Here are some simple nature-based activities for kids – whether out in the park or on the balcony, there are possibilities for everyone that won’t cost the earth and won’t take long.
Seed collecting: Many flowers and trees in our neighbourhoods started as small seeds, which take many different forms. From an oak tree, to a tomato, to a banana, most of the plants around us have seeds. Look around your kitchen, garden and park and see how many different seeds you can find. Once you have collected a variety of seeds and found out what they are, then you can plant them or draw a picture of what the seed will grow into.
Leaf collage: Fallen leaves are everywhere – you’ll find them on the street, in window boxes, in your garden and at the local park. How many different kinds, colours and shapes of leaves can your child find? Collect as many as you can find and have your child identify the plant they are from by talking to parents and neighbours, looking in a book, or asking someone who works in a park. Then make a picture or a collage with them.
Bark rubbing: The bark of each variety of tree is different. Can you tell the differences? Next time you’re in the park or your garden, take a few pieces of paper and coloured wax crayons. When you see a tree with interesting bark, lean the paper against it and rub the crayon over it – soon you’ll have a picture of the bark.
Hunting: Ask your child to go on an animal hunt. After it rains, ask your child to find animal footprints. Does your child recognise them? Are there other signs that animals were around such as ripped leaves, broken twigs or branches, or feathers from birds?What makes some things in nature pretty? What makes some things in nature scary, boring, or interesting? What are the things in nature that your child likes the most?
If you have any unique or interesting nature-based activities your kids enjoy or you have a story to share, please post a comment below.