Kids are of course naturally curious but sometimes they need something to arouse their exploring spirits.
I have mentioned before that Nature Bingo can be a brilliant tool for providing focus and momentum on a family hike. It is so easy to create a Nature Bingo sheet, it can be done anywhere if you have a pencil and paper. My 7 year old daughter now makes her own, with lovely illustrations.
I used to make Nature Bingo sheets on the computer, cutting and pasting images from Google images. However, I now find it quicker and more satisfying to simply draw my own. I am no artist, which perhaps explains why my daughter has taken to drawing her own!
Tailor your Nature Bingo to your child’s age and interests. Include some things that are easy to find and some that are harder.
A 3 year old will probably have a maximum of 6 items on their sheet. It may include general items like ‘a blue flower’, ‘a flying bird’ etc. While an older child may have more specific items such as ‘wild garlic’ , or ‘a yew tree’ (depending on their knowledge).
It is a fantastic way to develop awareness and knowledge of common native species. Here are some suggestions of what could be included on a younger child’s Nature Bingo sheet. It helps if you have some knowledge of where you are going. If not keep it general.
1. Fallen Tree
3. Yellow/Blue/White etc Flower
5. Bird on the floor/in a bush/flying
6. Mini beast
9. Rotting leaves
11. Funghi/ Mushrooms
And for an older child, depending on location and time of year of course;
1. Wild garlic
4. Robin/sparrow/crow/ blackbird etc
5. Oak Tree, Beech, Holly bush, sycamore etc
6. Beech masts, sycamore keys, acorns, etc
8. New buds
9. Green, yellow, brown, purple, etc leaves
10. Water plants
11. Thick oozy mud.
The list is pretty much endless but hopefully it may give you some ideas. The oportunities provided by Nature Bingo for close examination of what is in the woods, by the lake, under stones, in the river are invaluable. Plus of course being a great tool for getting the kids happy and engaged on walks!