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Educational resources

These resources have been created by the Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff Partnership Project. The project has worked with over 30,000 families, schools, local organisations and individuals to help connect urban communities with local wildlife and empower them to act for nature.

From 2017-2022, this project has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and delivered in partnership with RSPB Cymru, Cardiff Council and Buglife Cymru.

The Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff Project developed a range of bilingual nature play activities for 3-16 year olds. They can be used by practitioners in formal or informal play settings.

Over 10,000 children enjoyed connecting to nature through them 2017-2022.

This guide explains how to use the simple activities to create nature play events.

When thinking about what activities to prepare in order to support connecting children and families with nature, it is useful to consider the 5 Pathways to Nature Connectedness, created by the University of Derby. These pathways have formed and developed through years of research by various professionals and is an alternative way to approach activity planning.

Each pathway lends itself to a certain style of learning and development and by ensuring you have activities that incorporate two or more of these pathways, you are making the activity accessible and more inclusive to a wider audience.

Download 5 Nature connection pathways (PDF)

Through research, consultation, and evaluation, the Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project created a ‘matrix’ of seasonal activities. Each activity has a main pathway. Many of the activities support multiple pathways such as ‘Flowering plants’, which is listed under contact but also links closely with beauty. Similarly, many of the activities can be done throughout the year, and not just during one season.

The idea is that you mix and match these activities together to create your very own nature event, or you can do them as a standalone activity.

Download Activity Matrix (PDF)
RSPB

You can also use RSPB Wild Challenge and RSPB Family Challenge resources in your activities.

Playing outside

Children playing with leaves

Before you play outside, here are 7 golden rules to keep everyone safe. Use them to form your risk assessment.

  • Practise activities in advance to spot how to reduce risks.
  • Do a weather check the day before.
  • Ask the children how they can keep themselves safe.
  • Keep alert during the activity for unexpected hazards.
  • It is better not to disturb living things, rather quietly look at them.
  • Do not touch anything you’re not 100% sure about or you know will sting you.
  • Ensure the children know the boundaries, and that you always know where they are.

Leader role:

  • Brief everyone on the day and ensure overall health and safety.
  • Introduce and guide games and activities.
  • Help the children and families find plants and animals.
  • Model how to treat plants, animals and their habitats with care and respect.
  • Help children and families find a safe and comfortable spot to watch and observe plants and animals.
  • Help the children and families use apps and identification charts to identify and record plants and animals.
  • Provide suggestions and pose questions that could help children and families connect with nature.

Assistant role:

  • Give out resources and replenish stock.
  • Help the children and families find plants and animals .
  • Help the children and families find and photograph or collect wildlife and use apps and identification charts to identify and record them.
  • Encourage children and families to treat wildlife and their habitats with careand respect.
Credit: Abigail Luxford-Noyes

The training was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Local Nature Partnership Cardiff.

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