20+ Nature Walk Activities For Charting a Course through Nature’s Notebook

With so much of our lives being spent looking at screens, we as parents πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ should inculcate a love for nature in our kids from a young age. I have learned that taking my kids, especially my son, for a walk in nature has provided them with much-needed stimulation 🧠 and exercise. 

It has also improved his problem-solving abilities, reduced restlessness, and taught him about his responsibility towards his little sister and other creatures in nature.

Nature Walk Activities for Kids

The activities that I am about to list in the next section are equal parts educational, instructive, and fun for kids.

I have observed that these activities will help you engage with your child whilst simultaneously providing them with stimulation. 

I hope that these activities will make your next outing in the woods more fun.πŸ‘‡

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

The next time you plan to take your child for a walk in nature, hand them over a scavenger hunt list that includes a list of objects such as sticks, stones, birds, mushrooms πŸ„, trees, and insects. And I can guarantee that looking for these items will help develop your child’s observational skills. 

Pro Tip: You can make it more interesting by turning it into a competition of who can find πŸ”Ž the most things on the list.

Shape Hunting

Nature is full of different shapes. Challenge your kids by giving them the task of identifying as many different shapes as they possibly can. My daughter, who is very young, absolutely loved looking for differently shaped objects. 

Just like in a scavenger hunt πŸ”Ž, you can prepare a checklist of different shapes that can be found in nature. For instance, a cylindrical log, flat, spherical rock, and triangular leaves.

Pro Tip: I would recommend that an adult should always accompany their kid while they are looking for these objects. Cause I can’t count how many times I had to stop my daughter from chomping on some dry leaves. πŸ˜…

I Spy

I Spy is a great observational game that helps your child’s visual observation skills, conversational skills, and listening πŸ‘‚ skills. Walking in nature is the perfect setting for this game. 

With this game, I taught my kids about different kinds of insects, flowers, fruits, plants, rocks, etc. You can do the same with your kids. 

Pro Tip: If you are not familiar with the insects, animals, flora, and fauna, then I recommend visiting the page for the national park where you are taking your kids, as they can be very informative. I usually keep the information I find on these websites handy so that I can whip it up when I get a chance. 

Create Nature Inspired Art

Create Nature Inspired Art

Help spark creative inspiration in your children by challenging them to create ✏️ art from substances that they find during their nature walks.

What I like to do is let my children pick up as much stuff as they possibly can and then sort it into different piles when we get home, like stones, dry leaves, branches, flowers, etc. 

I also draw something for my youngest child so that she can paste these materials wherever she wants within that picture. It is a great alternative to paint and colored pencils. 

Pro Tip: Make sure that the stuff your kid picks is safe to use; I strongly recommend caution.

Leaf Finding Activities

A nature walk is an ideal setting to teach your child how to identify different plants from their leaves, along with the life cycle of leaves and what purpose they play in a plant.🌿

I found that through this activity, I was able to engage both of my children and was able to impart knowledge about photosynthesis and how plants and trees produce oxygen for us. 

Walk Barefoot on Grass 

If, on your walks, you happen to come across a field of trimmed grass, then I highly recommend encouraging your little ones to spend some time playing and walking on it barefoot. 🐾

This is because research has shown that walking barefoot on a natural surface helps reduce oxidative stress, improves sleep, and even increases the production of mood-balancing hormones. 

You know what, I am not gonna lie; I enjoyed walking barefoot as well, so I encourage you to give it a try as well. 

Pro Tip: You don’t have to wait to go to a park to walk on some grass; you can also do the same on your front and back lawn. 

Nature Collection 

Nature Collection

Nature collection is an activity meant for kids between the ages of 4 and 6. This activity gives your kids a purpose to explore nature. πŸͺ¨ All you need to do is hand your child a tote bag to collect items like different flowers, stones, leaves, and sticks. 

Pro Tip: I highly recommend that once you and your children are back home from your nature walk, you should help your kids sort through their collection and make piles of rocks, branches, flowers, and leaves.

You can also ask them to further differentiate between the different shapes of leaves and rocks and different colors of flowers. 

Seed Collection 

If you are taking your kids to a forested area for a walk, then you can teach them about how plants produce and disperse seeds by making them collect seeds. πŸ•ŠοΈ

Once your child has collected their seeds, help them sort and classify them, and even teach them the role of animals, birds, and insects in the dispersal of seeds. 

