Garden Safari Activity
Introduction and Preparation:
Objective: Explain that the garden is teeming with life, from insects to birds to tiny plants, and today’s adventure is to discover and learn about this vibrant ecosystem.
- Magnifying glasses
- Garden safari checklist (you can create this or find printable ones online)
- Coloured pencils or crayons
- Small containers or jars for gentle observation
- A notebook for sketches
- Camera (optional for photo captures)
Start with a Stretching Exercise:
Mimic animals and insects you hope to spot, like fluttering butterflies, crawling ants, or chirping birds.
Divide the Garden into Zones:
Examples of Zones: Flowerbeds,vegetable patches, underneath stones/logs, pond or water
feature,trees, and shrubs.
Exploration and Observation:
Insects and Bugs: Look for ants,ladybugs, caterpillars, spiders, beetles, and butterflies.
Birds and Other Creatures: Listen for birds, observe their activities, and try to spot other
creatures like squirrels or frogs. See if you can find tracks or signs of other animals too like foxes or chewed leaves that might be from rabbits or hares. Another good thing to look for are burrows in the garden beds or in the grass. See if you can identify what made them.
Plants: Note the variety of plants, flowers, and trees. Look for different leaf shapes, colours, and any evidence of plant-eating insects.
Gentle Capture and Release:
If you spot an interesting bug, gently place it in a jar for a closer look. Remember to release it after observing and discuss the importance of treating all living creatures with respect.
Sketching and Noting:
At each zone, take a moment to sketch or write about the most interesting finds. Younger kids can simply make a mark or colour in their checklist.
Discuss the Role of Each Discovery
Pollinators: Talk about the role of bees and butterflies in pollination.
Decomposers: Introduce kids to the idea that creatures like worms help break down organic
Predators and Prey: Discuss the food chain in the garden, like how spiders eat other insects.
Physical Challenge – Mini Obstacle Course:
Set up little challenges around the garden, like “ant crawling” under a low rope, “frog jumping” over cushions, or “bird flying” between two points.
Conclusion and Reflection:
Gather and Share: Sit in a circle and allow each child to share their favourite discovery of the day.
Sticker or Badge Reward: If you have stickers or badges, give them one as a “Garden Safari Explorer” token.
Extend the Learning (optional):
Craft Activity: Use leaves or flowers to make imprints in clay or make nature-themed paintings.
Read Books: Read stories or facts about the creatures found in the garden.
Plant a New Plant: Discuss the importance of plants in providing habitats and food for animals and insects. Let the kids plant a flower or shrub