60 Nature Play Ideas for Kids!

Here are 60 amazing ideas for exploring nature with your child through play, art and investigation!

I recently gave a talk at a nature play group, in the middle of the woods, about activities to do with your child that involve natural resources and that encourage interaction with the natural world. Here are those ideas that I gave in that talk, plus many more, with links to some fabulous articles from some talented writers around the web!

Mud
Use it to make a birds nest The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Concoct with it in a mud pie kitchen 

Paint with it  The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Have a princess mud tea party The Golden Gleam

Simply play with it Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

Sticks
Paint stick creatures Growling a Jeweled Rose

Make instruments, weave material, and play games with them The Good Long Road

Create a sistrum instrument from a branch Daria Music

Make your own blocks from driftwood Let the Children Play

Push them into play dough Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Wood and recycled materials sculptures Let the Children Play

Stones
Make a rock collection In Lieu of Preschool

Collect rocks and write a journal Creative Family Fun

Paint them to make monsters Red Ted Art

Create a rock shop Let the Children Play

Simply sort and play with them

Leaves
Jump and throw leaves JDaniel4’s Mom

Create colourful prints Putti’s World

Laminate leaves for play and learning Sunhats and Wellie Boots

Paint them Putti’s World

Create some woodland people Red Ted Art

Make herbal play dough

Flowers
Grow sunflowers Kids Activities Blog

Use them to make flower play dough NurtureStore

Make petal pictures Learn with Play at Home

Discover their magic tricks Creative Family Fun

Print with them Nurture Store

Make homemade lavender play dough

Grow a Sunflower Fort in the garden Let’s Lasso the Moon

Make rose petal perfume

Pound them to create beautiful art Rhythm of the Home

Pine Cones

Make a sculpture The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Serve them in a pretend play cafe

Create pine cone people Red Ted Art

Turn them into funny creatures Mummy, Mummy, Mum


Water
Jump and Splash Word Play House

Make natural ice boats Reading Confetti

Paint with the rain Sunhats and Wellie Boots

Search through rock pools Tinkerlab

Make your own rock pool at home

20 Ways to explore the rain Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

Collage
Make a contact paper collage using natural materials  The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Add natural elements to the art table Let the Children Play

Stick leaves to make a crown

3D sculptural art Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

Nature Walks and Hunts
Search for colours Glittering Muffins

Try out geocoaching Messy Kids

Go on an outdoor sound hunt Sunhats and Wellie Boots

Land Art
Create art with natural materials in a tray Smiling Like Sunshine

Make pebble patterns on the beach Taming the Goblin

Make land art outside with found materials

Sensory Tubs and Trays

Make a scented nature tub The Good Long Road
Explore natural textures Growing a Jeweled Rose
Autumn Sensory Tray Pre-School Play

Small World Play
Farmyard with grass and hay

Dinosaur land with beans and plants

Frog pond with water and rocks Let the Children Play

Make a magical fairy garden

 

For the days that you can’t get outdoors and explore nature first hand, go and gather some natural materials from your local woods, fields or beach and gets creative at home! Bring the nature home and let the connection with the natural world continue whatever the weather.


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