any photos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk.  Downloading videos from the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page appears to be working again (fingers crossed!) however if you are having any issues, please send them using a free transfer site such as Dropbox or WeTransfer.

Virtual Sports Day:

This week we are holding our first ever Virtual Sports Day and we would like to thank our PE teachers, Amanda and Salvi for organising this.  Our Virtual Sports Day will start on Monday 22nd June and we would love for as many of our pupils, families and staff as possible to join in.

There will be 8 challenges for you to try at home and you will have the whole week to complete as many challenges as you can. Each challenge will have a short video clip which will include a demonstration of the task and suggested equipment to use. Challenges can be copied, adapted or you can even devise your own.

If you would like to participate, please check your child’s ab-ed.org email where you will find an invitation to join and access the Virtual Sports Day Google Classroom.

Story Of The Week: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

This week’s story is a wonderful shimmering underwater adventure – The Rainbow Fish.  Troughout this story, the Rainbow Fish gradually realises the importance of friendship and sharing!

Using the link below you can watch and listen to the story:


The book study below has some great activities for you to try at home based on the story.

Links and additional documents to support the activities can be found below:

Activity 1: Fish Outlines

Activity 3: Aquarium Sensory Bag

Activity 5: Fishy Biscuit Recipe

This recipe can also be found at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easiest-ever-biscuits

Other Activity Ideas:

Be Resilient!

Education Scotland, in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council, produced a Resilience Alphabet full of fun think, say, do activities designed to promote resilience and develop coping strategies.  There are a series of activities for each letter of the alphabet, so pick a letter and give it a go!


Learning Grid: Life Skills

Here is a learning grid for Life Skills.  It contains 16 activity ideas for you to help develop and promote your child’s independence in a range of household and life skills tasks.

These activities are only suggestions and we would recommend that, where appropriate, you adapt these activities to meet your child’s ability level.