Glamping Activities for Kids - Trail Finding

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Glamping Activities for Kids – Trail Finding

Posted by Luci Ackers on May 19, 2017

Calling all budding detectives! We’ve noticed scores of mysterious tracks in the countryside around our glamping sites and we need keen eyes and curious minds to help us identify who or what made them.

Think you and your family are up for the challenge? If so, read on for our tips on creating an exciting natural scavenger hunt for the whole family to play during your glamping holiday. After all, there are signs left by our furry and feathered friends all around us when you know where to look, and searching for them makes a great outdoor family game.

Taking the kids trail finding is also a great way to spark their interest in nature and to enjoy the beautiful rural surroundings just outside your tent.

Whatever the weather

Unlike many outdoor family games, trail finding isn’t necessarily dependent on good weather, in fact, it’s often easier to spot animal and bird prints in the soft ground after rain. One of the best places to look is near fresh water, such as a stream or pond, where animals come to drink.

For the best chance of finding trails you’re able to follow, try heading out either early in the morning or in the early evening, as these are the times that many animals are most active.

A positive ID

Once you find a set of prints, get the kids to examine it closely as many prints can look very similar. You could even equip your little nature detectives with magnifying glasses to help them! A tape measure can also be useful so that you can record the size of any tracks you find to identify later.

Get children thinking by asking them what they think the animal may have been doing when it left its footprints – are the tracks skewed or distorted in such a way that suggests it could have been running or jumping?

There are many beautifully illustrated animal track identification guides that you can print off and take with you on your nature trail, here are our favourites:

Woodland Trust Animal Track ID sheet – designed for little ones (click the purple box for the pdf).

Discover Wildlife Animal Tracks and Trails page – great for older children.

RSPB’s Guide to Animal Tracks – this one includes bird tracks too.

Don’t forget that on site we also have free Lantern Goes Wild packs available from the Honesty Shop. There are activities and equipment that will help inspire youngsters to search for nature and document what they’ve seen.

It’s not all about footprints…

Keeping your eyes glued to the ground looking for animal prints can be fun, but there are many other marks wildlife leave behind for us to find.

Scan bushes and plants for snags of fur that foxes or badgers may have shed as they passed, and see if you can see a bird’s nest in the trees if you find broken eggshells on the ground. Patches of stripped bark on the trunk of a tree can be a sign that a grey squirrel has been furnishing their drey.

You may even come across signs of skirmishes between animals, which can be a fascinating insight into the circle of life for older children. For instance, a pile of feathers can reveal where a carnivorous creature has enjoyed a meal - if the feathers are broken it could well be a fox, whereas plucked feathers makes it more likely that a bird of prey was the culprit, such as a sparrow hawk.

Whatever you discover on your natural scavenger hunt, remember to follow the Countryside Code and unlike the animals you’re tracking, try and leave no sign of your visit. If you would like some more ideas on how to help your children discover more about the natural world, why not take a look at our guides on den building, nature spotting and stargazing?

Take a look at our brilliant Ultimate Guide to Glamping for tips, ideas and what to bring with you when you come.

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Luci Ackers - author for Lantern & Larks
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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