Nature Activities for Kids [8 Fun Outdoor Activities!]

Why is being outdoors so good for kids? Sure, they get some fresh air and sunshine. But – it also gives them time to unplug, learn something new, or create a meaningful bond with nature. Luckily, there is no shortage of nature activities for kids!

Here are eight great ways for kids to spend time in nature while also having a ton of fun.

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Outdoor adventures await!

Geocaching

Geocaching is like a modern-day treasure hunt. Instead of using paper maps and compasses, geocachers rely on the Geocache app on their phones and GPS to find the treasure. 

And what does this treasure look like, you might wonder?

The cache can be as simple as a Tupperware, or it might be a weather-proof container specifically for geocaching. Typically, there is nothing of monetary value in the cache. Instead, you’ll find custom trinkets that others have left behind or perhaps little metal medallions called geocoins.

Geocaching is one of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of nature while also going outside for an adventure! The best part is that kids are almost guaranteed to have tons of fun. Also – geocaching is free – and intriguing! You never know what you’re going to discover.

Geocaching helps children (and adults too!) improve their map-reading skills, takes explorers to unfamiliar places off the beaten track, and can be a hilarious way to test your detective skills. Geocaching has grown tremendously popular since it first started in 2000.

Our Pick
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
$91.99

A very well-reviewed, rugged, handheld navigator with support for paperless geocaching and up to 20 hours of use on two AA batteries. IPX7 waterproof, WAAS enabled, and preloaded with a worldwide base map.

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09/24/2021 02:00 pm GMT

You can find geocaching options ranging from easy and kid-friendly to very difficult.

If you’re not sure where to find the best geocaches around your neck of the woods – check out the Geocaching app in Google Play and the App Store.

(There are countless thousands of geocaches within the the free Geocaching app. I can’t believe there are so many. Geocaching is booming!)

Read More – Termites vs. Carpenter Ants! How to Prevent Damage!

Take an Educational Walk

dogs-make-outdoor-activities-more-fun
Dogs make educational walks more fun! So – if your kids find walking boring, consider adopting a puppy! I don’t think dogs mind going for educational walks either – especially if you bring extra dog cookies!

In some ways, going for a walk sounds too simple to be entertaining, especially when it’s compared to something as captivating and adrenaline-inducing as a video game or a movie.

However, a walk doesn’t have to be a dull, humdrum affair. An engaging walk can be an educational experience or a mindfulness exercise.

If you have a preschooler, take them on a walk and challenge them to:

  • Find a series of items, one for every color of the rainbow 
  • See how many different shapes they can spot
  • Search for unicorns. Or birds. Or – bunnies! (Or any fun creature that lurks nearby!)

If you have a school-age child, task them with:

  • Focusing on the world at our feet (How many bugs can they spot?)
  • Paying attention to the growth of the plants you pass. Repeat the walk a few times over a month and watch how the plants evolve.

Fun activities for older kids: 

  • Using walking as a time to practice mindfulness. Get them to focus on clearing their minds and relaxing their bodies.
  • Contemplating the history of a place. What do they think this place looked like ten years ago? 50? 100?
  • Instill the benefits of exercise and enjoying the outdoors!

These ideas and more come from Gillian Judson’s book A Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder and Developing Sense of Place. 

Our Pick
A Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder And Developing Sense of Place (K-12)
$19.99

This is a great resource for educators and parents who want to take student learning outdoors. It includes 60 easy walking-focused activities, designed to broaden the kids' awareness and wonder in nature.

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09/24/2021 01:55 pm GMT

Read More – 10 Amazing Egg-Collecting Aprons and DIY Patterns!

Learn to Hike

learn-how-to-hike-for-kids-outdoors
Challenge your kids and family to abandon their tablets and video games for an epic outdoor adventure along your favorite mountain trail! As you travel, pay attention and enjoy the scenery. Appreciate the remarkable sights, sounds, and wildlife you encounter!

