Nature Trails With Tracking Signs
We get Mum Guilt for the simplest of things. Rory was desperate to go to Beaver Camp but we had already booked a family holiday at the same time and so he couldn’t go. I was equally sad for him. As a Rainbow and Brownie leader, I have so many great memories of taking my girls away for both camps and holidays.
Whilst I cannot recreate the camaraderie of a Beaver Camp, I can help to create a sense of outdoor adventure. We really enjoy going for walks at our local community woodlands and one of our favourite activities is doing a Nature Scavenger Hunt so a great next step for my boys is having a go at following a trail using traditional tracking signs.
Children love deciphering secret messages and codes. It adds a great sense of excitement! The basic symbols are quite straight forward to use too. You could add even more excitement to your trail by adding a theme. You could do a treasure hunt dressed as pirates or maybe hunt in the forest for a Gruffalo!
Here are four basic tracking signs to get you started:
You won’t be surprised to discover that an arrow is an indicator of where to go. For younger children, you could put together a trail just using arrows. If you are somewhere with a lot of stones or pebbles, you can also make a little tower of stones with one to the side. The stone to the side will show which direction to go. For children, I think the stick arrow is easier to spot and follow.
A cross means do not go this way. This would be perfect if you have a fork in the pathway. You could put the cross on one fork and an arrow on the one you wish your children to follow. Alternatively, you could just put the cross so your children have to infer that they need to go the other way.
This symbol is an arrow crossing two sticks. This is to indicate that there is an obstacle in the direction of the arrow.
A box with an arrow shows that there is a message in the direction of the arrow. You could put smaller sticks in the box to show how many paces away the message is. This symbol would be great for a treasure hunt to help the children find the next clue!
Once children has mastered the art of reading the signs, they’ll be able to set out trails for you, or their friends to follow which is a great way to enjoy being outside, getting exercise and most importantly having fun!