Skip to main content

Explore and draw

Use your drawing skills to keep a record of what you see when you’re out on a walk.

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Clipboards
  • Compass
  • Paper with six large boxes drawn on

Before you begin

  • Plan a trip outside as part of this activity. You could turn it into a walk, doing drawings as you go, or you could choose one area to explore. You don’t need to go far – you’ll be able to find things to draw in a local park or even in the space around your meeting place.
  • Choose an appropriate area or route, away from any roads. Remember when conducting a risk assessment that there’ll be extra safety considerations if you’re going anywhere near water, and that the group will be distracted from their surroundings by the activity.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adults to support the activity.
  • If you’re meeting at a different place to usual, make sure parents and carers know exactly where you’ll be, when to drop people off, and when to collect them again.
  • Make sure everyone knows to come dressed for the weather. Don’t forget to check the forecast and be prepared for it to change.
  • If it’s difficult to get outside, you could do this activity indoors and bring in items for the group to draw.
  • Put a piece of paper on each of the clipboards ready to go and have a bag of pencils to take with you.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read Sammy's sensory surprise by Kathryn Thurston. 
  3. After reading the story, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.

Time to explore

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that the group will be going to walk around the local area to discover different animals, plants and local landmarks. Everyone will stop at six different places and draw something they can see.
  2. In small groups, everyone should look at a compass. Everyone should talk about the directions and how they can help you find your way.
  1. When everyone is ready, head out on your walk. While walking, give everyone the opportunity to use or look at the compass to help understand which direction you need to go in.
  2. At different locations on the walk, everyone should stop and spend a few minutes drawing something. You can plan these stops in advance or choose them while you are out.
  3. Everyone should make sure they have filled in each box on the piece of paper.
  4. Once the group is back from the walk, everyone should talk about their drawings and what they remember seeing. Think about what the colours were like, what something might have smelled like, where on the walk they saw it, and if they remember what else was around the object they drew.


Story time

  • Is there somewhere you feel safe?
  • Where would you like to go on an adventure?

Time to explore

  • What do you remember about your walk around your local area? Were there any sights or smells that you liked or didn’t like?
  • You had the chance to learn about compasses. Do you remember what directions you learnt? How did they help you find your way?
  • You spent some time drawing what you saw. How easy was it to draw some of the items? Would you draw something different next time?
  • How did it feel talking to everyone about your drawings? Did you help someone else? How did that make you feel?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

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.