As summer begins, kids will be spending more time at home and outside. Here are some fun-filled nature activities that you can do in your own backyard or neighborhood.
Safety Note: When doing these types of nature activities, it is important to note that you need to be able to identify the plants being used well enough to ensure that your littles aren’t using plants that may be poisonous or cause allergic reactions. Can you imagine if your child made a crown out of poison ivy? Eeek!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
An easy and fun way to let your children explore nature is through a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt can also be easily adapted for almost any age.
- For toddlers–Simply paint a different color in each compartment of an egg carton. Send your kids out to find objects in nature for each color.
- For preschool and early elementary kids–Have kids look for colors in nature using color words. This would also help children to practice reading their color words.
- For older kids–Older kids can identify various flowers and plants around your backyard or neighborhood.
With the help of your printer, your little ones can use nature to design, decorate, or create dresses, animals, masks, etc. The only limit is their imagination. Here are a few printables to get you started.
4. Disney Princesses–Your little one can use flowers, grass, or anything else that they can find to design a dress for their favorite Disney princess.
5. Animals–Kids can decorate turtles, kangaroos, bugs, and birds with this fun printable. You can always print out or draw an outline of your child’s favorite animals if it is not listed.
6. Natureheads—With this printable, kids can use flowers and plants to create hair, accessories, and clothes for faces.
Kids love to make jewelry or accessories with flowers, sticks, and plants. You can adapt this activity to your child’s interests whether it be superheroes, princesses, artists, or astronauts.
7. Crowns— Simply cut a strip of construction paper or cardstock. Measure it to the size of your child’s head and secure it into the shape of a circle with tape or staples. Let your little ones go around gathering nature items. You could even use some of the items that you found on your scavenger hunt! When they’re done, simply glue or tape the items to the crown.
8. Bracelets or badges–Cut a strip of contact paper and fit it to your child’s wrist to make a bracelet. For a badge, just cut a rectangle. Remove the protective peel to reveal the adhesive side of the contact paper. Add nature and enjoy!
9. Masks–Kids love masks. You can use the same steps as described for the above activities but in the shape of a mask. You can adapt the activity to make it a princess mask or a superhero one.
*If you are not feeling very crafty, you can find printable templates online but you may have to pay a few dollars. Here is one of many examples that may be found out there.
I truly believe that rocks, along with sticks, and cardboard boxes are the most underrated toys around. There are so many fun uses for rocks. Here are a few ideas for you.
10. Pet Rocks–An oldie but goodie, this activity is timeless fun. Have your child paint and name their rock. Don’t forget the googly eyes! If you want to expand on this activity, you could also have your child create a little habitat for their pet out of an old shoebox.
11. A Garden Treasure Hunt with Painted Rocks–Have kids use their creativity to decorate the rocks in any manner that they choose. Hide them around your yard and have your little ones find them. Think of it as an Easter Egg hunt but for rocks instead of eggs.
12. Rock Slime–If you are feeling particularly brave, you can make this fun rock slime. Your little ones will have a blast creating their own construction sites!
*Bonus Activity–Here is a fun activity where your children will learn about how rocks are made as they make their very own edible rocks!*