Dark Sky London – ideas for children

By Neil Sinden
2nd April 2021

International Dark Sky Week coincides with the school holidays this year – looking for some ideas for children’s activities?  Here is some information put together by dark skies campaigner Isabelle Ficker:

It is International Dark Sky week from 5-12 April and this year it coincides with the start of the School Holidays – what a great time to explore the night (socially-distanced, of course!)

You can make a star clock to tell the time using the stars, or take a night-time nature walk and listen out for the owls, foxes and hedgehogs – you may even see a bat or two – or stargaze using a homemade planisphere.  There is something for everyone!

To find out more and also find out about fun, family activities go to :


There are also some lovely books for children on night animals.  You can…

  1. Fly to the stars in Stardust by Jeanne Willis
  2. Read about The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson
  3. Find out about the animals that wake up when we go to bed in Night Animals by Louise Spilsbury; and
  4. Listen to the sounds night-time animals and birds make in The Little Book of Night-Time Sounds  by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington

There are also some interesting videos about night loving wildlife:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fBSL5gpe8M  Children’s (5-9 years) Animal Antics – Animals at Night:  factual film in 4 parts on nocturnal animals (fox, hedgehog, owl, moth, ferret, gnat, moth, beetle)

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/nocturnal-animals-6060705  Times Educational Supplement (TES) Children’s (KS 1) Beautiful photographs with voiceover (frog, hedgehog, fox, owl)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFG7etbxl5o   Children’s (3-5 years) animated song about nocturnal animals (bat, owl, racoon, hedgehog)

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/after-dark-creatures-at-night-6404289  Children’s (7-16 years) London Zoo film Things that go bump in the night (KS 1) (Grey Slender Loris, Bats, Opossum, Bush Baby)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/clips/zsshfg8 BBC (KS 1) :  Bite Size Nocturnal Animals and Birds.  Factual film (owls, mice, hedgehogs, bats, moths, badgers, moles, worms)