You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
- A4 paper
- Camera or phone
Before you begin
- People often choose to do this sort of activity at home. It’s still useful to chat together, though, to make sure everyone understands and is ready to start recording.
- It’s up to people how they record what they find. An animal diary is great as it’ll help them remember what they did, and it’s really useful to show other people what they found too.
- Everyone should think of ways people might create a diary or journal. They could think about taking photos, writing things down, drawing, making a collage, or even recording or videoing themselves talking (and the sounds around them too).
- The person leading the activity should help everyone to think of some places they visit often that are outside, natural, and with wildlife. People might think about gardens, parks, river areas, nature reserves, countryside footpaths, and even their school field.
- Everyone should choose a natural area to visit. They’ll need to be able to go back there for three months, so it’s a good idea to choose somewhere nearby, and there needs to be wildlife there too.
- The person leading the activity should make sure everyone understands that their parent or carer should agree before they visit anywhere. The person leading the activity should make sure the parents and carers understand the activity and what everyone needs to do.
- Everyone should think about how they’d like to keep a record of their visits. The person leading the activity may help everyone to spend time making a diary, a scrapbook template, or even a customised notebook (but they don’t have to – it’s up to them).
Discover at home
People probably noticed some changes to the wildlife over three months – they might want to share discoveries about which animals they saw, how big they were, or what they were doing. What other changes did people notice? There might have been changes to buildings, the number of other visitors, or the amount of litter. How did these other changes affect the area? Everyone should take a moment to think about the changes and the difference they made – was it positive or negative? Everyone should share how they feel about these changes; perhaps they could think of a way that they could help.
- Animals and insects
Be aware of the risks before interacting with animals. Be aware of anyone with allergies, and make alternative arrangements for them.
- 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.
- Phones and cameras
Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.
- Near water
Manage groups carefully when near water. The guidance on activities near water will help you to keep your group safe.