Children explore Hilpertsau at a summer convention using an app

Black Forest Nature Park

What exactly is the earth made of? With the help of an app, children get to know nature at the new summer meeting in the Schwarzwald Central/Nord Nature Park.


There is a lot to discover for children aged five to 13 in Hilpertsau at the new summer convention in the Schwarzwald Central/Nord nature park.

Photo: Lina Schmidt

What are those paint splatters on the floor? Which animals live in the hummus? And why were wet meadows often drained in the past? Children aged five to 13 will find answers to these and many other questions at the new summer meeting in the Schwarzwald Central/Nord nature park.

Siblings Annabelle (10) and Julius (7) will complete the trip with their cousins. First, they study the map in the app. “Let’s go!” Julius shouts and starts running enthusiastically.

Nature sniffers want to leave the beaten track and be out in nature – that’s exactly their thing, the siblings from Baden-Baden agree and are excited to go. The first order comes after a few meters. The children must examine the types of stones on the floor of a meadow path. Some are round, others square.

A beautiful flower picture must be made from the pebbles that have been found and photographed. Two flower paintings are already on the way. “We can do better than that!” says seven-year-old Julius and starts collecting stones for his artwork. Stone by stone is carefully examined and arranged. “That’s how it fits,” Sister Annabelle is pleased with the end result.

The little walkers now have to climb a few meters in height, but the paths mostly go on easily accessible field and meadow paths. There is always something to discover there. After a short walk, the group reaches a spring.

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A thin trickle of a current can still be seen, the heat of the past week has done a good job here. The budding soil detectives must now collect crushed granite from the stream. Some even have a slight golden glow, Annabelle and her little brother learn.

Siblings discover a fawn in the Black Forest nature park

After the detour to the source, another order awaits at the next crossroads. This time it’s time to be creative. A natural face must be made from the existing soil. Julius begins to dig dirt from the slope with a small shovel.

Children look at a map.

All children’s questions about nature are answered via an app. At the same time, they can put their knowledge to the test in a quiz.

Photo: Lina Schmidt

There is even a bit of dust, the ground is already so dry. The seven-year-old cautiously continues to poke. He had just learned that wild bees can also live here. You can recognize their “apartment” by small holes in the ground. So caution is advised.

The soil is then collected by hand, cousin Elias – today volunteering with a backpack and shovel – pours a little water onto the soil in his hand. Julius begins to deftly shape the now firmer mass of soil into a ball. His sister does the same for him. Finally, add a nose, mouth and eyes with other materials – and the natural face is complete.

The tasks are best read by an older child or adult. So everyone else can concentrate on the new detective job, and there’s no shortage of fun. The info texts, which are also found in the app, are exciting for those interested, but are not a must to solve the tasks.

Children use the app to collect points for correct answers

The feeling of success does not fall by the wayside on the tour either. If a question is answered correctly, the digital piggy bank jingles. ring! “200 points again!” Annabelle cheers proudly. The joy of the virtual points collected with a correct answer is also great.

On the way, the app also invites you to discover the many different animals in the area. The first bottom dwellers can be found quickly. “Uhhh, a woodlice,” the children call.

Through the app, they quickly learn that this supposedly disgusting animal makes an important contribution to the degradation of the earth. The siblings also discover a fawn, several lizards and butterflies. The heart of discovery is happy.

A natural face of mud, leaves and nuts.

There are also tasks for the children during the interactive exploration rally. Like this: They must have a natural face.

Photo: Lina Schmidt

Every now and then the app invites you to a small search quiz, for example to keep an eye out for different types of plants. With numerous meadow pictures, the little detectives are introduced to different meadow flowers. And what is the difference between moss and lichen? The children quickly learn that moss tends to grow on soil that is moist.

The soil, which consists of minerals, humus substances, water and air, is examined in more detail with the help of playful tasks. The more humus soil contains, the darker it is. Very mineral-rich soil is therefore quite light, very humus-rich soil quite dark. The children must form different globes and compare their colors.

Numerous benches and shaded seating areas invite you to linger and take a picnic break on the tour. Tired, Annabelle and Julius fall down on the bench. “It’s quite hot today,” Annabelle notes exhaustedly.

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