Wild Nature
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7 Nature Days Challenge - Day 6

Aim: 25 Minutes Outdoors

Activity: Nature Play After Dark/Map my Back Garden

 

Step 1: Tune In

Switch over to a mindset to enjoy your outdoor time today.

Step 2: Pick an activity

There are two activities to choose from. Some of you may be doing this Challenge in high summer, in which case younger kids never see dark before bedtime! You can bank Go On A Torch Walk away for another time and move onto the Map My Back Garden challenge. 

Nature play after Dark- Go On A Torch Walk  

Night Sky
  • If you live in an urban area, it can be difficult to find a really dark place to explore after dark but with small kids that can suit best. You could head a little off grid from your home and explore the local park after dark (so long as you feel safe to do so).  Most of the larger estate housing greens and parks will only be partly lit up at night and will work well too.  Otherwise, use your back garden to explore with a torch after dark.  

  • Scan around with your torches for signs of wildlife.  It could be large creatures like cats, rodents, stray dogs or smaller mini beasts active on the ground. Check out the Night Time Scavenger Hunt.

  • Play Flashlight Tag, where one child has a torch and chases everyone else, or Flashlight Statues is another great one. Kids just love having access to a torch and you can let them lead the way as they explore what is out after dark.  

  • On a cloudless, clear night you can check out the moon phase LINK and stars shining in the sky APP LINK.  

  • Even on a wet, windy, night, it can be exhilarating to just go out after dark. The kids will feel thrilled to be out when they’re usually safely tucked up inside. 

  • In fine weather, another great add on is to set up a little camp in a quiet corner, with torch light as your “camp fire”, and feast on hot chocolate and cookies after dark.  

Map My Back Garden

Nature STEM Challenge - Map the Backyard | Nature with Kids (nature activities.co) 

This is a great way to teach your kids about maps and they will look at their back garden or local green space in a whole new way. 

  • Start by going into your garden, or nearby green space, and jot down in their nature journal the features of the area, buildings, landmarks, notable plants etc.  

  • If it is dry, the kids can make their map outdoors in this space. 

  • Take note of positioning- like where your home is on the map, any garden furniture, shed, trees or position of shrubs. See if you can work out the four points of the compass for the map.  

Extension Activity:  This activity can progress to a family treasure hunt, where you challenge an older child, or adult if your kids are quite young, to bury a treasure outdoors and make a map for everyone to follow. Everyone can take turns hiding treasure and making their own treasure map.