Nature Detectives as Bathampton Playgroup

animalposterOnce a term the children really enjoy a nature detective session which is conducted outside in the Playgroup garden. The children may look for bugs, plant seeds, watch caterpillars develop into butterflies, make animal prints, and learn to be inspired by the natural world around them.

In Bathampton we are in an enviable position with access to the park opposite the Playgroup, the woods on Bathampton Downs and the Dry Arch (a local community supported small holding) a short walk away and of course the primary school with its own woods.

Each outdoors session, run by Zosia Brett, has a seasonal theme. Small groups of 5 or 6 children are given the opportunity to explore and observe this theme through games, crafts, stories and often hands on experiences of animals and the natural world. The craft activities are tactile and give the children a chance to use their senses to feel, smell and look closely at natural materials – from prickly sweet chestnuts to smooth acorns. Sometimes the children get a chance to touch and observe live creatures, from slow worms to butterfly cocoons.

The children love exploring the world around them, often taking crafts home to show their families.


These sessions are generally outdoors whatever the weather, and the children have fun sheltering in our willow den or under Zosia’s tarp when necessary!

Below are some example themes: natdetect2

  • Owls and Nocturnal Creatures.
  • Butterflies and Life Cycles.
  • Hedgehogs and Hibernation.
  • Birds and Nesting.
  • Animals that hatch from Eggs.
  • Deciduous and Evergreen Trees.
  • Squirrels and Winter Stores

Dates: 12 Oct, 7 Dec, 18 Jan, 14 March, 25 April, 20 June.