You will need
- Safe items from nature, such as leaves, feathers, fallen petals, pebbles and sticks
- Nature identification sheets or app
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Scouts is an inclusive, values-based movement and we’re open to all those who share our fundamental values. Find out more about inclusion and diversity in Scouts, and learn about what Scouts are doing to support Pride. You could give everyone a Pride badge for taking part in this activity.
- Pop ‘n’ Olly have lots of resources you could use to explore LGBT+ learning.
- If it’s difficult to get outside, you could collect natural objects for everyone to use. You could also ask everyone to bring some with them too.
- Make sure that all the plants found that may be touched and any items being picked up are safe for children. You could ask everyone to wear gloves. Each adult could carry a plant, leaf and flower identifying sheet, or have an app to use. You could use The Woodland Trust’s nature detectives’ tree spotter sheets and plant spotter sheets, or try the Seek app from iNaturalist.
- Make sure everyone knows to come dressed for the weather. Don’t forget to check the forecast and be prepared for it to change.
At some point during this activity, read a story that shows how there’re lots of different types of families. We've shared some ideas below.
You could read the story once you’re back from your walk, or you could take some blankets and enjoy having story time in the outdoors.
You could take some time to reflect on the story as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you in the Reflection section on this page. You could also ask everyone what they liked about the story.
- Meet at or go to a local park or green space.
- Everyone should get into small groups, with at least one adult in each group.
- Explain to the group that you’re going to be exploring outside to enjoy the beauty of nature.
- In the small groups, wander around and look at the different trees, plants and flowers. The adult in each group should ask if anyone can name any of the plants, or identify their colour or smell.
- Once everyone has finished exploring, the person leading the group should ask everyone to pick up as many different coloured natural items, such as fallen leaves, petals, feathers, pebbles or sticks, as they can. Then head back to your meeting place and get everyone to wash their hands once you arrive back and regularly after touching the natural items.
Make your rainbow
- Now you’ve arrived back at your meeting place, it’s time to talk about what you’ve found. Ask everyone to put all the leaves and items they’ve collected in the middle.
- As a group, chat about what you’ve found, using the following questions as prompts:
- How would you feel if there was only one type of tree in the world, or only one type of flower?
- What do you think is the same about all these items? You could try to categorise the items by size, colour, shape or type.
- What differences can you spot?
- What’s the same about everyone in our group? And what makes us all different?
- What’s the same about our families? And what makes our families different?
- What’s something that makes you unique/special? What makes your family special?
- What would it be like if all of us were the same? How can our differences make the world a more interesting place?
- Explain to the group that this activity is all about celebrating differences, both in nature, in individuals and in our families. Just like the natural items and different leaves we’ve found, families come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re all different. But they all are the same too, as our families should all be people who make us who help us feel happy, healthy and safe.
- Ask the group if they can remember anything about the families you read about in the story time. You could take some time to reflect on the story as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you in the Reflection section on this page.
- You could explain that some families use rainbows to celebrate that they have two mums, or two dads, or that someone in their family is LGBT+. June is Pride month, and it’s a chance to show that we are proud of LGBT+ people and to celebrate different rainbow families. There’re also Pride parades and events throughout the year.
- See if you can use the natural items you collected into a rainbow.
This activity is all about celebrating diversity, both in nature and in our families. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re all different. We all have different people around us who help us feel happy, healthy and safe.
Mommy Mama and Me
- Who do you think is in on the front cover?
- What do you think this story is going to be about?
- Where did the family go?
- How can you tell that they’re all having a good time at the park?
- What fun things do you do with your family?
- In this family there is a Mommy, a Mama and a child. Who’s in your family? How is your family the same or different to this family?
And Tango Makes Three
- How are Roy and Silo the same as the other penguins?
- How are Roy and Silo different than the other penguins?
- Who’s in your family?
- How’s your family the same or different to this family?
- How do Roy and Silo take care of Tango?
- What things do Roy, Silo and Tango enjoy doing together as a family?
Goldilocks and the five bear families
- Who did Goldilocks invite to her party?
- Who’s part of all these different families?
- Is Goldilocks happy to celebrate her birthday with all these families?
- How does Goldilocks feel about celebrating her birthday with all these families?
- What do you do with your family when you want to celebrate a special event?
- Visits away from your meeting place
Do a risk assessment and include hazards such as roads, woodland, bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas), plants, and animals.
You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement; when you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies.
Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, for example, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs.
Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts.
- Road safety
Manage groups carefully when near or on roads. Consider adult supervision and additional equipment (such as lights and high visibility clothing) in your risk assessment.
- Outdoor activities
You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.
- Gardening and nature
Everyone must wash their hands after the activity has finished. Wear gloves if needed. Explain how to safely use equipment and set clear boundaries so everyone knows what’s allowed.