Family Festival: I Spy Nature
Free, online activities to do from home
Discover the variety of life on your doorstep with our nature-themed family festival.
Budding scientists can get crafty by making a nature journal, then explore your neighbourhood to record the living things you find. You don't need to know any scientific names, just describe what you find.
Delve into all things biodiversity and find out how you can help the planet.
Investigate at home
Be a scientist at home and find specimens where you live with our Investigate at home activity. Use your scientific skills, make observations, ask questions and look for evidence.
Make your own nature journal
An important step to becoming a scientist is making sure you are ready to note down the things you find. Keeping a nature journal is a great way to record any nature you see, from plants in the park to a spider in your living room.
Discover daytime animals
Have a look at what animals you can find outside during the day. Head to a park, look in your garden or even watch closely from your window. Use your nature journal to record what you see.
Be careful not to disturb any living thing, be patient and watch quietly from a distance. Put things back as you find them.
Please remember to adhere to current UK Government advice on staying at home and away from others.
Top tips when exploring
- look carefully under leaves, logs and stones for minibeasts
- how many legs does it have?
- try drawing body shapes and patterns
- can you describe how it moves?
- what is it doing?
- count how many different animals you find
Discover night-time animals
There is a huge variety of animals that are active after sunset. The darkness can make spotting them a challenge, especially when it comes to insects, so be sure to listen carefully.
But by using a simple homemade light trap, you can get to know your local wildlife and find out what nocturnal insects call your area home.
Spot plants, including trees and flowers
Even though plants are sometimes overlooked, they are all around us and important for lots of wildlife. Search for different plants and think about what sets them apart from each other.
Coat hanger quadrat activity
Quadrats are used to count the number of different plants in a small space. Make your own with a three-sided coat hanger. Drop it on the ground outdoors and count how many types of plants you can see inside the frame. Is it the same everywhere you drop it?
Look before you touch and be careful of stinging nettles or anything that might have thorns!
Top tips when exploring
- count the points on leaves
- describe leaf shapes
- draw and colour different flowers
- choose your favourite plant. Why did you choose it?
- name or label plant parts if you know them
- look closely at the grass, is it all the same?
- can you measure it?
Nature Live Online
Join the team on Tuesdays at 12.00 BST and Fridays at 10.30 BST for interactive talks featuring topical discussions with our scientists and cutting-edge research.
Talks on Tuesdays are suitable for ages 12+ and Fridays are suitable for ages 6+