Nature Activities for Kids: 11 Ways to Have Fun Outside All Year

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If you’re looking for fun and engaging nature activities for kids that you can enjoy with your little ones year-round, we’ve got tons of ideas to inspire you! We’ve included outdoor activities you can enjoy on a nature walk or while playing in your backyard, as well as indoor activities and crafts you can create after collecting supplies outside. These activities offer the perfect excuse to get outside and soak up some vitamin D while burning off energy, and compliment classroom STEM and science lessons!

11 Nature Activities for Kids

Nature-Inspired Scavenger Hunt
If you’re looking for nature activities for kids you can enjoy while you’re out for a walk or while relaxing in the backyard, one of the easiest things you can do is to create a scavenger hunt. We’ve written an entire post on indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts for kids, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy to organize when your little one is climbing the walls, write out a list of specific things for him or her to find while you’re outdoors. For example, your list could include the following:

  • A tree
  • A green leaf
  • A brown leaf
  • A bug
  • A feather
  • A rock
  • A cloud
  • An ant
  • A bird
  • A flower

Write your list on a piece of paper, attach it to a clip board, and give your little one a marker so he or she can cross the items off their list as they find them.

Egg Carton Seed Planters
Rescue an egg carton from your recycling bin and create your very own seed planters! All you need is potting soil and seeds, and you and your kids can create your very own an indoor garden. Make sure to label the planters if you are trying to grow more than one thing, and I suggest putting your egg carton in a dish to avoid making a mess when you water your plants!

Homemade Bird Feeders
Pinterest is filled with tons of easy bird feeders kids can make, and Crafts at Sea curated the best of the best, which you can find HERE.

Tree Rubbing Art
If you’re looking for nature activities for kids that don’t take a ton of time to setup, attach a large sheet of craft paper to a tree and let your kids rub crayons over top. The roughness of the bark will create a fun pattern, leaving you with a creative piece of art that you can cut down and use to create greeting cards for family and friends with!

Rock Painting
If you’re looking for indoor nature activities for kids, rock painting is something the whole family can enjoy, leaving you with beautiful keepsakes you will cherish forever. Challenge your kids to collect rocks in various sizes on your next outdoor excursion, and then check out this collection of rock crafts for kids. There are tons of options for all ages!

Fun with leaves
There are lots of fun things you can do with leaves, both inside and outside. The most obvious one is to create a huge pile of leaves for your child to jump and play in, but once you’re ready to go indoors, make sure to grab a handful as there are lots of great crafts you can create with leaves. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Leaf painting. Set your little one up with some crafting paper and let them paint leaves using their favorite colors. Once the leaves are dry, ask your kids to stick them to your front door to add a bit of cheer the whole neighborhood can enjoy!
  • Leaf rubbing art. Similar to the tree rubbing art idea above, place a sheet of paper overtop of leaves and let your kids rub crayons over top.
  • Leaf tree craft. Draw a tree trunk on the bottom of a sheet of paper, and then have your child glue leaves towards the top, allowing them to create their very own tree!

Nature BINGO
If you’re looking for outdoor activities for kids that can be enjoyed as a family and/or amongst siblings, BINGO is always a fun idea. Bitz & Giggles has a great free printable, which you can find HERE.

Painting with Mud
Kids LOVE to get dirty, and if you’re in need of easy-to-setup outdoor activities to keep your children engaged, give them a set of paintbrushes and let them ‘paint’ your driveway with mud! This will be easiest after a rainfall or during the spring months when the ground is thawing and mud is easy to come by, lol, but you can always give your kids a bucket of water so they can create their own mud to paint with!

Leaf Sun Catchers
If you’re looking for nature activities for kids that you can enjoy in the fall months, these autumn leaf sun catchers by Crafts on Sea are a beautiful way to celebrate the change in the seasons. You can collect the leaves during a family walk around the neighborhood and then enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate while crafting together!

Bird Watching
Bird watching is another great option for those in search of nature activities for kids. National Geographic has a great Kids Bird Guide of North America, and this Beginning Birdwatcher’s Book is a great place for kids to record their sightings.

Paper Sailboats
My last idea in this list of nature activities for kids is to make paper sailboats, and then take them outside after it rains to see if they float in puddles! Not sure how to make paper boats? One Little Project At a Time has a great tutorial, which you can see HERE.

I hope these nature activities for kids inspire you to find new and creative ways to help your kids appreciate the great outdoors!

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Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 9-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.