With this activity, children can use storytelling to get creative in the backyard.

Using a digital camera, phone or tablet, you can create a unique story about nature. Have some fun exploring the nature in your backyard or local nature space.

Step 1: Get creative with your device

Start by giving your children some guidance on how to a device wisely. Depending on their experience level with a device, this might include:

  • keeping devices safe
  • how to use any filters or effects your device might have,
  • using your camera or other apps to add effects.

Older children can also try some of our nature photography tips.

Step 2: Explore nature

Head outdoors and look around your nature space. See nature through new eyes by thinking about the nature in the space you don’t always see. Try looking:

  • around bushes and in hidden corners
  • under small rocks and crevices, you rarely see beneath
  • between and under leaves or branches both high and low

As you explore, think of what is happening in nature in each area. If you see activity watch carefully to see what is happening. If there’s a change, think about what it could mean to for the animal or plant. Take a range of photos for inspiration.

Older children can do this activity unsupervised. Create a fun challenge by setting them a time limit and guidelines for screen use.

Step 3: Tell your nature story

Plan the story you want to tell. All stories have a beginning, middle and end. Use what you saw and photographed to plan these three stages and tell a story.

Narrate or write a story to accompany the images. This can be digital, oral, visual or written depending on your interests and equipment.

Put your stories in a nature journal.

Get help identifying species

Get help from scientists and fellow nature observers to identify the plants and animals in your photos by uploading them to iNaturalist, Seek and/or NZ Bird Atlas.

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