This exercise was highly insightful for not just my kids but me as well. I didn’t know much about seeds and took the help of a guide to help educate my children. You can do the same if you are not well-versed in the subject. 

Leaf Impressions 

On your next walk through nature, pack paper and colors to create leaf impressions of different leaves. πŸ€To create a leaf impression, place a leaf underneath a piece of paper and rub crayons over the paper. Encourage them to create unique artwork with the same technique. 

Pro Tip: This exercise is a good way to talk to your kids about the differences in nature. How the leaves of different plants have unique characteristics that set them apart from one another.

Play a Game of ‘Man-made or Natural’ 

Teach your kids the difference between ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ objects while on a walk. 🌲 It is a great way of challenging your kindergarteners’ observational skills. 

Pro Tip: I found this activity to be a great way to usher my eldest child into a conversation about biodegradable and non-biodegradable objects. Maybe you can do the same. 

Identify Different Sounds 

There is a striking difference between the sounds of a city and the natural surroundings, and I couldn’t agree more. 🐿️

Encourage your kids to focus on the different sounds coming from their surroundings, like the chirping of birds and insects, the sound of squirrels running, the swaying of trees, and many more. 

Dead Leaf Art 

Fall is the most beautiful time of the year. As the trees prepare for winter, they shed their leaves.πŸ‚ While on a walk through the woods, encourage your child to collect as many dead leaves of different shapes and colors as possible to create a beautiful fall artwork. 

I found this exercise to be a great way to involve my children in a conversation about seasons and how the change in weather affects nature and animals. 

Explore a Local Freshwater Body 

Explore A Local Freshwater Body

Take your kids to explore a local freshwater body as it allows them to learn about different ecosystems and how they keep each other in balance. It helps them explore the connection between the forest and waterbody. 🌊 

Take a dip net along with you to educate the kids about the critters that live in water bodies. For parents who are into fishing, like myself, this activity is a great activity to introduce your kids to the joys of fishing. 

Pro Tip: If you catch a fish during this process, I recommend that you release it back into the water if you don’t want to consume it. I grew up fishing myself and was taught by my family the importance of respecting nature, which provides so much for us. 

Nature Letter Sheet 

This is an absolute favorite activity that I introduced my kids to. βœ…

If your child is currently learning the alphabet, then this game is perfect for you. Challenge your child to identify as many objects they can which start with a different letter in the alphabet. 

Pro Tip: As your child grows older, make the game more challenging by making them spot as many objects as possible with one letter only. When I assigned this task to my son, he was extremely excited and even helped his little sister learn new words. 

Watch the Insects 

Insects play an extremely important role in our ecological system and in maintaining harmony. πŸͺ³ Help your kids identify different species of insects by their anatomy and their activity. πŸ›Also, make sure that your kids learn to be respectful towards them and other animals in nature. 

I know that most people are terrified of insects; however, they play an extremely important role in our ecosystem. I felt that I should teach my kids that it is okay to be afraid of them, but it isn’t okay for them to cause harm to the insects. 

Rock Art 

Rock Art

Rocks are available in abundance in every natural setting. πŸͺ¨Therefore, challenge your kids to collect different shapes, colors, and sizes of rock to create artwork, like picture frames or portraits, using the same rocks. 

Help Identify Different Seasons 

Take your kids to a forested area or water body throughout the year and during different seasons.

This will help your child observe seasonal changes in nature. 🌺 For instance, spotting new leaves growth after winter, flowers blooming during spring, and falling leaves during fall. 

Mapping 

Use a map to explore your surroundings and include your child in the navigating process. πŸ—Ύ This activity, which involves observation and spatial awareness, will increase your child’s confidence in their skills and foster independent qualities. I highly recommend this activity. 

My story- I didn’t know how to read a map and have, for the best part of my adult life, used a GPS to go around places; however, after I had kids, I wanted to impart a lot of practical knowledge to them, just so that they become self-reliant and can adapt to different situations. 

So, I started referring to the maps provided at the gift shop of my local national park and have used them to navigate my journey within it multiple times.

Now, I am teaching my kids to do the same and have noticed through this process that making decisions for themselves has made them confident. 