Hiking is the perfect way for older children and teenagers to build a positive relationship with exercise at a young age, explore their community, immerse themselves in nature and learn more about local flora and fauna. As children grow, they may seek more challenging adventures!

However, hiking in the wilderness is not without its dangers. Accidents can happen, and people can become lost. The Hug-a-Tree and Survive program teaches children how to stay safe if they do become lost.

It’s also wise to teach young hikers the importance of being prepared. Complete a trip plan that outlines how long your hike is, what route you’re taking, and approximately what time you will be back.

Leave your trip plan with a friend! That way, if something happens, there is someone who knows where to look for you.

Prepared hikers should have the following items in their backpacks for a day trip: 

It’s also crucial that we are good stewards of our environment when we visit the great outdoors. These wild spaces can be surprisingly fragile, and we want them to last for many years. 

Remember the following tips while you’re out in the woods: 

  • Give animals lots of space.
  • Keep pets under control at all times.
  • Take only photos. Leave only footprints.
  • Walkthrough puddles, not around them, to reduce trail erosion.

Read More – Are White Cucumbers Safe to Eat?

Favorite for Kids
Herbalism for Kids (Online Nature Camp)
$29 (or $39 family pass)

Herbalism for Kids is a wonderful 4-week journey into herbalism for kids of all ages. It's chock-full of engaging, hands-on educational activities and fun, designed to spark their curiosity and interest in the wild world of plants.

Week 3 is my favorite - Have Fun in the Kitchen! This lesson is packed full of kid-friendly herbal recipes and treats - how about some herb ice cream, yummy popsicles, or Flower Power Jigglers? Then, we'll make some herbal playdough!

Sign up a single camper or your entire family!

Get More Info at The Herbal Academy
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Rockhounding

rockhounding-rock-collecting-for-kids-nature
Rockhounding is a lot more fun than you think! Starting is easy. Brainstorm a list of the top 5 rocks in your region. Next, challenge your kids to help you find them. Maybe mention the possibility of gemstones and rare earth minerals. Who could resist the challenge!

Some rocks have distinctive characteristics! 

Here’s what I mean.

Jasper is bright red. Quartz has a tell-tale shimmer. Volcanic rocks? They’re full of holes! Jet forms by putting wood under enormous pressure – and it often floats. 

Rockhounders use their knowledge of local geology to find unique minerals and gemstones in their environment. Every place has unique geology – and it can be fun to see what makes your home unique. 

Many communities have rockhounding clubs for adults and kids, and there are many great books about identifying stones. 

Great Guide
My Awesome Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals
$10.99

Kids can identify and catalog their rocks and minerals with this fascinating field guide! Explore 150 different rocks, with step-by-step instructions for testing and identifying the one you find yourself. Includes plenty of notebook space to record your data!

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09/24/2021 02:05 pm GMT

This site has a comprehensive guide on how to start rockhounding.

Go out and start a rock collection today! 

Build a Birdhouse

building-a-birdhouse
Wooden birdhouses provide a fun outdoor activity for your entire family! If you get lucky, a bird may even fancy your birdhouse and live inside! Don’t forget to add nesting materials to help accommodate your potential guests. Add moss, twigs, hay, and straw to welcome nearby birds.

Kids love to build birdhouses. They accomplish a small carpentry project, and they get to enjoy watching birds use them. Birdhouses also provide a tremendous opportunity to learn more about local bird varieties and their lifecycles. 

There are many ways to build a birdhouse! Also – different birds are attracted to various kinds of birdhouses. So, if your kids enjoyed making one birdhouse, consider building another and see who comes to roost.

Our Pick
Toysmith Beetle & Bee Build a Bird Bungalow DIY Kit for Kids
$10.99

Welcome birds to the backyard with this classic 6" tall birdhouse! Easy to make and suitable for kids aged 5 and older, it includes the wood pieces, a chain for hanging, paint, paint brush, nails, glue, and instructions.


