An exciting hands-on activity, pond dipping lets children experience the joy of discovery. They will feel like real-life scientists in the field as they develop new skills, and learn about wildlife and habitats.
Top tip!Go super sciency and inspect your creatures closely, using a glass beaker, magnifying glass and wildlife identification chart.
- White plastic tray or ice-cream tub
- Small net or kitchen sieve
- Pen and paper on a clipboard
Optional extra equipment
- Transparent beaker
- Magnifying glass
- Wildlife identification chart
About the activity
This activity requires adult supervision at all times.
Set up a dipping station a few metres from the pond. Approach the water quietly so the creatures don’t swim away, and half fill the tray with pond water.
Stand or kneel by the water’s edge with the net. Take care as it can be slippery! What do you see? Is anything hiding near the surface?
Gently dip the net into the pond and slowly sweep it in a figure of eight to create a flow of water. Brush the net against any plants, too, but try not to touch the bottom as it will stir up mud.
Turn out your catch into the tray and let it settle. Use a spoon to carefully move and lift any creatures for closer inspection, being careful not to harm them. How many bugs are there? Can you identify any?
Once you’ve finished your investigation, carefully pour the content of your tray back into the pond. Then take another lucky dip to see what more wonderful wildlife you can find!
Once you’ve finished your pond dipping fun and returned all the creatures to their home, wash your hands with warm soapy water.