10 Activities To Do With The Kids In Wetlands
All year round, wetlands are buzzing with life. Whether it’s watching ducklings follow their mothers in spring or the exciting spectacle of waterbirds in winter, there’s plenty to see and do for little (and not so little) ones. We asked team members at our partners the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust how they spend time outdoors with their families. Read on to find out how to whip up enthusiasm for a lovely family walk, whatever the weather and check our guide to our favourite UK Wetlands for more ideas about where to visit.
Go On An Adventure
Wetlands are the perfect place for adventures. Cross wibbly-wobbly bridges, dart across stepping stones and put your balancing skills to the test! Zig-zag along winding paths and play hide and seek amongst the trees. Or why not learn survival skills and hunt around for fallen branches, sticks and leaves to build a cosy den?
Who can do the best impression of a duck? Make wetlands come to life by playing pretend and inventing a mini-story about your wetland creatures. You’ll have the whole family waddling, quacking and rolling on the floor laughing. Once you’ve finished, you’ll just need to find the perfect spot for your kids to perform their best impressions. We promise; you’ll be in stitches.
Grab Your Wellies And Splash About
A rainy day? Not a problem.
Wetlands are perfect for kids who like to splash in puddles. Grab your raincoats, don your wellies and see who can make the biggest splash! Some of our centres run dedicated puddle-jumping events to turn wet weather into fun, so keep an eye on your local centre info page to see what's coming up.
Spot Some Spring Chicks
There’s something magical about seeing the first chicks in spring. From downy ducklings to gangly goslings, wetlands are packed with fluffy young chicks in the spring and summer, and even in very early spring you can see exciting signs of ducks courting and nesting.
Keep those eyes peeled: you might see a protective adult bird keeping a watchful eye over the nest. Perhaps you’ll see a new brood crossing the water in a line. Take a snap and tag the WWT on Instagram @wwtworldwide.
Brush Up On Your Birds
Don’t know your coots from your moorhens? Test your own bird watching knowledge while teaching your kids all about amazing wetland wildlife. You’ll be amazed by how much you learn by exploring wetlands each season. Our wetland birdwatchng guide contains all the info you need to get started.
Look For Creepy Crawlies
Don’t forget your magnifying glass! It’ll help you to get a closer look at those mini beasts under the lens.
Root around under rocks and stones, hunt under logs and see what insects you can find this Spring.
There are lots more creatures lurking under the water’s surface. From tadpoles and frogs to toads and waterboatmen, who knows what you might find? Watch out for snappy crocodiles!
Become A Wetland Explorer
Is yours a house of budding explorers who love their wildlife? Hand out some pens and pads so you can challenge the whole family to see who can spot the most wetland wildlife.
Did you know sand martins arrive in the UK in spring following their long migration from their wintering ground in South Africa? If you know what to look out for each season, you can have fun seeing who will be the first to spot the signs of spring, or the first winter swans.
An Excuse To Spend Time Outdoors
After a winter tucked away, it’s invigorating to get out and about in the great outdoors. Wetlands have amazing benefits for health and wellbeing. Whether you want to get the family running around again or you simply want to inspire the little ones by watching some wildlife, it’s a great way to have some family time outdoors.
Bring The Wild Home
We know that it's not always easy or even possible to get out the house. That's why you can find a whole range of activities to do at home on the WWT's Fun and Learning hub - from homeschooling lessons to nature-based activities for indoor and outdoor entertainment (away from the screen). They add new activities every so often so be sure to check back.
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