Going on a nature trail with your kids is a great activity no matter what the weather. From wildlife spotting in the summer to jumping in muddy puddles in the autumn, here’s how to make the most of the great outdoors.
A nature trail is a brilliant way to keep your kids entertained on a family walk.
From exploring your local woodland to walking in your local park, you’ll be amazed at what you see when you really take a good look around you.
Find a local nature trail
There are ‘official’ natural trails dotted around all over the country, making it a great summer activity with your kids at home – or while you’re on holiday.
Even in built-up, urban areas there are opportunities to find out where wildlife has set up home, in hidden green spaces you may not realize exist.
Do-it-yourself nature trail
There’s a hotbed of nature to discover in every green space if you look more closely: wildflowers growing from crumbling walls, dragonflies hovering over the water in the pond …
All of which means it couldn’t be easier to make your own DIY nature trail. Here are some great ways to keep your kids entertained as you walk:
Give your child a list of what she needs to find on her scavenger hunt. For example, a pine cone, a feather and the biggest leaf she can find.
You child could then take what she’s found back to school for the nature table (or you could make your own at home) or show and tell.
Make a trail
This is fun for your kids – and for other little explorers.
Help your child collect twigs, stones and leaves. She can then mark out a trail for other children to find.
Mini beast hunt
Take a magnifying glass and go on the hunt for the smallest mini beasts you can find. Look for earwigs under piles of leaves, or ladybird on tree trunks.
The CBeebies website has a mini beast spotter app you can download to find out fascinating facts about each minibeast your kids discover.
Take some paper and crayons with you so your child can do bark rubbings as she explore the different types of trees.
Make a leaf crown
Collect leaves so you can identify the different species of trees when you get home. And you could make a leaf crown, too, by sticking some different types and colors of leaves around a strip of card.
From building a den through to making a stick man or twig raft, encourage your child to get creative on your nature trail.
It’s also a great opportunity to have a sit down – and a lovely picnic – while she works on her creation.
Beautiful wild flowers sprout in the most unlikely locations so keep an eye out for as many different varieties as you can find, from delicate yellow cowslips to brightly-colored bluebells.
Don’t uproot large handfuls (some wildflowers are protected and shouldn’t be picked) but see if you can find some sprigs or petals on the ground that you can press between two books and preserve at home.