These nature walk activities are great for getting kids outside and learning.Gather up the kiddos and put on your shoes because it’s time to get outside and enjoy some educational fun
Looking for some indoor activities? Here’s our awesome list of 27 Netflix movies based on children’s books. Or how about letting your kids practice being veterinarians? They’re both really cool ways to spend time indoors with your kids.
Nature Walk Activities
You can do a nature walk in your own backyard, neighborhood, or head to your nearest park. It doesn’t matter so long as you make it fun! Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch to really make it special.
1. Look for shapes and colors in nature.
Find round things, square things, even things shaped like triangles. Make it a challenge to find as many colors as possible. Can they find something shaped like a rectangle? How about something purple? Paint an egg carton all different colors in each “hole” and when they find a color that matches it, they can put some in the egg carton.
2. Find seeds.
They’re everywhere! You can find them on the ground, floating through the air and drifting through the water, and attached to flowers, weeds, and trees. Where did they come from? What would grow if it was planted? Gather them up and look up what they are online later.
3. Track all the plants, animals, and bugs you see.
Together you can use an incredible app called iNaturalist to log what you find. (We LOVE this idea.) National Geographic, along with the California Academy of Sciences, created this incredible tool. You use it to capture what you see and share it with other naturalists who use the app. It’s a pretty exciting way for your family to help others across the world by showing what you found in your neck of the woods. They call it being a Citizen Scientist!
From the iNaturalist site: “Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. We share your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.”
4. Measure trees and flowers.
Take a tape measure with you (the kind for sewing, not the hard, retractable kind) and measure lots of things they find. It would be fun to write them in a journal. Measure the circumference of a tree, the height of a weed, or the width of the top of a flower.
5. Gather things for a terrarium.
Let your kids dig around in the dirt to find a little roly-poly or two. Maybe a worm or some other crawly thing. Fill a jar with the material around the bug. Stuff like grass, soil, pebbles, etc. Put one of the little creatures in the mix and close the lid. When you get back inside, gather around the computer to find out more about this new guest. What does it need to survive? How long will it live? What should they do to be kind to it? If you have a magnifying glass, it’ll be even more fun!
6. Left or right?
Using a quarter, flip for turning left or right on your walk. Heads you go right, tales you go left.
7. What doesn’t belong here?
Go out before your kiddos and place 10 things around in the area. Maybe a spoon under a leaf or a hair tie on the branch? When you’re on the walk tell them to look for things that don’t belong.
8. Find things to paint later.
Rocks, leaves, petals, sticks, pieces of bark, pinecones. Put them in a bag and take them home for another fun activity.
9. Carry along bird feeders for feathered friends.
While they are on the nature walk, kids can look for trees or bushes where birds might want a little snack. The easiest way to make a bird feeder is to take a toilet paper roll, cover it in peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed. They’ll love it!
10. Help clean up nature.
Teach kids to be good citizens by carrying a small trash bag so that the family can throw away any garbage they see. It’s a fine opportunity to talk about littering and how it hurts the environment.
Have any nature walk activities you’d like to share?
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.