I love the RSPB for bringing wildlife in to the view of little ones and one way they’ve been doing this lately is by running events throughout the year encouraging everyone to get out in nature. They do bird counts at the beginning of the year and in the summer holidays they have the Big Wild Sleep Out!
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So what is the Big Wild Sleep Out and what do you need to do?
The idea is to spend the night sleeping alongside nature. So that means that you can camp in the garden or join in with an event at the many RSPB reserves.
Once you’re set up with your place to sleep around nature it’s a case of looking out and enjoying spotting the animals around you.
- Watch out for bats flying around at dusk
- Listen for hedgehogs coming in the garden
- can you hear any owls? Which direction are they in?
- Watch out for shooting stars
- Try and spot the Big Dipper constellation
- Get a torch and look to see what minibeasts come out at night
- listen to the dawn chorus
Night time nature watching
Because we often stick to the day time to do our exploring in the garden we’re actually missing out on a whole different world. Night time nature is different and just the act of getting outside and exploring with a torch can feel so exciting to kids.
If you’ve never camped in your garden before then that will be a great experience too. You’ll hear all sorts from the last birds singing at dusk as they get ready for bed, to the rustle of some small animals as they run around. And there’s nothing quite like being woken early and getting to hear the dawn chorus from the local birds. It’s quite something! I recommend that you try and encourage your kids to go back to sleep if they can afterwards though – it’s early!
Find out more from the RSPB
To join in and get more ideas then you can sign up for FREE with the RSPB here. You can download and print off a Night-time Passport too which has lots of activities to do on your night out in nature. It focuses on the five senses and it’s a great way to add some focus to the evening if you need it. You don’t need to be a member to join in.
Disclaimer – I am not being asked to write this by RSPB. I just love what they do!