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Living art

Ramble and reflect by using natural materials to create a poster of the animals and plants you see along the way.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Sticky tack
  • Backpack
  • Weather appropriate clothing

Before you begin

  • It’s up to you when you do this activity. It’s likely to take longer than a session, though, so might work best as part of a camp or day out.
  • Decide where you’ll go on your ramble – a woodland or nature reserve is perfect.
  • Make sure everyone knows that they should wear suitable clothes for your ramble (and the weather!). This includes shoes: walking boots or sturdy trainers are best.
  • Everyone should pack their own backpack. They should make sure it has a waterproof coat, either sun cream and a sunhat or a woolly hat and gloves (depending on the time of year), a full water bottle, some snacks, and any medication they may need (for example, an inhaler for asthma).

Get ready to ramble

  1. The person leading the activity should help everyone think about the different flora and fauna they may spot on their walk.
  1. The person leading the activity should give everyone a piece of paper and some sticky tack. 
  2. Everyone should make sure they’ve got everything they need in their backpacks, then it’s time to set off.

Meander and create

  1. Everyone should head out on their ramble. They should pause whenever someone spots a particularly interesting plant or animal.
  2. Every ten to twenty minutes, everyone should stop in a good resting place. It could be a picnic area, or just a dry and shaded space. 
  3. Everyone should explore nearby and gather some natural materials from the ground such as leaves, mud, sticks and twigs, petals, stones, or pebbles. They should only collect things that have fallen to the ground – no one should pick or pull anything from living flora. 
  4. Once they’ve gathered their materials, everyone should return to the resting place. They should use the materials to record things they’ve seen on their ramble – they could make an animal or plant, or copy a pattern they’ve seen. They could use sticks or leaves as brushes for mud paint, or they could use the sticky tack to attach leaves, petals, and stones.
  5. Once everyone’s happy with their creations, everyone should continue to ramble. After about 20 minutes or so, they should repeat steps two to five to continue adding to their posters. Ideally, everyone should stop and complete these steps around three times during the ramble. 
  6. At the end of the ramble, everyone should gather together and share their art. What did they see along the way? 
  7. People should choose whether to keep their creation. If they don’t want to, they should unstick the natural materials and dispose of them in a compost or natural waste bin.

Reflection

This activity was a chance to enjoy being outside and to get connected to the natural environment. Did anyone come across any plants or animals that they’d never seen before? If anyone did, can they describe them to the rest of the group? Anyone else who knows about the plant or animal should share some facts. Everyone made posters from natural materials – why was it important to gather them from the ground, rather than plucking or pulling from living things?

This activity was also a chance to be active. Why was it important that everyone wore clothes that were suitable for the ramble (and weather appropriate, too)? How else can people avoid injuries when they’re being active? People’s answers could include warming up or taking breaks to rest and rehydrate.

Safety

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.

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.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance from the adventure page.