Nature provides kids countless opportunities to explore, discover and foster their creativity and leaves them feeling balanced. ❤️
Nature activities bring kids closer to nature as they explore their surroundings and incorporate natural elements in these activities while marveling at its gifts and appreciating what they see around them.
Nature Activities for Your Kids
Engaging and being with nature is proven to boost the immune system while bringing a sense of tranquility and calm to the mind.
In this blog, I’ve compiled a list of nature activities my kids and I enjoy doing together. 😊
Take Photos of Nature
Give your kids a compact digital camera or a phone to capture the beauty of nature around them.
They can take photos of flowers, trees, clouds, and whatever catches their eye. You can print and frame these photos and put them on your walls. 📷
Press your flowers to preserve them to then be used to add beauty to crafts and gifting.
Choose fresh flowers you want to preserve. Place the flowers between absorbent papers for an extra layer of protection to ensure the flowers’ pigments don’t stain.
Place these flower sheets between the pages of a thick book and leave them for a week or so before removing them from the book. 🌸
This simple activity of preserved flowers can be used in adorning bookmarks, photo frames, cards, and cookies.
Create a Kitchen Garden
You can create a simple kitchen garden at home with vegetables, fruits, and herbs. 🥕
Involve your kids in planting the seeds, watering them regularly, and harvesting and cleaning the vegetables. They learn to care for their kitchen garden and become responsible.
My son appreciates the food on his plate more after knowing how much effort is needed to grow produce.
Make Nature Crowns
My daughter loves wearing these nature crowns. 👑
Use a rectangle strip of thick cardboard paper to make a band that fits around your kids’ heads. Collect a handful of flowers, leaves, sticks, and twigs to decorate. Glue them around the perimeter of the cardboard crown.
Listen to Nature Sounds
Spend time relaxing and soaking in the sounds of the great nature.
Being in nature and taking in its many sounds alter our brain connections and bring a sense of calm and peace to the mind. 📣
You could also use websites with pre recorded sounds of the forests, rivers, and rain for your kids to experience while sitting at home.
My son and I love cloud gazing together and marveling at the beauty of nature.
On a less sunny day, find a comfortable spot to look up at the fluffy clouds drifting across the sky. ☁️
Observe the constantly changing shapes of the clouds, and try to find objects you can recognize in them, using your imagination.
When the world becomes darker and calmer, my daughter and I love star gazing.
On a day with clear skies, find a comfortable place to look up and gaze at the countless stars that adorn the night sky. ⭐️
Star gazing brings a sense of tranquility and calm to a busy mind.
Create Salt Dough Ornaments
Knead 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of water into a dough. Roll the dough to a considerable thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out into shapes for the ornaments. 💮
Collect small flowers and leaves and press them into the dough circles. Poke a hole to hang the ornament. Bake at 200 degrees for about 2 hours and let them cool before you add strings.
My son enjoys doing this activity every year before Christmas.
You can turn these salt dough ornaments into keychains, magnets, pendants, or mobile hanging.
Set Up a Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a hands-on method for children to explore multiple senses, improve fine motor skills, and experience calmness. 🕊
Make a sensory bin with materials picked from nature to create a sensory experience by bringing the outdoors home.
You can add pinecones, mud, stones, sticks, dried orange peels, and more, according to your preference.
Maintain a Nature Journal
Encourage your kids to maintain a journal to record their observations of nature.
By doing this, they become more conscious and attentive to their surroundings and observe nature more intently. 📔
In this journal, kids can include drawings, stick pressed flowers and leaves, write down names of plants and trees, etc. You can also create prompts that they can complete as an activity.
Letters and Numbers Writing Activity
Kids can learn the letters and numbers with nature items to make learning more enjoyable.
Kids can go outdoors and collect a basketful of flowers, leaves, and twigs. Write down letters or numbers on a sheet of paper, and let your kids trace along them using the flowers and leaves they collected. Use glue to hold them in place. 🔡
You can also make them learn to spell their name in this way.
Create Greeting Cards
Kids can get creative and create beautiful greeting cards for friends and family with this simple craft. 💌
Collect flowers and leaves and press them within the pages of a book. Make cards with thick papers of different colors. Stick the pressed flowers and leaves with thin tape to hold them in place.
My son and I enjoy doing this craft together.
Make a Butterfly Craft
Make a beautiful butterfly craft with fallen sticks, twigs, leaves, and flower petals.
Press the leaves and flower petals overnight to flatten them. Glue four leaves – two big and two small together onto a stick to make the wings. Also, glue two tiny twigs for the antennas. 🦋
Your kids can decorate the leaves with pressed flower petals to make the wings look colorful.
Build a Bird Bath
Care for the birds by creating a bird bath at home to help quench their thirst and cool themselves. It acts as a reliable water source for them to visit. 🐤
Turn a terracotta pot upside down and place a saucer over it. Fill this saucer with clean water and add pebbles and stones for the birds to perch.
