My kids are actually very well behaved. They are calm, kind, and inquisitive – as long as they are outdoors. Put some walls around those boys of mine and sooner than later they will start to bounce off them.
This will change with time of course, as they get older. But for now? I’m raising them in the wild. Turns out lots of other parents are choosing to do the same – or at least they want to.
I get asked very frequently in this space what we do when we are outside. And truth be told, most of the time it is a whole lot of nothing. Exploring, observing, comparing, listening, and a whole heck of a lot of learning.
But at first, a little inspiration goes along way. Somedays I need an activity or two up my sleeve to ensure we get outside to explore. Here are some great ideas for getting little ones outside and exploring nature.
Discovering Moss: A Scientific Investigation by a 3-Year Old – I love how something “simple”, like exploring moss, can turn into so much meaningful learning.
Five Senses Activities for Kids Outdoors – Teach your little naturalists how to use their different senses while outside in nature. What observations can they make?
Twig Dream Catcher from Carrots Are Orange – Use found twigs or stems to make dream catchers. I’m sure they would look equally lovely inside or out.
Learning About Tree Bark from My Nearest and Dearest – Explore and learn about bark through a variety of outdoor activities.
Finding Symmetry in Nature from Buggy and Buddy – Grab a camera and a mirror before heading into the forest. Find natural items that are symmetrical, and see what symmetry can be seen using the mirror.
Motivating Little Feet with Letterboxing from Mommy Hiker – A peek into letterboxing with kids. What a fun idea for hiking adventures!
Gather Treasures for a Nature Sensory Bin from Rhythms of Play – Go for a walk outside and find natural items to bring in and explore later in the week.
Conifer Cone Search from Wild Tales Of – Get outside and go searching for pine cones with the kids. Great ideas for extending the learning while outside.
Nature Bracelets from Play Dr. Mom – Children can make these nature bracelets while they’re playing, hiking, and exploring outside.
Listening Walk from Fantastic Fun and Learning – Explore hearing while getting out into nature. This is easily customized depending on where you live, too.
Make a Neighborhood Tree Guide from Kid World Citizen – Explore the trees in your neighborhood while creating a guide all about them.
Exploring Nature in the City from Our Whimsical Days – If you live in a city, getting the kids out into nature might take a bit more work. Here are some tips for doing just that.
A Day at the Pond from Natural Beach Living – Take a trip to a local pond and see what the children notice. I love her idea for extending the learning once they’re home.
Nature Journals for Kids from Peace But Not Quiet – Let the nature explorers bring along a nature journal as they head outdoors. They can record their findings like scientists.
Nature Cuttings from No Time for Flash Cards – Let the kids practice their scissor skills using found natural items. Sounds like a good excuse for a walk in the woods!
Storytelling in Nature from Carrots Are Orange – Give the children a prompt for using natural items the find in a collaborative storytelling adventure.
Take a Trip to the Park from Rain or Shine Mamma – Go check out what nature there is nearby at a park. Even better, make a plan to visit all the parks near you over the course of a month or two.
N is for Night Exploration from Inspiration Laboratories – Mix things up a bit by getting outside at night. Compare and contrast the differences between what’s outside at night versus the daytime.
Nature Exchange with Friends from Go Explore Nature – What an amazing way to share your local nature with friends or family who live elsewhere!
Make Land Art from The Imagination Tree – Kids can use found natural objects to create their own transient art outside.
Lots of ideas for getting those little ones outside and learning in nature. Chances are once you are out there and start with one simple activity your little ones will take it from there.
Thank you so much for reading friends. I hope you are having a wonderful week.