Mud Play 

Mud Play

Did you know there are psychological benefits to playing in the mud? I was hesitant to allow my son to play in the mud at first as well, but after learning that it strengthens your child’s immune system, fosters positive emotional health, and boosts independent learning, I had to let go of my inhibitions. 

Let your kid play in the mud, create stuff from it, and have some messy fun. 

Pine Cone Art 

Of all the art-related suggestions, this one is by far my son’s favorite activity to do. My son absolutely loves collecting pine cones and using them to create different creatures to play with. My daughter loves playing with them as well. 

Pro tip: Pine cones can be very dirty, and we all know that little kids, especially toddlers, are notorious for putting dirty things into their mouths. Therefore, I recommend:

  • Cleaning the pine cones by soaking them in a water-vinegar solution. 
  • Leave them to soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour, as it helps remove dead bugs and dirt from the cones. 
  • Then, rinse the pine cones with clean water and let the water strain from them. 
  • Place the pine cones in a sheet tray and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours. 
  • Once they have cooled down, they can be used for arts and crafts projects. 

Clean Up 

If you see a lot of garbage being thrown on the path you travel, then I recommend picking it up along with your children.

By collecting the garbage and carefully disposing of it, you can teach your kids about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling, along with composting and proper disposal of garbage. 

Although I know that cleaning up is nobody’s favorite thing to do, it is certainly not mine, and I am an adult. However, I feel that it is our moral duty as parents to inculcate respect for our surroundings and the importance of cleaning up after ourselves to our children. 

Pro Tip: I recommend bringing large garbage bags and sorting the trash as you move along rather than later. For instance, I asked my son to collect plastic bottles and wrappers, whereas I collected beer cans and glass bottles. 

Tree and Plant Identification 

Tree And Plant Identification

If you are planning on taking your kids to a national park, then you can find information related to the different types of plants and trees one can find there.  

Pro Tip: What I like to do is create a catalog of these plants and trees 🌳for my son and then challenge him to identify them when we visit the park. 

Create a Journey Stick 

My kids love playing Explorer whenever they get a chance. So, help yours create a journey by collecting different items you can find in the forest, like broken branches, and bind them together with tape. 

Pro Tip: Make sure to smooth the edges of the broken branches before handing them to your child, as they can accidentally poke themselves or someone else with a sharp edge. 

Dam Building 

The next time you are near a pond or a small lake on your nature walk with kids, teach them how to build a dam using rocks and sticks, like a beaver. 🦫Did you know that beavers play an important role in modifying ecosystems and creating wetland habitats for other species to thrive in? 

Research has shown that the dams created by beavers are responsible for recharging deep aquifers, which helps the area during the dry season. 

Pro Tip: While doing this exercise, you can talk to your children about how different animals help each other out in their natural habitat. I used the example of how Yellowstone National Park was able to revive its lake and endangered species by introducing wolves to the park.

Sky Gazing 

Sky Gazing

Due to the pollution in the city, sometimes it is hard to enjoy the beautiful night sky. 🌠 If you are camping in the forest, then don’t miss the opportunity to sky gaze 🌟before tucking in. It was pretty exciting to see the look on my daughter’s face when she saw the starry night. 

Pro Tip: For me, the best time to star gaze is after it has rained as the sky becomes super clear. 

Practical Applications of Mathematics 

Nature can be a great setting to practically apply some of the principles of maths. βž• For instance, ask your child to calculate the speed at which you walked during your walk (like I do) and work out the distance you have walked or the length of a tree. 

Tree Bark Art 

Usually, the forest floor is full of fallen tree bark and branches. Ask your child to collect tree bark and bring them home to examine them carefully and then draw the texture on paper. 

Pro Tip: Instead of drawing the texture on paper, you can also ask your child to create an impression of tree bark by placing a tree bark on the table, putting a plain white sheet on top, and then rubbing a crayon over the sheet. 

Nature Walk Bingo 

Nature walk bingo is one of my and my son’s favorite activities to do together. All you need to do is create a bingo card of semi-hard-to-find objects in nature. 

Pro Tip: If your child is below the age of 5, I recommend creating a bingo card with pictures to help them identify the objects. 

Play Hide-and-seek 

Play Hide-And-Seek

If your kids are familiar with the wooded area where you take them for walks, then a good game of hide-and-seek can be really fun.

