Transect Ecology Activity

Get your child outside with a hands-on transect ecology activity! Using only yarn and their eyes, your child will discover living things in their environment.

For this transect ecology activity, you’ll need:


sticks (optional)

magnifying glass (optional)


Find an outdoor area that has a variety of natural objects so your child can see different plants and/or types of ground. A manicured lawn is not an ideal location for this activity.

Caution: Scout the area for poisonous plants or other dangers before continuing.

Stretch out a piece of yarn to a desired length, for example, ten feet or ten yards. You can secure the yarn to sticks at each end if you wish. The line of yarn is the transect. Starting at one end, move slowly and examine the plants and ground the yarn passes over. Look for animals, such as insects, spiders, and worms, along the transect as well. You can also look up to see what is above the transect, and you might even see birds flying overhead.

Do you want to turn this activity into a project so your child can follow the steps of a scientific investigation? Use the Transect Ecology lesson plan found inside ei4k’s Community!