Woodland Trust

Nature DetectivesNature's Calendar

Get outside and play in the spring sunshine! Fresh ideas for children from the Woodland Trust

CLUB challenge

Friday 10 April 2015

It's the boat race and
Grand National this weekend.

So have a go at organising your
own race - a snail race! 

 

Your challenge: organise a snail race

 

Racing tips

How do you set up a snail race? Well, our top tips are full of info for running a successful race.

They include lots of ideas for experimenting with different race surfaces, food to tempt snails, and weather conditions:

Racing tips     download

Racing tips     download
 

nature detectives wildlife club arrowWhich tips worked best?
  
 

Build a stadium

You can't have a snail race with nothing to race on! So first, you'll need to print this track.

Next, colour it in and decorate it, and fold up the sides to create your stadium.
  

Race track     download
 

Don't forget to print and cut out markers and signs to decorate your race track, and make chequered flags and trophies for the winners! You could even design your own.
  

Race signs     download
 

 
If your snails keep changing lanes (very likely!), try making a round track instead. Collect some moss or sticks and make a circle on the ground. Place all your snails in the middle and the first to cross the outside of the circle is the winner!

nature detectives wildlife club arrowShow us your race track
  
 

Collect your competitors

Snails have moist skin, so are more likely to come out at night and in damp conditions. See if you can collect some competitors for your
race after a rain shower.

It's best to keep them in an escape-proof container, and make sure they have air holes and plenty of green leaves to keep them happy.

Collect them just before you plan to run your race and put them back where you've found them as soon as you've finished.

nature detectives wildlife club arrowHow many snails did you find?
  
 

Predict the results

Which snail do you think will be the fastest? The slowest? The best at staying in a straight line? Will big or small be faster? What about a snail from the woods versus one from your garden or street?

Make sure you record your predictions before the race, and your results afterwards.

You can do this on our handy snail race form:
 

Prediction form     download 

 
Don't forget to check your predictions and compare them with the results after the race to see if you were right!  

 

Ready, steady, slow...

Make sure each snail has a name before starting the race, and stick a coloured dot on them so you can keep track of who's who (be careful when you stick the dots on - their shells are very delicate).

You could even choose someone to commentate on the race so you know who's winning.  

Now set them at the starting line, start your timer and off they go!

nature detectives wildlife club arrowSend us your action shots 
 

 

Snail race in action
 

 

Newspaper report

All major sporting events have a full write up in the newspapers the next day, so why not make your own report?

Make sure you detail every eventful moment of the race!

Download the template: 

Newspaper report     download
 

You could even make a TV report, and ask your family or friends to be your camera crew!

nature detectives wildlife club arrowSend us your exciting report   
 

Remember, snails are delicate living things, so please handle very them carefully and always put them back where you found them. Thank you.
 

We'd love to hear all about your snail race! Send us your pictures and tell us: 

  • How many snails did you find?
  • Which snail won? 
  • How fast was the fastest snail?
  • How slow was the slowest snail?
  • Which was faster, big snails or small ones?

nature detectives wildlife club arrownaturedetectives@woodlandtrust.org.uk

 

 
Held a snail race?

Find the hare riding the stag on
your CLUB poster and award them a
gold medal by sticking the saddle
sticker next to it on your poster.

 
 
Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund