Here are some simple nature activities for kids! Whether out in the park or on the balcony, there are possibilities for everyone that won’t cost the earth and won’t take long.
Many flowers and trees in our neighbourhoods started as small seeds, which take many different forms. From an oak tree, to a tomato, to a banana, most of the plants around us have seeds. Look around your kitchen, garden and park and see how many different seeds you can find. Once you have collected a variety of seeds and found out what they are, then you can plant them or draw a picture of what the seed will grow into.
Fallen leaves are everywhere: you’ll find them on the street, in window boxes, in your garden and at the local park. How many different kinds, colours and shapes of leaves can your child find? Collect as many as you can find and have your child identify the plant they are from by talking to parents and neighbours, looking in a book, or asking someone who works in a park. Then make a picture or a collage with them.
The bark of each variety of tree is different. Can you tell the differences? Next time you’re in the park or your garden, take a few pieces of paper and coloured wax crayons. When you see a tree with interesting bark, lean the paper against it and rub the crayon over it, soon you’ll have a picture of the bark.
Ask your child to go on an animal hunt. After it rains, ask your child to find animal footprints. Does your child recognise them? Are there other signs that animals were around such as ripped leaves, broken twigs or branches, or feathers from birds? What makes some things in nature pretty? What makes some things in nature scary, boring, or interesting? What are the things in nature that your child likes the most?
Go on a nature walk with your child and help them become an outdoor explorer with the following steps:
- Lie down in a park on a patch of grass or soft ground. Ask your child how many nature sounds he or she can hear, and whether they think the sounds are coming from a bird, an animal, or from the wind.
- Look for different shapes and sizes of stones or rocks. Ask them which colours and shapes are their favourite.
- Ask your child to find something outside that is soft or hard. Can your child tell friends or parents what these things are?
- Look at the ground. Ask your child to be very quiet and watch and to see how many bugs are working hard on the ground.
- Look underneath a large rock. Have your child count how many different kinds of bugs he or she can see. What are the bugs all doing?
Touch and smell
Experiencing the great outdoors is all about seeing, hearing, touching and smelling. Encourage your kids to explore their senses by filling a large bag with different objects that you find on a nature walk. Ask your child to close their eyes and reach into the bag, feel the object and name it. Can your child tell you more about it? Where does it come from?
It’s also fun to cover your child’s eyes and hold each object near their nose – can they tell what the object is just by smelling it? What can they tell you about it?
If you have any unique or interesting nature activities your kids enjoy or you have a story to share, please join us on Facebook – we'd love to hear from you!