Heading out with the kids and need some ideas for activities for kids outdoors? Here are 15 fun and easy nature activities for children:
#1. Nature Rubbings
Take plain or coloured sheets of paper and crayons with you out on walks to e.g. woods or parks and do rubbings of bark, stones, walls. Plants such as ferns are good as well for rubbings.
#2. Nature I-Spy
Ask your child to spot 5 different nature things as you go for a walk. Or play a game of nature I-Spy.
#3. Make some "Nature Jewellery"
Wrap sticky tape around small wrists, tummies, with sticky side out, and set the challenge of collecting only one of each thing e.g. feather, leaf, seed etc., to stick on.
#4. Make Leaf Drawings
Collect differently shaped leaves and draw round them when you get home for colouring in or collages.
#5. Shell or Stone Hunt
See how many different shells and types of stones you can find at the beach. Turn your beach walk into a "fossil" hunt or look for different shaped objects on the beach.
#6. Start a Collection
Encourage your child to collect one type of natural object, e.g. shells, pine cones, stones, birds' feathers.
#7. Collect Pine Cones
Collect pine cones (great for the fire or for display!). See how many you can collect or have a pine cone race to see who manages to pick up 10 cones the quickest.
#8. Go on a Bug Hunt
See how many different insects you can find on a walk or in the garden. Take a tub or jar with you and put the insect(s) into the jar so you can look at it more closely with a magnifying glass.
#9. Nature Picturegrams
Give your child a little notebook and have them put together nature picturegrams: against headers e.g. bird / tree / flower / insect / shell, they have to draw one on the row each time they spot one.
#10. Nature Sketches
Ask your child to sketch a plant in the garden or woods or park. Ask them to think about things like what shape are the leaves? what texture? are the edges of the leaves smooth or serrated? how many leaves does the plant have? what colour are the leaves (and flowers)?
#11. Make a whistle from a blade of grass.
Put your thumbs together with the blade of grass between them. Blow into the gap between your thumbs and you should hear a whistle, if not, just adjust the blade.
#12. Peek inside an old Log
Look for life inside an old log or underneath stones. Magnifying glasses are handy for this activity, you can pick these up in toy shops.
#13. Make a Bird Feeder
Hang a bird feeder in the garden and watch for different bird types that appear. Keep a log of all the different birds that visit your feeder.
#14. Make daisy chains
Pick daisies trying to make sure the stems are as long as possible. Make a small hole with your finger nail along the stem and thread another daisy's stem through the hole. Make a hole in the stem of the 2nd daisy and thread in the stem of a 3rd daisy and so on.
#15. Follow the Moon
Follow the moon's phases for a month. At the same time each night, head outside and find the moon if it's clear. Your child could draw the different moons over the month.
Do you have a favourite nature activity that your child enjoys? Share it with us in the comments below.