Top 50 things activities for trackers

If you can't wait to get outside, then here are some of the best '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities to find and meet creatures. Just remember to treat any you find just as you like to be treated.

 Girl holding a snail at Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate, Gloucestershire

No. 31 Make friends with a bug 

Looking for bugs is fun, because some are so fast that you may need to chase them a little. Does your critter have fur, wings or many legs? Remember to put any creepy-crawlies back where you found them afterwards because they can be delicate and appreciate the home they’re already in.

Girl and boy gingerly walking across rocks looking at floor

No. 34 discover wild animal clues

You can track footprints, feathers fur or even animal poo to try and find a wild animal. Mud is one of the best places to spot footprints or poo, but remember that all animal footprints are different depending on the animal, so you may need to learn what some common ones look like. Of course, you could try and track smaller crawlies like worms by looking out for piles of soil that they make too. Keep your eyes peeled whatever you're tracking.

Visitors pond-dipping in the burn at Cragside, Northumberland

No.35 discover what's in a pond

Pond water is full of life. If you scoop some out into a container with the same temperature water (that's important!) then you can find all sorts of weird creatures, plants and things. Don't forget to put everything back in the pond afterwards though. The pond creatures will also be happier if you can keep them out of the sun while you're investigating!

Pallets and pipes stacked up to create bug hotel

No. 36 Make a home for wildlife 

All sorts of animals need homes, so why not try making a bug hotel, a house for a hedgehog, or even a motel for a mouse? Think about the creature you're making a home for – does it need to be warm, light, dry, dark, cold, or wet? Check back each day or week to see if any new friends have moved in.

Family doing some rockpooling

No. 37 Explore the wonders of a rockpool 

Challenge your family to see who can spot the most unusual rockpool creatures. Try to get to the beach for low tide as it’s the best time to look for sea creatures such as sea anemone, hermit and shore crabs or even the hard to find porcelain crabs – but be careful, they’re fragile.

A pale tussock moth caterpillar

No.38 bring up a butterfly

From a caterpillar, to a chrysalis and then a butterfly, the life cycle of a butterfly is amazing. Be careful what type of caterpillar you choose to look after though, because some can take up to a year to turn into butterflies!

Man holding a crab in front of boy over pockpool

No. 39 Catch a crab 

To become a champion crabber you’ll need a net, some bait and a bucket of water. See if you can catch the most commonly found variety known as the shore crab, or try and spot the more elusive spider crab. Just remember to put anything you catch back where you found it afterwards. Crabs have busy lives too, you know.

See the village in a new light on our lantern walk

No.40 go on a nature walk at night

If you can stay awake when it's dark then it's the perfect time to spot (and listen to) creatures that only come out at night. Take a torch but only use it if you really need to as animals can see much better than you in the dark. Soon you'll be spotting and hearing hedgehogs and all sorts of things that like the night time better than the day.

Family rock-pooling looking for fish at Wembury in Devon

No. 8 Spot a fish 

Go on an adventure to the sea and find an underwater world that’s teeming with wildlife. You might find pollock hiding amongst the rocks and shallow waters, or gobies, fivebeard rocklings and blennies lurking in a rock pool. Remember to put any fish back quickly once you’ve had a look, and don't ever leave them in a bucket in the sun. Some fish like weever fish and spiny fish can be poisonous too so make sure to be extra careful.