50 things activities at Ormesby Hall

Family searching for bugs in the logs

While we can’t explore the world outside in the way that we used to, our gardens can be amazing places to discover wildlife and experience nature. There’s so much for you to do on your own doorstep: look for shooting stars, make a wild crown, get to know colourful birds or watch furry caterpillars. You can even help the animals who come to visit by building them a new home. Here are some of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities you can complete in Ormesby Hall's garden, but for now which ones can you do at home?

Number 1: Get to know a tree

Some trees have spaces big enough to get inside. Others can be climbed. Many have vibrant summer flowers or colourful autumn leaves to catch. Get to know a tree and see what creature it is home to.

Get to know a tree
Three children in a tree
Get to know a tree

Number 4: Build a den

Build yourself a shelter in the nearby woodlands and discover the unexplored parts of the garden. Search the ground for fallen items you can use to build your den, using sticks and covering it with some leaves.

Build a den
Mother and daughter building a den in the woods
Build a den

Number 6: Welly wandering

When it's pouring with rain, what could be better than chucking on your wellies and waterproof and zooming around in the puddles, soaking up all the watery fun?

Enjoying what winter has to offer
A toddler jumping in muddy puddles
Enjoying what winter has to offer

Number 12: Have fun with sticks

There are so many fun things to do with sticks, will you use them to build your den, create a wildlife home, make a trail of arrows for your friends and family to follow or transform your stick into a wand.

There are so many fun ways to play with sticks
A blonde-haired girl plays with mossy sticks at Blenheim Palace
There are so many fun ways to play with sticks

Number 13: Make a mud creation

Mud can be found anywhere and in the natural play area there is a mud kitchen. Will you create a mud masterpiece or gooey mud pie?

Get messy making mud pies at the mud kitchen
Making mud pies in the natural play area
Get messy making mud pies at the mud kitchen

Number 18: Create some wild art

When it comes to creating wild art, the only limit is your imagination. What will you use, and how? There's so much to choose from in the natural world, but make sure you're not making your art from another creature's home.

#18 Create some wild art
#18 Create some wild art
#18 Create some wild art

Number 24: Go barefoot

Kick off your shoes and socks and feel nature beneath your feet. You will find a barefoot walk in the natural play area, where you will feel different materials beneath your feet. If you wiggle your toes, what does the grass feel like?

Go barefoot
Children sitting in a field with bare feet
Go barefoot

Number 31: Make friends with a bug

The garden is home to all kinds of bugs, from spiders, woodlice, centipedes and worms to name a few. Have a peek inside the bug homes around the garden and look under logs and leaves to see which bugs you can spot this spring.

Make friends with a bug is No. 31 of our ‘50 things’ activities
Hunting for bugs on Wildlife Explorer Day at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire
Make friends with a bug is No. 31 of our ‘50 things’ activities

Number 36: Make a home for wildlife

Visit Bugsby Hall in the garden to find the bug homes. What bugs can you see living inside? You can help us build more homes by adding to the bug hotel to encourage more bugs to check in. What other wildlife homes can you spot - bird, mouse? All animals need homes and most choose to build very different ones. If you're going to build one for an animal you'll have think about what they need and want from a home and why.

Make a home for wildlife
Pallets and pipes stacked up to create bug hotel
Make a home for wildlife

Number 44: Watch a bird

Springtime is a great time to see the nesting birds and spot the newborns leaving the nest for the first time. Watch the birds fly, sing, chat to each other and eat their food from a quiet spot in the garden. Keep a diary to record which birds, and how many, you spot.

Watch a bird
Girl in field looking through binoculars
Watch a bird