Are you looking for some fun and different activities to do at home? Here are some simple and engaging activities you can try in your backyard, close to home or out on your farm.
These activities range from super simple to a little more complex. You should always have an adult on-hand for help and advice. If you have any questions about any of these activities, give our education team a call on 0800 76 88 45 or email email@example.com.
There's lots of different tools available to help you assess just how healthy your local stream is.
Together with the industry groups that support catchment groups in Southland (NZ Landcare Trust, MPI, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ), we've developed this simple 'how-to' guide. You may also want to download and print the identification charts. Check out the neat video of Sarah Thorne and her family giving it a go on the stream near their home at Tussock Creek.
Download our handy and simple how-to guide:
> How-to guide to a simple stream study - it's super easy!
> Critter Identification Chart (simple)
> Freshwater Invertebrate Identification Guide (detailed)
> SHMAK - Freshwater Invertebrate Identification Guide (complex)
You can also check out our own environmental scientist Roger Hodson talking about a Rapid Habitat Assessment, and why they are so handy to help you decide just how healthy your stream is.
If you don't have a stream at home and nearby, there are still heaps of other fun environmental activities you can get your hands dirty with.
Why not try a leaf litter search?
This is an outside hunt activity to collect samples of organic material from a bush area showing the various stages of decomposition. It demonstrates that there is no waste in nature – Papatūānuku and Tānemahuta have very effective recycling stations!
Click here to download the factsheet from the Enviroschools kit.
Biodiversity is not something that only exists in pockets around Aotearoa. Your own backyard can be home to a surprising variety of plants and animals. A little bit of searching will reveal the beauty of plants, animals and landscapes. Take a closer look and see what you can find!
There's some really neat website to check how to help with hunting in your own backyard. You can even share your finds into the national database!
Check out LEARNZ for some handy videos and resources - http://www.learnz.org.nz/at-home-activities/backyard-bioblitz
Go to iNaturalist to share your finds and to check out what everyone else has been finding in their backyards - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/backyard-bioblitz-nz
There's also some great 'how-to' information on the National Geographic page - https://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/backyard-bioblitz/
Stuck inside activities
Sometimes the weather doesn't play it's part in letting us get outside to explore our environment. But there's heaps of neat activities and experiments across the internet that you could try on a rainy day.