Your kids can watch the different birds that fly into your garden and take the responsibility of regularly changing the water.
Make Art with Leaf Impressions
Your kids will love this unique art experience of making art with leaves. ☘️
Kids can paint the leaves with the colors of their choice with paint. Press the painted leaves on a piece of paper to create their impressions. You can stamp the leaves randomly or create designs. Add details with a pen.
You can use these leaf impressions to make greeting cards or to frame them in your home.
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
An engaging activity where kids go outdoors in search of natural items that are specified on a list and will keep your kids on their toes while exploring.
Print out a template on a sheet of paper with the items you want kids to find during the nature scavenger hunt. Items you can include on the list are trees, pine cones, insects, flowers, leaves, mushrooms, and bird nests.
After the scavenger hunt is over, your kids can go through the list of items and see how many nature items they managed to find and tick off. 🌴
You can conduct nature scavenger hunts with different printed template lists, and they could also note down what they see.
Weave Nature on Stones
A simple weaving activity to decorate stone lying at home.
Wrap a rubber band around a stone and weave flowers that have stems through the rubber band to make a kind of bouquet. 💐
Make these with stones of different sizes and add flowers for a simple craft activity that your kids will love.
Create Sun Prints
This is one of my son’s favorite craft activities and yields beautiful art prints using the sun’s energy. 🌞
On a piece of cardboard or tray, place a Sun Print Paper, and arrange flowers and leaves in a layout your kids’ want. Cover the Sun Paper with an acrylic sheet or plexiglass on top of it to keep your arrangement intact.
Leave the Sun Print Paper in the blazing sun for exposure for 5-6 minutes and wait until it turns white.
Bring this paper inside the house and run it under water to eliminate the chemicals. This paper should become dark blue while the shapes turn white – your art prints are ready!
Do this on a sunny day to make the exposure process quicker, which might take up to half an hour on days with minimal sunlight.
Bake Cookies with Edible Flowers and Herbs
Indulge your kids in a baking session and decorate their cookies with (edible) colorful flowers and fresh herbs from your kitchen garden. 🌼
Follow a recipe to bake simple shortbread cookies. Roll the dough and cut it into circles with a cookie cutter. Press the flowers and herbs into the dough until they are pressed and in place. Bake them in the oven to create some beautiful creations of art that you can devour.
My daughter loves eating one too many of these cookies when we bake them.
Make sure to always check whether the flowers you’re using are edible.
A few flowers that are safe to consume – dahlia, lavender, pansy, hibiscus, and nasturtium.
Make a Suncatcher
Catch and scatter sunlight in your house with a beautiful nature suncatcher that also serves as a decor piece.
Cut and remove the center of two paper plates. Trace two circles with the outline of the paper plate onto contact paper. Let the kids arrange pressed flowers and leaves on the sticky part of the contact paper circle and add the second contact paper over them. ☀️
Let your kids decorate the rim of one paper plate that will make the front portion of the suncatcher. Use double-sided tape to stick the contact paper arrangement between the paper plates to make yourself a suncatcher at home.
Paint on Leaves
Collect fallen leaves and press them within the pages of a book.
Kids can color and decorate the leaves using acrylic paints. 🍃
They can also add small stickers on the leaves.
Use the painted leaves as bookmarks or preserve them as keepsakes.
Try Leaf Tracing
My son is always fascinated with this activity that captures the beauty of a leaf with its lines and swirls.
Choose leaves that are big and in good shape for better results. Place the leaf on a writing pad and cover it with a sheet of paper – tracing, parchment, or waxing paper of your choice.
Use crayons or colored pencils to rub over the top of the paper until you see the outline and details of the leaf form on the paper like magic. 🌿
Try Bark Rubbing
This is a similar activity to leaf tracing but with the barks of trees.
Choose a tree with a trunk that has interesting shapes. Place a sheet of paper against the tree trunk, and use a crayon to rub over the paper to capture the details of the tree’s bark onto the paper.
Kids will learn about the different textures with this fun art activity.
Paint on Stones
My son and I enjoy spending our time together painting on stones.
Collect stones with smooth surfaces of different sizes and shapes and clean them. Use acrylic paints and a thin brush to paint on them and add details according to your designs. 🖌
Use these painted stones as paperweights or display them around your garden.
Make easy and vibrant bookmarks to add between the pages of books.
Cut out the bookmarks from thick sheets of paper. Decorate it with dried flowers and leaves. You could also punch holes around the edges of the bookmark and lace a thread through them to make a border. 🔖
Play Tic Tac Toe
My son and I enjoy playing tic tac toe, and we sometimes like to play with pieces from nature.
Draw a 3×3 square tic tac toe board on thick paper and laminate it to make it more long-lasting. Find small stones for the Xs and Os and paint them in two colors to identify the pieces of each of the players. 🀄️
This is a portable game that can be taken around with you to play anywhere.
You can make Xs and Os with a combination of pressed and laminated flowers and leaves, pinecones and acorns, or different types of shells.