The last time we went to the forest, my kids and I were accompanied by some of my friends and their kids, and all of us had a blast playing hide-and-seek. 

Adopt a Tree 

While going for a walk with your kids, teach them why trees are important and why they need to conserve them by adopting a tree.🌲 You can also ask your child to make a journal of the growth and life cycle of the tree. 

Bird Watching 

When you visit a national park at the right time of the year, you can engage in bird-watching with your child. πŸ¦… National parks are filled with a variety of birds that can be fun to identify. 

Nature Mosaic 

Nature Mosaic

Help your kids collect interesting topics, like leaves, shells, stones, and petals, while on a nature walk.🌸 Then, on a piece of paper, draw an outline of a flower, house, bird, or tree, and then ask the kids to paste these objects within the outline. 

My son, who is the eldest, really enjoyed helping his little sister on this project. 

Follow The Footprints 

While hunting, hunters usually look for paw prints to find and identify their prey. 🐾While you and your kids are taking a walk, and you come across the footprints of different animals, teach them about the identifying markers and whether it is safe to roam in the area based on the footprints. 

Pro Tip- You can look up pictures of paw prints of animals and birds native to the national park you are visiting on the internet, print them, and give them to your child to look for them. 

Rock Stacking 

If you are going on a walk with young toddlers who are learning about different shapes and sizes, then rock stacking is the perfect interactive game for them.πŸͺ¨ When you come across an area with several pebbles and rocks, challenge your kids to build the tallest stack possible. 

My daughter is at a stage of her development where she is noticing shapes and stacking things, so this happened to be a really stimulating challenge for her. 

Tree Planting 

Tree Planting

If you want to teach your kids about the miracle of life and growth, then teaching them about the responsibility of plant and tree care is an excellent place to start. 🌳

When visiting a national forest or beach, take a pack of seeds of plants that are native to the area and sow them there. This way, whenever you visit the place, your kid can learn how plants grow. 

Pro Tip: Do not plant random seeds or seedlings in a forested area, as it can lead to diseases and loss of vegetation. Ask a park ranger or visit the national park’s official website to see the plants and trees native to the area. 

Foraged Clay Press 

This activity involves using the collected nature objects, pressing them into soft clay, and then painting over the impression. These make for beautiful art pieces, and hang them up on a wall. My daughter absolutely loved this activity. 

She is still at an age where she is figuring out shapes and colors and is learning to pick things up, so she really enjoyed doing this. 

Build A Fort 

Build A Fort

If you are on a nature walk in a wooded area, then find some sturdy, stable logs and branches to build a fort.

You can also use the leaves and flowers to decorate the fort. It is important that you have some prior knowledge about how to secure logs on one another because things can start falling pretty quickly. 

You can even build such a fort in your own backyard if you are into it. 

Play a Game of Pine Cone Toss 

If you are on a walk with a bunch of kids, then a game of pinecone toss is an excellent way to get some fun exercise. Gather a bunch of pinecones and see who can toss them the furthest.  

Pick Edible Materials 

This activity is recommended for parents who have excessive knowledge about the local flora and fauna and can help their forage edible plants and fruits by differentiating between edible and non-edible foods. πŸ‡

Teach your kids how to forage for edible foods and to properly clean them before eating. πŸ’

Pro Tip: Do not do this activity unless you have experience with foraging and are educated in the local flora. I personally sought help from a friend who grew up foraging in the woods and knew what she was doing. 

Cartography Exercises 

Cartography exercises are a fun activity for older kids where they are challenged to draw a map of the area they are exploring. πŸ—Ύ

Teach them how to construct a map by taking note of the track, the river, landmarks, and other identifiably unique features. 

Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up

As someone who enjoys spending time in nature, it was extremely important for me to teach my kids to appreciate the majesty of nature and its many benefits in our lives. 🚸

I have noticed that by introducing these activities to my son (my daughter is still very young), he has become more observant of his surroundings and asks for more responsibility around the house.🏘️

Trekking through “Nature Walk Activities” has been a breath of fresh air! Did they root you into relaxation or branch out your outdoor experiences?

Share your trail-tastic tales. Your insights help us map out more natural nuances and ensure our wanderlust walks remain wildly wonderful! πŸ‚πŸšΆ

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