It’s a little hard to find some frogspawn without discovering the other things in a pond.
All things slimey and erm… fun.
Our local canal centre offers a fabulous guide to help children identify what they’ve found in the pond, and over the spring and summer months, pond dipping is a favourite activity among the children – and one that ages me. I’m not fond of water I can’t see the bottom of and the thought of a child landing in it… well, not great! But so far so good. My girls have stayed safely on the side. And they do love pond dipping!
Apart form the canal centre’s guide we also have the RSPB guide to pond life*, a brilliant little book that lets them tick off what they’ve identified. Money well spent in my mind!
What benefit does a child derive from a few hours of pond dipping, I hear you ask?
Well, aside from learning about what lies beneath the water, increasing awareness of their environment and learning about other ecosystems, pond dipping also works on balance – so you don’t fall in the water – and teaches risk management – just how far can I lean before I start falling?
The excitement on their faces as they realise that there’s life in the bottom of those nets is priceless, and finding the critters in their pond life book is so good for instilling that sense of excitement and discovery. It’s like a treasure hunt, following clues, finding answers, handing eager young minds a love of learning and inquiring without them even realising that it’s happening.
And so little scientists and discoverers and adventurers are born, just there by the local pond, with a net and a guide book in hand.
We’re completing the National Trust’s #50Things campaign because, well, it’s great. This was number 35: Discover what’s in a pond on their list. You can see the full list here.