5 nature activities

There’s a moment (around about the 44th episode of Paw Patrol) when everyone needs to get outside. These 5 simple ideas encourage children to explore nature – at home, in a park, on a walk – it’s up to you. They can look for leaves, flowers, bugs and more. Plus, they can bag up some of their finds to carry on the fun when they get home…

1) Wild walking: look out for signs of summer.

What to do:

A good one to get your kids to stop and look around – or hurry up and move! Get them to look out for birds in the trees and new flowers at the park. Bring a bag to collect twigs, leaves and fallen flowers, or take close-up pictures on a camera. And if, like me, you have no idea what to say when they ask you what they’re looking at – take a sneaky peep at this link

2. Nature building blocks: chilled sensory play for all ages!

What you’ll need: ice tray, nature finds, water

What to do:

1. Ask your child to look for little bits of nature treasure: petals, leaves, buttercups and daisies. Tell them you’re going to use magic to turn them into building blocks!
2. When you get home, they can place a find in each hole of an ice cube tray. You can also do this with berries or herbs from your kitchen. Then freeze.
2. Pop out the ice cubes for your child to play with. Can they build towers, sort them by colour or type, whizz them around a tray, or simply melt them with their fingers in a bowl of water.

If you’ve used fruit instead of flowers, you can even put the ice cubes into drinks.

3) Perfect painting: make some nature paintbrushes.

What you’ll need: sticks, elastic bands, foliage

What to do:

1. Collect ferns, leaves, flowers or rough foliage.
2. When you get home, attach them to a wooden spoon using an elastic band (it’s easiest to twist the band on the stick first and then to poke in the leaves).
3. Now, your kids can use the paintbrush and a few bright colours to do some painting. The leaves will create new patterns and textures.

4) Magnificent minibeasts: send children on a nature trail…

What to do:

Challenge your child to spot insects – outside your house, in the park while you picnic, or even on the walk home from school. Can they spot a snail? What about a woodlouse? Encourage them to look on flowers and to lift up small stones to see what’s underneath. Tell them to look but not touch. Those minibeasts will be much more afraid of your child then they are of them.

Now make one…

5) Pebble pals: collect some stones to paint.

What you’ll need: pebbles, paint

What to do:

1. Ask your child to choose a couple of nice stones or pebbles.
2. Bring them home so your child so they can paint them. They could turn one into a bee, a ladybird, a mouse or something else.
3. To make this bee, we glued on googly eyes and tin foil wings. Improvise with what you have at home.