Make Twig Photo Frames
Display memories of your family with photo frames decorated with twigs that can make for great decor pieces for your home and an art activity for kids.
Make photo frames with cardboard sheets by following a tutorial or using a plain photo frame. Kids can place the twigs around the photo frame and cut them into the required sizes. Glue the twigs around the photo frame, and they can also paint the glued twigs for an added effect. 🎞
Make Pounded Flower Art
My son loves this simple activity that can turn fresh flower blooms into beautiful pieces you can frame.
Choose bright-colored flowers, and cut the stems leaving only enough to keep the flowers intact. Arrange these flowers by placing them face down on a watercolor paper. 🥀
Cover the arrangement with a tea towel or wax paper. Using a hammer, pound the petals of the flowers, avoiding the center to transfer the color to the watercolor paper. Remove the wax paper and let the watercolor paper dry.
Create Clay Imprints
My son enjoys doing this simple craft that makes for beautiful clay pieces.
Roll out air-dry clay into a thin layer with a rolling pin. Cut them into shapes of your choice with cookie cutters. Press small flowers and leaves into the cut shapes and air dry the clay to make clay pieces. 🍥
Go on a Nature Walk
Take your kids on nature walks to unplug from the busy world and soothe your minds and hearts. 🌲
Nature walks are perfect opportunities for your kids to look around and appreciate the beauty of the natural world and its marvelous gifts.
Make Flower Watercolor Paints
Kids can make their paints from flower petals at home and create art with them.
Gather a handful of flowers. Remove the petals and organize them in separate bowls according to colors. Add enough hot water to cover the petals, and stir them with different sticks for each bowl.
The petals will release colors over time. Alter pH levels with either baking soda, lemon juice, or boiling tap water to make the shades of colors you want. Sieve the petals and use the paints. 🖌
These paints aren’t long-lasting and might fade after some time and when exposed to sunlight.
Change pH levels with an alkali or base – add baking soda for red, lemon juice for yellow, and boiling tap water for orange colors.
Bring a bit of nature’s beauty into your rooms.
Choose flowers with stems and twigs from your garden and get your kids to experiment with the different ways to arrange them in empty jam bottles and vases. 🌷
My son loves arranging these bouquets to place them around our home.
Make Nature Faces
Kids can create faces and self-portraits with materials found in nature, like flowers, leaves, twigs, pine cones, and stones. They can assemble these faces on sidewalks or on the floor at home with items they collect. 🙂
Making these ‘nature faces’ is an exercise in using their creativity.
Create Nature Paint Brushes
Make paintbrushes at home with your kids for their creative endeavors.
Gather thin sticks and twigs, long leaves, flowers with stems, and grass to make different textures of paint brushes. Wrap an elastic rubber band with the nature items onto sticks and twigs.
These paintbrushes intrigued my son as each paintbrush produces new textures and marks on the paper when dipped in paint. 🎨
Collect leaves of different shapes and sizes. Tie a string to one end of a toothpick or thin twig to make a needle and thread. Use the pointed end of a toothpick to thread through the leaves to make a garland of sorts. 🧶
This is a perfect activity to improve your kids’ fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
You can make your kids arrange leaves according to their sizes or shapes. This helps them with pattern recognition.
My son learned to balance objects with this engaging game.
Choose smooth stones from your garden or park. Let your kids try to balance these stones on top of each other to build a tower. 🗼
You can make this into a game of who can build the highest stone towers that don’t collapse soon.
This increases concentration and improves their fine motor skills.
Pine Cone Art
Collect pine cones and turn them into art pieces.
These pine cones can serve as a canvas to create objects by painting them or sticking paper shapes on the pine cones with designs you like. 👩🎨
Create an Identification Board
This is a hands-on activity that helps kids identify the different flowers and leaves in nature by making an identification board to keep track of the names and kinds of flowers and leaves they spot. 🔎
On a piece of cardboard, use a thin piece of tape to stick the flowers and leaves you find. With a marker, write down their names below each for identification.
Make Seed Mosaic Art
Create mosaic art with seeds that make for a fun craft activity.
Outline and cut shapes from cardboard. Start with simple shapes like a circle, triangle, and square, and then move to designs of your choice. Add a layer of glue to the cardboard shapes and stick seeds of different colors and sizes to form a mosaic pattern.
My son enjoys making seed mosaic art. ⚜️
Learn Shapes with Sticks
A hands-on approach to learning about shapes. ⭕️
Kids can use sticks and twigs they collect from outside to form different shapes and learn their names.
Plant a Tree
Kids can plant a tree for the future to give back to nature.
Teach kids the importance of trees and how they are necessary for our survival on this planet so that they learn to value nature and all that we’re given.
A small step of planting a tree today will definitely help make a considerable change in the future. 🌳
My son and I enjoyed doing these activities and crafts that made us stop and look around nature to see how much she has to offer and what we can make with her gifts.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog on nature activities you can do with your kids. Please share which of these activities you liked in the comment section. 😇
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.