How to Explore Nature with Children

Photo Credit: Niv Shimshon/Shutterstock

With many families looking to spend more time outside doing social-distancing activities, now is a great opportunity to help kids get some fresh air and connect with nature. Whether this is done in the backyard, on a local nature trail, or when your family takes a road trip somewhere remote, our beautiful country offers many scenic places for our children to explore. Here are some of my favorite ways to get our tech-loving kids to have fun in the outdoors.

Go on a Hike

Put on some sunscreen, make some trail mix for a snack, lace up your boots, and take a hike together.

Make a Nature Journal

Staple paper together to make a nature journal. Let children decorate the front. On the inside, add writing prompts and places for them to draw and record what they see and hear. They can use it the next time they go for a nature walk or hike.

Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of things one might find in nature and then go on a nature scavenger hunt and see how many of those things your child can find while they are outside.

Create Artwork with Pieces from Nature

Children can use materials found on nature walks in their artwork, either by using the materials to paint with or creating a collage with the materials.

Make Mud Pies

Put together a “mud pie kitchen” using old pie tins, spoons, bowls, and materials found in nature like sticks, rocks, and leaves, and then let children use their imaginations to “cook” mud pies and more.

Start a Garden

Encourage a love of gardening by helping your child plant some vegetables. Teach them how to water and take care of the plants and then let them enjoy eating the harvest when it’s time.

However your family chooses to explore the outdoors, the fresh air will refresh everyone, and the time in nature will benefit your child physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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