You will need
- A4 paper
- Glue sticks
- Natural materials (for example, leaves, twigs, feathers)
Before you begin
- To create the leafy hedgehogs, you’ll need to collect plenty of leaves (and leave them to dry if they’re damp). Each hedgehog will need between 15 – 20 leaves, depending on the size of the leaves. You could collect these before the meeting or you could ask everyone to collect leaves during a visit to their chosen natural area, in order to link this with requirement 2 of the Naturalist Activity Badge. Remember to only collect fallen leaves, don’t pick leaves off living plants.
- Leaves of any colour can be used but autumn leaves would work best for this activity. Just ensure they are dry and not too dirty before creating the hedgehog.
- Print enough hedgehog templates for everyone.
- To increase the flexibility of this activity those leading the game could cut out the templates in preparation of the meeting. This will give young people more time to decorate the hedgehogs and remove the use of scissors.
Craft your leafy hedgehog
- Before starting the activity gather the required equipment. There should be enough equipment for everyone or to share in small groups: brown colouring pen or pencils, scissors, glue and 15 – 20 leaves per young person. As well as a hedgehog template each. If you do not have access to a printer young people could be supported to draw a simple outline of a hedgehog on a piece of plain paper.
- The person leading the game should ask everyone to sit at the tables, and hand out the required equipment.
- They could introduce the craft activity by explaining how hedgehogs love to explore and sleep in big piles of leaves where it’s nice and warm on cold autumn days.
- To make a leafy hedgehog, cut out the hedgehog template with the scissors. Try and stay as close to the lines as you can.
- Write your name on the back of the hedgehog so you know which one is yours.
- Colour the hedgehog’s face and belly brown, using the colouring pen or pencil.
- Using the glue, cover the area of the hedgehog’s back where it says ‘glue here’. This is where the hedgehog’s prickly spikes would be.
- Gather some leaves and carefully place them on the hedgehog’s back where the glue is.
- Put the completed hedgehogs to one side and wait for the glue to dry.
- Whilst waiting for the glue to dry, give your hedgehog a name and think about what special talents or skills they might have. You could also discuss why Bonfire Night is such a dangerous time for hedgehogs and what we could do to help them; such as finding them somewhere else to hibernate and making sure they have access to enough food and water.
During a reflection moment or throughout the craft activity, ask everyone to take a closer look at the leaves. Using their new identifying skills learnt for requirement 1, can they identify what type of tree the leaves may have come from? Why do hedgehogs love big piles of leaves so much? (It’s warm and cosy.) What does this tell us about their habitat and where they like to live? (They like to be in warm, quiet places.)
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.
- Glue and solvents
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.