Discovery Bag – CREST Star activity

This activity challenges you to collect leaves, nuts, seeds and other objects from the natural world in your discovery bag, and try to identify them by comparing colour, shape and feel.

What objects will you put in your discovery bag?

Try to use objects that have a very distinctive shape or feel, but avoid anything sharp. You could use:

A selection of leaves, nuts and seeds

A, B, C, D and E – seeds and nuts

There are many shapes, sizes and textures of seeds and nuts. Avoid those that are sharp or prickly.

F – fruits

Try fruits such as figs, apples and cherries. Make sure they aren't too ripe and soft!

G – leaves

Try to find leaves with varying shapes and colours.

H – lichen

Look for lichens on fallen twigs or pieces of bark that have dropped from the tree.

I – bark

Try finding barks with very different textures.

Need help to identify what's in your bag?

OPAL tree ID guide and poster (PDF, 2.4MB) – a simple guide to common trees, including their seeds

Tree gallery – a photo gallery of common trees and their leaves

OPAL lichen guide – a simple photographic guide to common British lichens

Tree identification key – an interactive key on the Natural History Museum website


Activity sheets

Bark art (PDF, 164KB) – Use crayons to explore the patterns of different bark.

Story stick (PDF, 400KB)– Create a unique nature story with what you find.

Natural colours (PDF, 432KB) – Look for colours in nature and design your own picture


More free activities

OPAL Kids Zone – a host of nature games, quizzes and activity sheets for youngsters

Nature Detectives – activities, guides and educational games developed by the Woodland Trust