< Beyond the Garden Gate
< In the Woods

Sweetie Treasure Chase
Hare and Hounds
Autumn Hide and Seek
Conker Bowling
Duck Races
One-Metre Safari
Whittle a Toasting Fork
Whittle a Walking Stick

One-Metre Safari

This started off as light entertainment: how many things could the kids see in a metre of earth? But then we got our magnifying glasses out and it got interesting. Looking closely, intensely, at a small plot of land is like discovering a new planet. Mindblowing!

The best one-metre safaris happen on walks in the woods, but you can do this pretty well in a park or garden too. It's simple: get down get on your hands and knees and look closely at a one-metre square piece of ground. If you've got one, take a magnifying glass with you.

Ask the children to pretend they're only 2cm high: the grass would be a jungle and a worm as big and scary as an anaconda. Where would they live - is there anywhere that looks safe? And what would they eat? How scary would that big butterfly be?

The children might like to write down their finds – pollen grains, petals, half-chewed leaves, greenfly eggs, worm casts – or examine insects at closer quarters in a glass jar. It's fascinating to see the world that's going on beneath our feet.