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Source: Auckland Council

We are all, by nature, curious. Kids are more so, and it can be challenging to keep up with that curiosity when we are juggling work, schooling and home life during a lockdown. Here are some great ways to explore and investigate nature in the backyard brought to you by the Auckland Council group.

Build to investigate

Auckland Zoo has a fantastic series of fun resources and activities for kids, all of which can be done at home. Make a tracking tunnel to see what pests might be lurking in the neighbourhood, make a nectar feeder to encourage more birdlife, or how about making a wētā hotel so any wētā around can have a safe place to call home.

Auckland Council’s Ranger Glenn has a series of nature activity videos on Facebook. He shows step-by-step how to be a pest detective with peanut butter, how to make a bug hotel or a lizard lounge and how to make a basic manu (bird) feeder with just an orange, a stick and some fabric.

Look at your backyard with new eyes

One of the ways that can help you explore nature is to look at your backyard with a fresh set of eyes. Auckland Botanic Gardens has a kids corner area to help at home. Use it to see what things can be discovered in the area around your home.

Tahi, rua, toru, whā

Investigating nature can be as easy as tahi, rua, tora, whā (one, two, three, four), especially when there are birds around. It is really fun to discover what birdlife is around your neighbourhood and doing a quick bird survey is a great way to do this. Auckland Zoo has a step-by-step guide on how to get started. Or, Ranger Glenn’s friend Ranger Anna has a short video on the Auckland Parks Facebook page to show you how to do a bird survey.

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