A nature walk was the perfect activity for my wee ones yesterday. It was a bit wet and drizzly, but in the forest it was lovely. We decided to add to our exploring by bringing playdough. I wasn’t exactly sure what we would do with it, but I knew we would think of something on out nature walk with kids!
Nature walk with kids: Playdough Imprints
We started our walk by doing some imprints into the playdough with leaves, acorns, rocks, tree stumps, branches and bark. We looked at different imprints and compared sizes and shapes. Madeline and I took turns making imprints and guessing the nature item they came from.
It was interesting to chat with Sammy during this activity. Some of the imprints looked very much like the nature item they came from, but other imprints looked very different. Leaves were rather simple to match, but tree bark was very tricky.
We also did some comparing of similar nature items. We would put play doh on two trees: one with smooth bark and one with very textured bark. When we peeled off the playdough my wee ones would examine the texture imprints. Some of the smooth bark hardly left an imprint at all.
Sammy noticed that it was trickier to stick the playdough to the very smooth bark than to the bark with a lot of texture. He said the tree with thick, rough bark was “more grippy”. A pretty good 3 year old observation!
Nature Walk with Kids: Creating with Playdough
Madeline decided to make some faces in her playdough. They turned out very cute!
This was a great activity for some natural language development. Some of the many words we used were: thicker, thinner, deeper, wider, curved, and straight. I am not sure how much my Sammy will remember (or truly understood) but he was, at very least, introduced to these terms.
Benjamin had lots of fun too!
It’s interesting how adding one different element can completely change how wee ones explore their environment. Sammy has always been one for running, climbing, and collecting during nature walks. It was interesting how the play doh slowed him down and made him look closer at things. It actually did the same for me!
I think we will be doing more nature walks of this sort – adding in a new “thing” to see how it changes our exploring.
Looking for other ideas for nature walks with kids? Be sure to check out our series on Exploring the five senses in nature!
If you enjoyed this activity, please consider Liking us on Facebook, or Following on Pinterest so I can share more creative learning ideas with you! Thank you!