Today is World Wildlife Day, a day celebrated every year on 3rd March to show appreciation for the world’s wild plants and animals.
Here at Lucy and Sam, we love all things wild and wonderful. So, to show our support for this important day, we’ve put together a list of 5 wildlife-inspired activities to help you and your little ones celebrate with us! Sound like fun? Keep reading to see what we have in store.
1. Make a bird feeder
Birdwatching can be super fun and exciting for young children, and is a great way to spark their interest in wildlife. Help bring more local birds to your outdoor space by making your own bird feeder.What you will need:
- Cardboard tube (such as an empty loo roll)
- Piece of string
- Child-safe knife or wooden lolly stick
- Bowl or tray
- Peanut butter (all-natural, no added salt/sugar)
- Bird seed
- Cover the outside of a cardboard tube in peanut butter using a child-safe knife or a wooden lolly stick.
- Roll it through a bowl or tray of bird seed.
- Thread some string through the tube and tie a knot to create a loop.
- Hang it up somewhere in your garden where birds will feel safe eating.
- Find a quiet place to sit and observe your new bird friends.
Not only is this activity fun, creative and cost-effective, it also provides an excellent opportunity to start teaching your little ones about the importance of birds within our ecosystem.
For example, did you know that certain bird species, such as honeyeaters and hummingbirds, pollinate plants? This means that, like bees, birds help contribute to the world’s food supply and prevent certain wildflowers from going extinct - pretty cool, right?
Top tip: Avoid putting your bird feeder low to the ground, as it could make birds an easy target for cats! Try securing it in a hard-to-reach place, like the top of a tree.
2. Go on a wildlife safari walk
With the weather getting milder and the sun finally coming out to play, what better time to get outdoors and go on a wildlife safari walk. For this activity, all you need to do is head to your favourite outdoor space, such as a local park or a nearby woodland. Whilst walking around, see how many different wild animals and insects you can spot. Look out for birds in trees, bees on flowers and fish in rivers and lakes.
Top tip: When it comes to wild creatures, it’s best to observe rather than touch. It’s important to teach our children to respect animals and their habitats, encouraging them to always be kind and gentle.
3. Hug a tree
Did you know hugging a tree boosts your oxytocin hormone levels, making you feel calmer and happier? Why not try it on your next family outdoor adventure? Fun, simple and completely free, this activity is guaranteed to get your little ones giggling and smiling.
Top tip: Use this activity as an opportunity to teach your children about the importance of trees and why we must protect them. For example, trees provide a home and shelter for many forms of wildlife across the globe and are also vital in producing the air we breathe.
4. Alphabet nature hunt
Exploring and discovering the outside world can be great fun for our little adventurers. Not only will this activity get your kids outdoors, it’ll also help them practise their ABCs.
What you will need:
- Piece of cardboard
- Felt tip pens
- Stickers (optional)
- Find a blank piece of cardboard, such as the inside of a cereal box.
- Use a ruler and pen to draw out 26 boxes.
- Within each box, write out each letter of the alphabet - be as creative as you like with this by using colourful pens and stickers. (If you’d prefer to print out your alphabet board, find a pre-made template here)
- Go to your back garden or local park to hunt for small pieces of nature that start with each letter of the alphabet. Grass for G, a twig for T, and so on.
- Arrange what you’ve managed to find on your alphabet board and marvel at your creation.
For the safety of our wild animal friends, we suggest you stick to finding inanimate natural objects for this activity, such as shells, feathers and fallen leaves. If you do find any creepy crawlies on your hunt, simply say ‘hello’ and then leave them to do their thing.
We really hope you enjoy trying out this activity, and if you manage to find anything beginning with ‘z’, do let us know!
Top tip: Once you’ve finished this activity, sit down with your child and discuss all the items they’ve found. Encourage them to engage their senses by asking them to describe what colour the item is, what it feels like and even how it smells!
5. Animal charades
Bring out your child’s inner performer with a fun game of animal charades. This activity works best in small groups, but can also be played in twos.
What you will need:
- Piece of paper
- Oodles of imagination!
- Using your scissors, cut up several pieces of paper and write down the names of your child’s favourite animals. Elephant, frog, giraffe, snake - go wild! (If your child cannot yet read, try using animal pictures instead - find a printable template here)
- Fold your bits of paper up and place them in a bowl.
- Find a spacious performance area (indoors or outdoors) and ask your child to select a piece of paper from the bowl.
- Without saying the animal out loud, they must pretend to be the animal they’ve picked using their entire bodies.
- The audience watching must then guess what they think the animal is. Whoever guesses correctly gets to go next!
This activity is an excellent way to get your child’s creative juices flowing and help them build confidence!
Top tip: Encourage your child to think about the animal’s characteristics and the way it moves. For example, does it have a tail? Does it have a beak? Does it hop? Does it slither?