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C2-10 Nature Detectives

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To explore woodland areas - Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack C-2-10 in association with the Woodland Trust. Introduction: The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. They have over 1,000 woods across the UK which you are welcome to visit for free. As well as looking after woodland and its wildlife, the Trust plants trees and also encourages people to have a go at planting a tree too as part of its More Trees, More Good project. See www.woodlandtrust.org.uk for more information. The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives website hosts over 1,000 free activities for families, schools and groups, to help children discover nature, woods and trees. Start your own adventure at www.naturedetectives.org.uk. A selection of activities from the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detective website can be found below for your group to try out.
Thank you to the Woodland Trust for giving us permission to include the activities below.
To be creative with leaves
To find different minibeasts
To develop a sense of awe and wonder about nature
To develop a sense of adventure


Double sided tape
Minibeast spotter sheet
Make you own minibeast template
Sound Safari Template
Colour bingo cards
Wellie wander template


Activity 1 - Autumn Leaves - This Activity As Best Done In A Woodland

Aim: To get creative with leaves.

Create a large pile of fallen leaves and then use your feet to create the sounds of a storm.

Here’s a suggestion of what you could do:

• Stand with one foot buried beneath the leaves. Take a small handful of leaves and wait for the storm to arrive...
• A breeze blew gently through the tree tops ... one at a time start to gently rustle the leaves with your feet. As it began to get stronger .... begin to rustle more loudly. The leaves started to dance in the air and swirl around ... throw your handful of leaves in the air
• The storm had arrived! ... stomp and kick the leaves as loudly as you can! After a while the storm passed, the winds died down and all was calm once more ... settle back to quiet
rustling and then silence.

Now turn your attention to making a Leaf Crown or a Nature Collage:

Leaf Crown:
• Collect a variety of leaves.
• Select two leaves and remove the leaf stalks. Overlap the leaves and pin together using one of leaf stalks.
• Take another leaf, remove the leaf stalk, and pin. Keep going, adding one leaf at a time until there are enough joined together to go around your head. Use the final leaf stalk to join the first and last leaves together.
• Alternatively, prepare your crown at home - cut a strip of card, long enough to go around your head, Add a strip of double-sided tape and then staple or tape the card to the right size. Take your crown with you on your walk, decorating it by adding leaves to the double sided sticky tape as you go.

Nature Collage:
Collect some fallen leaves of different colours, and use them to create a picture on the floor. Lay them in a line to create a woodland snake, slithering between the trees, through holes and over logs (you may have to leaf stitch thesel). Look for leaves of different colours to create an autumn flower. Don’t forget to turn the leaves over — you’ll often find a different shade or colour! Take a picture!

Extension Tasks/ Adaptations:
Engage the children’s imagination by using one of these ideas:

• What could you create for a woodland animal using justfallen leaves and twigs? A sleeping bag for a millipede? A boat for a wood mouse? An umbrella for an owl?
• Where do you think a woodland elf might like to live? When you’ve found a suitable place create a home for them. Look for woodland objects to help you create the doorway, or to build the whole house with. You could even find objects for inside the home, or create a garden.
• Squirrels and jays arejusttwo of the woodland animals thatstore food readyfor the winter. They need to have a good memory to find them again! Could you survive as a squirrel? Collect 5-10 acorns from the woodland floor, from beneath an oak tree. Find a good place to store or bury them. Go off for a walk, then come back and see if you can find them! Why not really test yourself and store the acorns on one visit to the woodland, then look for them the next time you come!

Activity 2

Aim: To find different minibeasts in a woodland area.

Cut up the Make your own minibeasts template

• In a wooded area try and spot all the common creepy crawlies on the Minibeast Spotter template, including a wasp, dragonfly, honey bee, fly, moth, butterfly, aphids, snail, woodlouse, harvestman, grasshopper, centipede.
• Now give opportunity for the children to create their own minibeasts. using the Make your own minibeasts! template. Swap bodies, head and legs; create a minibeast family make up names...what do you do with them?

• Play Minibeast Trump Cards available to download from www.naturedetectives.org.uk
• Tell an adventure story on location, or encourage the group to create their own stories..

Activity 3 - Sound Safari

Aim: To develop a sense of awe and wonder about nature.

Head out to the woods, or local park and listen really carefully - what can you hear? It might not be as quiet out there as you think. Find a quiet place to sit and listen to the sounds of the animals, trees and birds. Even on a still summer day you will be able to hear the song of a summer wood. Each day it is new and different.

Can you hear:
• Chirping grasshoppers
• Breezes in the tree tops
• Buzzing bees, buzzing wasps
• Rustles in the grasses
• Croaking frogs

Ask the children what they think the trees, flowers, animals and summer breeze are saying to each other?

Now complete the Sound Safari using the template and tick off what you hear.

Extension Tasks! Adaptations:
Play some sounds from a wild soundtrack and see if you can identify the noises, or even create your own Wild Noises sounds.

Activity 4 - Colour Bingo

Aim: To develop a sense of awe and wonder about nature

How many colours can you spot in nature? Print the Colour Bingo cards, head outside and play colour bingo!

Extension Tasks! Adaptations:
Spring Scents You will need to bring an old container such as a yoghurt pot with you for this activity. Look for things on the woodland floor, pick them up, crush them or break them between your fingers and smell. Add any smells to your pot that you like to make a spring woodland scent Use a stick to mash them together. Which animals may be attracted to your woodland scent? A bumble bee? A badger? A blackbird? You could find a place in the woodland to leave your woodland scent for the animals to smell as they wander past

Activity 5 - Wellies Wander

Aim: To develop a sense of adventure

Wellies are like super-powers for feet! They let you splash in puddles, wade through gooey mud and paddle in cold streams without getting icy toes. Grab your wellies and go off on a welly
adventure. Use all your senses to complete the Welly Wander templates.

Extension Tasks/ Adaptations:
• Create a Scavenger Hunt, and get ideas appropriate to the season at. www.detectives.org.k.
• Get the group to find various items that are sticky. crumbly, tickly, pongy, prickly, silky.
• As you walk through the woods look for interesting natural objects. Now describe what it is to a friend, only you must lie! You cannot say what it really is, You’ll be surprised at the amazing things you’ll come across! e.g. “The last time I was walking in the wood, I found the sail (a feather) from an ant’s windsurfer that had fluttered down during the invertebrates’ tree top windsurfing competition.”

Additional Resources:
• Nature Detectives For lots more all year round ideas go to www.naturedetectives.org.uk, and download quizzes, crafts, factsheets, certificates, play ideas, hunt and identification ideas, art sheets, puz2les, story telling ideas and more! A really fantastic resource!
• Nature Detectives CLUB For around 29p per week, Companies can enjoy our fantastic activity packs; fresh, fun and educational activities emailed through to them every Friday; a giant wall chart on which to place challenge stickers and membership to possibly the most innovative nature club in the UK.

Programme Links:
• Treasure Hunts (M13)
• Leaves (C1)
• The Birds in Your Garden (C3)
Conservation 1 (C14)
• Conservation 2 Litter (C15)
• Animal Mask (CR 5)
• Egg Carton Caterpillar (CR10)
Animal Evening (PP1)

Trips/ Visits:
Find a Woodland Trust wood, local park, or national park to visit

For full instructions see Anchors Pro Pack C2-10


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