Nature activities for kids – ideas for all ages and seasons

Group of happy children lying on green grass outdoors in spring park doing nature activities

As you may have gathered, I am passionate about getting kids out in nature so I wanted to make a master post of all my ideas and posts of nature activities for kids.  The plan is to have them all linked here and this post will be ever changing so do bookmark the page for later use or pin it to Pinterest.

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You really don’t have to do much to get kids interested in nature, except allow them to explore, be open and curious with them and follow their lead.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need to go to special forest schools for it to be worth it (although they can be fun), it’s all available to you in your own back garden whether that’s a yard, large expanse of grass or the local park.

 

Nature activities for kids

Go on a nature walk

 

My favourite and most shared nature activity for kids is a simple nature walk.  Decide what you want to find or go and tell your kids to point out all the most interesting nature to you.  Do it regularly and your kids will love them!  The best part?  Nature walks are free and can be done in any weather.   Here are my nature walk tips for more ideas.

 

Watch the weather

What kid doesn’t just love to splash in puddles, create fun shadows on the pavement or fly a kite in the wind?  If your kids are especially interested in the weather then making a weather diary might be a fun activity and you can add weather experiments to it all too.  Perhaps measure the rainfall, get a barometer to measure the pressure or even draw the clouds.

 

 

Stargaze

learning about nature doesn’t have to end when it’s bedtime.  Well, it can if you want it to, but how about taking some time in the holidays to spend a little longer outside on a clear night to start learning about stars, the constellations and perhaps even see if you can see a planet or two!  Oh and let’s not forget the moon!

If you want to find shooting stars then one of the best times of year to look is in August when the Perseid meteor shower happens.  If it’s a clear night then you can see so many!  Find out more about this on our post here about the Perseids Meteor Shower.

 

Sleep outside

Camping out in your garden is a fun activity to do if you have an outdoor space that is suitable.  If not, why not Join the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleep Out as they sometimes have activities that are organised to allow kids to join in.  When you’re out there can you hear any nocturnal animals?  Owls?  A rustle that might be a hedgehog?

 

 

Learn about birds and do some birdwatching

Birds are so accessible for our kids, especially if you can hang up a bird feeder or create a bird feeding station in your garden.  I have a few posts about watching birds below:

Birdwatching for kids

Feeding garden birds

Make a winter bird feeder

Take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

 

Spot the different animals around you

Many wild mammals are tricky to spot in the UK although there are some that might be a bit easier – I’m thinking about squirrels and deer if you have anywhere near you that’s a managed deer park.  Other than that you might have to get sneaky and do some detective work – my animal tracking for kids post might help you there!

Another activity I love to do is bat watching.  It’s actually surprisingly easy to find them and you don’t have to stay up all night either.  Try sitting in your garden at dusk and keep watch.  If you’re really keen, a bat detector is great, but not a must.  Here’s my guide to bat watching with kids if you fancy a go.

 

 

Explore your local pond life

Whether it’s a garden pond or a council-owned patch of wildlife with a pond at the centre, you’ll find a heap of nature nearby.  My overall guide to pond life with kids will give you some ideas of things to do but I’ll let you in on a secret to my favourite activity – pond dipping!  It’s so much fun and kids of all ages can get a lot out of it, even older kids – especially if they are studying biology in school!  I’ve listed my posts below about how to do pond dipping and some of the kit you might want to get hold of if you do want to give it a go:

Pond dipping with kids

Pond dipping nets and kits (including how to make your own)

 

Search for insects and creepy crawlies

Finally, who can forget creepy crawlies and having a search for as many as you can in the garden?  Scavenger hunts are great for giving kids an idea of what mini beasts you can see and of course they don’t all have to be horrid – butterflies totally count!

Join in the Big Butterfly Count

Minibeast activities for children

Bug Hunting kits for kids

 

 

Search out nature at the seaside

Go rockpooling or search for shells on the beach.  Make art with what you find and get your feet wet in the sea.

 

 

Look after wildlife

As well as watching and exploring the world there is a lot we can do to look after nature and wildlife.  Kids are great at getting involved in things like litter picks from beaches, building bee and bug hotels and also making homes for hedgehogs.