I wonder why

Have you ever stopped and thought… why? Practise curiosity with this simple activity.

Take a moment to pause.

This activity can be completed while on any adventure outdoors, whether in the park, on a hike, or in a canoe.

Download the activity plan (PDF, 338.2KB)

Essentials

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • Cost: Free
  • Suitable for: Groups
  • You will need: Access to outdoor space

How to run this activity

Why, why, why

  1. Everyone should take in their surroundings and see if anything makes them feel curious. As they look at nature, ask them to say ‘I wonder why…’ and then ask questions. They could share their questions with the rest of the group if they feel comfortable.

For example, they might ask: ‘I wonder why the trees are in straight lines? I wonder why the hills are all different shapes?’

  1. If anyone knows the answer to a question, they could share it with the person who asked.

Reflection

This activity was about learning to communicate and solve problems. Asking questions and stopping to think about the spaces around us can help us experience things we haven’t noticed before. You can do this both out in nature and also in the paces you visit every day. Next time you’re doing something you do all the time, take a moment to stop and look around. What can you notice for the first time?

It’s also okay not to know the answers to all your questions. Just coming up with the questions is the first step towards learning something new. What did you learn from other people’s questions? What answer did you know that you were proud of? How could you find out an answer?

Activity outcomes

Communicate - learn to express your own views, listen to others, and understand what they’re trying to tell you.

Problem solve - find it easier to understand challenges, consider your options, and find solutions.

Safety guidance

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and include hazards such as roads, woodland, bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas), plants, and animals. Take appropriate steps to reduce risk.

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement; when you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies.

Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, for example, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs.

Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts. 

Level up

To make it more challenging, add a rule that no one can repeat a question that has already been asked.

Access guidance

If anyone has difficulty thinking up a question, offer a few examples to help them out, or let them listen to some others first.

Other activities

Thinking about the meaning and signs of nature is one of five things that can help people build a better relationship with nature.

Explore our free resources for more activity ideas.

Free resources