Nature Activities – Engage Kids in Nature!
Ideas for helping kids get in touch with nature and have fun
Most of us know that it's important for kids to spend time outdoors. Not only is it healthy for growing bodies and minds, but kids who spend time in nature have been shown to have a greater appreciation for the environment when they become adults. Here are some fun activities that can help kids get in touch with nature and help them learn more about the living things that inhabit it!
1. Backyard bird feeder
- A great way to observe wildlife is to invite animals into your own backyard. One fun and easy way to make a bird feeder is to take a pine cone, dip it into peanut butter, and then cover it in bird seed. Attach a piece of sturdy string to the top and tie up the bird feeder in your yard to see what kinds of birds come to visit. You may also be surprised to see other wildlife, like squirrels, visiting your bird feeder, too.
2. Plant a garden
- Digging in the dirt can be fun. Teach kids a little bit about where food comes from by having them help plant vegetable seeds and watch them grow. When the plants are ready, have the kids harvest and eat some of what they helped to grow. Some great things for kids to try growing are string beans, peas, lettuce, or carrots.
3. Worm Compost Bin
- Most kids are fascinated with worms, so why not show them how worms help decompose vegetable scraps and other food into rich, fertile soil? Click HERE to learn how to create a worm compost bin. Once the compost is done, you can have kids help spread it out on the garden.
4. Soil Discovery
- Another fun way for kids to learn about soil is to dig up some dirt, place it in a tray, and look to see what you find. Common inhabitants of soil include earthworms, beetles, grubs, spiders, mites, millipedes, potato bugs, and centipedes. Teach kids that many of these creatures are important for making healthy soil. There may also be other interesting things that make up the soil, like roots, rocks, and fungi.
5. Set up a tent outdoors
- Whether you are camping in the forest or in your own backyard, kids often love helping to set up and play in a tent. Better yet, spend the night in the tent and have a campfire nearby (be sure to check regulations with your local fire department). Listen to the crickets, and look up at the sky.
- The night sky is a mysterious place that can be inspiring to kids as well as adults. On a clear, dark night with no moon, lay down some towels or set up some reclining chairs outside. Have kids find constellations like the Big Dipper and pick out the North Star.
7. Go for a hike or nature walk
- Many kids naturally love exploring, so take them out on a hike or walk outdoors. Be sure to point out anything interesting that you see along the way, such as birds, flowers, unusual rocks, squirrels, deer, pine cones, a sunset, or anything else that catches you or their attention. If it seems right, you may also want to consider giving the kids a nature journal to record what they see.