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09/24/2021 02:15 pm GMT

Let me share a method that uses pieces of logs that would otherwise end up as firewood!

Here’s a crafty homemade birdhouse tutorial from SunCatcherStudio that uses pieces of logs that you would otherwise chuck in the fireplace!

If you’re looking for a classic birdhouse, check out Ana White’s $2 birdhouse. Ana White’s birdhouse makes clever use of picket fencing materials and is a perfect inspiration!

Read More – How to Keep Flies Away from Food!

Beekeeping

mason-bee-home-insect-hotel
Imagine building a wooden bug hotel that nearby insects can’t resist. You can invite nearby bees and insects to nest inside by forming holes and easy-access-ports. Notice the cells and compartments so the bugs can effortlessly burrow within. We bet that kids who love insects and wildlife jump at this idea!

Mason bees are solitary nesting bees that you can find throughout most of North America. They often make their homes in sandy areas or the hollow stems of dead plants.

These bees do not produce honey! But, they are powerhouse pollinators that are great friends to have in the garden.

Making a mason bee home can be a fun way to support local pollinator populations in your area and boost pollination in your garden. 

You can make a mason bee home by drilling a series of holes into an untreated 4×4. Or, you can use a series of hollow bamboo pieces or paper straws. A tube with a diameter of 5/16 should suit your mason bees marvelously!

PS: If you want to learn how to make a mason house with some scrap lumber, check out this legendary mason bee house tutorial from Hobby Farms!

Solar Ovens

The inside of a solar oven gets warm enough to melt chocolate bars and marshmallows! Perfect if you love s’mores and want a sweet outdoor snack while enjoying the beautiful sunny weather at the same time!

Harness the power of the sun to make s’mores or a grilled cheese sandwich! Here’s how.

Gather a pizza box, saran wrap, tin foil, and scotch tape. Then – kids can build a nifty makeshift solar oven! This science experiment demonstrates how solar energy converts into heat. Plus, who doesn’t love a good s’more?

If your kids decide that solar cooking is lots of fun – then consider grabbing a GoSun Solar Kitchen Pro if you want a significant outdoor cooking upgrade!

Follow the instruction in this video for more information on how to build a solar oven:

Sometimes, it’s okay to bribe friends and family with s’mores if they refuse to spend time outside!

Flower Pressing

When pressing flowers, let your creativity run wild! Invite your kids to press their favorite autumn foliage, flowers, petals, and leaves the way they like. Which contrasting leaf colors, petal shapes, and blossom hues look the best?

Flower pressing dates back to the 1500s. It can be as simple as picking a flower and putting it between the pages of a heavy book.

Throughout a couple of weeks, the pages absorb the moisture – and the flower preserves. The dried flowers are perfect for a wide variety of art projects.

Or – you can drape the dried flowers nearly anywhere you can imagine for an upgraded decor and fragrance!

(Try draping the dried flowers over your doorway, along your garden terrace, on your front porch – or even in your camper, RV, or walkway. They work anywhere and enhance any setting!)

4M Green Creativity Pressed Flower Art Kit for Kids
$11.99

This flower press kit includes a 4" press, glue, brush, double-side tape, and detailed instructions - perfect for kids aged 5 and older.

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09/24/2021 02:10 pm GMT

Outdoor Activities for Kids and Family!

There are a million ways to spend time in nature with your kids, and once you start, I think you’ll find you want to spend more and more time outside.

Whether you’re enjoying a hike, searching for rare stones, or doing some nature crafts, I hope that you and your kids find ways to make a habit of putting on your hats and getting outside!

But – which outdoor activities for kids do you like best?

Or, maybe we missed some of the best nature activities for kids?

Did we overlook something?

We love to hear your ideas!

Thanks so much for reading!

Read More – 3 Types of Basil for Herb Garden Variety  

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