Who needs a list of activities that will get the kids outside in nature a bit more?
Remember those days as a child when you would leave home in the morning, spend the whole day exploring the neighbourhood and your backyard, only to return just before the sun went down (or because you got hungry?). Back in the day…
Although things are different now (seat-belts anyone?), it doesn’t mean that our kids can’t enjoy the outdoors and all its simple delights as much as we did.
We are sharing our favourite nature activities for kids – so chuck some sunscreen on them and send them out the door!
1. Map out your backyard
Get one of the kids to hide some treasures and then draw a map of the backyard so their siblings can find them.
2. Plant a vegetable or herb garden
Encourage them to start a kitchen garden by planting herbs, fruit and vegetables such as basil, baby tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries. They can water it daily, watch it grow and harvest for meal times.
3. Collect flowers and make a flower arrangement
Send them out to pick flowers from the garden and arrange them in a vase. Show them how to put taller clippings in the back than filling the bunch with shorter flowers at the front. Leafy tree branches also make great foliage if you don’t have many flowers to fill a vase.
4. Paint rocks + sticks
Painting faces or patterns on rocks and sticks is always a hit. They could also turn the sticks into a hanging wall mobile.
5. Fairy garden
Encourage them to collect mini flowers, sticks, rocks, sand and moss to make a mini fairy garden. Twine, sticks and bark can be used to make little furniture!
6. Press flowers
Who of you used a flower press? You don’t see them too much anymore but they are easily made using baking paper and a heavy, thick book.
7. Daisy chains
Do you remember threading and tying daisies together as a child to make crowns and necklaces? Sigh, good times.
9. Plant seeds
Give them seeds to sow and watch them grow.
10. Backyard picnic
Make a picnic lunch to enjoy in the backyard.
11. Nature scavenger hunt
Write a list of things your kids might find outside – send them out to find them all and tick them off the list.
12. Observe wildlife + insects
Get them to document what they hear and see whilst wandering around outside. Give them a magnifying glass to discover all the little things too!
13. Backyard camping
During the day they can find shapes and animals in the clouds and at night you can point out star constellations.
For the scientific minded kids, encourage them to make a collection of outdoor finds and document them in a notebook.
16. Be a pet detective
Challenge the kids to follow your pet around the yard without them knowing – be a super sleuth – identify their fave spots? Ask how they spent their day – and have them write a ‘The life of *your pet’s name here*’ story.
17. Build a cubby house
Get out there with them and build a cubby house.
18. DIY Terrarium
Make a terrarium using a giant bowl. Add moss, dirt, sand or grass and include some of their small toys.