All you need is a stick and your imagination! Sticks are so much fun next time you’re in the woods, gather some up and get creative. Work your way through our list and tick off as many as you can Can you think up any of your own twiggy activities? Some are super simple, but you might need friends and family to help you with the others! Use sticks of different shapes and sizes for different activities.
Colour in this acorn with your little one – will it be green, brown or brightly coloured? Help your mini Nature Detective bring out their inner artist. Go hunting for acorns and get inspired Try making an collage using leaves, twigs and acorn caps Can you fingerpaint your acorn? Maybe you could help your little one make a giant oak tree and hang your acorn from it?
Is your memory as good as a squirrel s? Head to the woods and hunt for hidden acorns! Pretend you’re a squirrel and collect some acorns. Hide them under a log, in the trunk of a tree, buried under some leaves Explore a different part of the wood, then come back and see if you remember where you hid them!
Identify frogs, toads and newts. Learn about life cycles with our handy guide! Use it to spot the different stages of amphibian life: Look in ponds and slow-moving streams Spot eggs in clumps, strings and carefully wrapped around water plants Tadpoles come in different shapes, sizes and colours can you identify them? Eggs, tadpoles and young amphibians appear at different times, so keep your eyes peeled throughout spring and summer!
Learn how to identify the UK’s oldest trees. Look for trees that are: Short and fat, with wide trunks Hollow Covered in knobbly, warty bits Missing their crown (top) Rough and craggy, with lots of nooks and crannies in the bark Home to heaps of fungi, mosses and lichens Trees grow old in different ways, so they don’t all look like this. But if you find a tree with lots of these features there’s a good chance it’s ancient. Did you know? Ancient trees are among the oldest living things on the planet! They can be thousands of years old and are very important for wildlife.
Can you find all these animal homes? Mammals, birds and minibeasts live in all sorts of different places. Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re in the woods. What will you find? Some creatures live underground and some live in trees, so look all around you Can you find evidence like poo and fur? An animal might be living nearby Look out for holes in tree trunks, logs or in the ground – they could be doorways to animal homes! Top tip: tread carefully and quietly on your investigation, so you don’t scare any wildlife.
Get ready to track down some poo and identify the animal it came from! If you’ve ever wondered ‘what does hedgehog poo look like?’ or ‘is that fox scat?’ then this is the ID sheet for you! Learn how to track deer, badgers, rabbits, hares, otters, foxes and hedgehogs by their dro_ppings. Some poo will be hard, some will be sloppy and smelly yuk! Look for poo in the woods and in your garden Can you tell what the animal has been eating? Remember never touch the poo you find as it contains nasty germs. If you want to take a closer look, break it apart with a stick.
Get tracking and ID these animal prints. Be a real Nature Detective and head out on an animal tracking adventure. What will you identify? Look in soft ground around water or after rain Keep your eyes peeled during early mornings and evenings Tracks come in lots of different shapes and sizes, so look closely to spot the differences Can you find all the creatures on our sheet? Can you find any others?
Get detecting and see how many autumn signs you can find. Make sure you’re paying attention while you’re out and about, Nature Detectives. Look in the trees and on the ground Use all your senses what can you hear, see, touch, smell? Some signs might be super small, so keep your eyes peeled How many signs of autumn have you spotted?
Autumn colouring chart
How many of these autumnal colours can you find? Keep your eyes peeled for all these amazing colours next time you’re out and about. You might find some colours in surprising places Look on the ground and in the tree tops what can you see? Some colours might appear more than once Did you manage to find any other colours? Which was your favourite?
Unleash your creativity with paints, pastels or colouring pencils. Get inspired by the colours of the season – vibrant reds, dazzling yellows and gorgeous oranges. Colour in the leaves, berries and seeds on this autumn-themed mandala. Then have a go at making one outside with real natural items!
Rainy autumn days are the best for spotting fungi. Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re playing in the woods. Fungi come in all sorts of shapes and sizes some are really tiny and some can be as big as your head! Some fungi are parasitic, which means they live off other organisms Search for mushrooms under leaf litter and on dead wood Remember never touch any fungi. They can be very poisonous.
Create an awesome autumn scene. Head outside and get inspired by this beautiful season, then come home and get colouring! Think about autumn’s colours use reds, oranges and yellows Use your favourite crayons, pens and pencils Add scraps of fabric or card to add interesting bits of texture Can you spot all the creatures living in the autumn woodland?
Go hunting in the woods for autumn leaves. When you go down to the woods today, keep your eyes peeled for these autumn leaves. Look for leaves in trees and on the woodland floor How many red leaves and how many yellow leaves can you spot? Collect your favourite leaves and use them to make a picture when you get home How many trees and leaves did you ID, Nature Detectives?
Use leaves to create snakes and flowers on the woodland floor. Choose different coloured autumn leaves to make your creations. Who can make the biggest snake or brightest flower? Leaf crafts are great fun but can you tell which trees the leaves are from? Try making a whole garden of leafy flowers Leave your artistic creations behind for others to find!
Find a big pile of leaves and kick up a storm! Tell a stormy story and act it out using crunchy autumn leaves. Help your mini explorer create a super leaf storm Rustle the leaves to make the sounds of the storm Let your little one join in by helping them kick and throw the leaves Can you make stormy sounds from other woodland items?
Create a colourful autumn collage. Use your favourite colours to make a vibrant autumnal picture. Choose rich purples, reds, golds and browns for berries and leaves Try creating a collage from natural items like leaves Are there any creatures hiding among the leaves in your picture? Head outside and get inspired by the forest floor take a photo of the colours and shapes and use these in your picture.
How many different autumn leaves can you find? Take our handy ID sheet with you when you’re exploring the woods this autumn. Look for leaves on the trees and on the ground How many different colours can you find? Find out why leaves change colour with our fantastic factsheet
How many autumnal signs can you spot on your scavenger hunt? Keep your eyes peeled while you’re out and about! Can you find all the items on the scavenger hunt? Remember to look in the trees and on the ground Keep your eyes peeled for other signs what will you spot? Try collecting fallen leaves and conkers and make a wonderful woodland collage.
Make your own rattle using seeds and beads. All you need is a plastic bottle, acorns, conkers and beech nuts, and rhythm! This is a fantastic sensory activity for tiny Nature Detectives Shake the bottle or roll it along the floor It goes without saying, but make sure your little ones don’t put any seeds or beads in their mouths
Can you find all these autumn treasures? Be a real Nature Detective. Next time you’re in the woods, see how many treasures you can find. Keep your eyes peeled autumn treasures hide where you least expect them! Look out for nuts, seeds and leaves Challenge your friends to see who can hunt down the most signs of autumn Don’t forget to tick each item off when you find it!
Free your feet and explore with your toes on a barefoot walk. Set up your walk in your back garden or living room, and challenge your friends to see who can identify the most textures. Follow our simple steps and free your trapped toes! Discover different textures are they warm or cool, smooth or rough? Create a game with family and friends who will guess correctly? Have fun choosing different items to use on your walk, but make sure you don’t choose sharp or prickly items as they can hurt your feet.
Create a bark rubbing and be a bark artist. Take a few sheets of paper and your crayons to the woods or your local park, and get creative. Choose an interesting tree big, old, knobbly ones are perfect You might need a grown-up or friend to help you keep the paper still while you make your rubbing Find other trees and layer up different colours and patterns. Frame your picture with twigs