Water holds a fascination for kids – there’s no doubt about that. Now the summer holidays are here, it’s a perfect time to go out and explore your local pond.
Any type of pond has wildlife inside and out that is worth looking at. Usually the bigger and quieter the pond, the more you will see.
The first thing to remember is don’t rush up to the pond- approach in an almost sneakily fashion, then remain as still as possible - and prepare to watch.
The surface may have pond skaters on, the water itself may contain stickleback, and you will most certainly see birds coming to drink or bathe.
The best way to see what’s in there, though, has to be pond dipping. The only thing needed is a children’s fishing net and a tray of some kind, preferably white, so you can identify the creatures easily, then go along to your local rock pool, pond or lake.
Trying not to cast a shadow on the water, to start with fill your container with a bit of the water from the pond – this is to put the creatures in whilst you look at them.
Then with your net under the surface, collect water in a long, smooth movement. Remove your net and immediately empty the contents into your tray- don’t be tempted to look at the contents of your net beforehand.
Once the water in the tray has settled, you should be able to see what is swimming around in it.
When you have studied the occupants of the tray, very gently empty it back into the pond, after all, you wouldn’t want to give the occupants inside a headache.
We hope you enjoy your day near the water’s edge but very importantly always be aware of the danger of water around you, therefore, we always recommend that young children should always be supervised.
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Written by Angela & Chris