6 Awesome Outdoor Activities to Help Your Kids Take Part in Nature

Here’s a fun fact:

A whopping 83% of kids interviewed in a recent government survey said being in nature made them “very happy”. But that’s not all! 82% of them also said they’d like to do more to protect the environment.

In other words, if you can combine experiences in nature with lessons on looking after it, you’re going to have some very happy youngsters on your hands! And the benefits don’t stop there…

They won’t just be happy. They’ll be healthy too.

Having fun in the great outdoors (and educating them on it in the process!) encourages them to exercise and take a break from the screen. They’ll breathe in the fresh air and enjoy some quality time with their parents. And they’ll become more curious, creative, and able to think critically about the world.

Ultimately, there’s no shortage of benefits involved. So, with summer arriving and the weather warming up, we thought we’d share some great outdoor activities to help your kids take part in nature. Let’s dive in.

Facts and Stats about Kids and Nature

First, though, here are a few quick-fire stats to convince you of the importance of taking your kids outside and teaching them about the environment!

  • Another survey of 2000 parents found that a staggering 94% of children want to learn more about looking after the environment at school.
  • In that same survey, 90% of kids said being an inventor who helps combat climate change would be a dream job.
  • While most people have taken action to make the inside of their home more environmentally friendly, over one-quarter of British adults haven’t made similar changes to their garden in the past 5 years.

Fun Outdoor Activities to Try This Summer

We have some good news though: there are countless things you can do to kill two birds with one stone! Here’s a selection of fun, educational, and sustainable outdoor activities to try with your kids:

1. Build a Bug Hotel Using Recycled Packaging

Building a “bug hotel” in your garden is an amazing way to reuse old materials (think cereal boxes, shoe boxes, glass containers, and other unwanted packaging items) while also igniting an interest in wildlife for your kids.

With a basic box construction, you stack grass, leaves, twigs, woodchippings, and those other upcycled materials together to create a unique and eco-friendly space for insects. These self-built “shelters” will provide a home for all manner of mini-beasts! 

Get ready to have lots of fun seeing what inhabitants show up in the hotel, how they behave, and how they change over time.

2. Build a Bird Feeder or Table

Everybody wins when there’s a bird feeder/table in the garden. The birds get to satiate their appetite, quench their thirst, and wash their feathers; you and the kids get to watch while they enjoy themselves!

Building a birdhouse with your kids is a creative activity than can also be incredibly educational for them!

Having a bird feeder should attract all manner of birdlife into your garden as well. Why not buy a birdwatching book and some binoculars so you can identify them? You’d be able to admire these beautiful animals from afar and learn more about them in the process.

3. Have Fun with Rocks and Driftwood

You might not look at rocks and pieces of wood and instantly think “family fun”. But, trust us, there are plenty of ways to turn these simple natural items into an afternoon of enjoyable activities!

Painting and drawing letters on them to spell words are two examples that come to mind. You could also stack them up to make rock formations, stick pretty little stones onto cardboard to make a mosaic, and create mini “rock gardens” for bugs and other wildlife to call home.

4. Get Creative and Make Nature Faces

Looking for more creative outdoor activities? Why not assemble a big pile of natural objects from the garden (such as pine cones, sticks, grass, leaves, moss, feathers, and stones) and make nature faces (or masks!) out of them?

Getting creative outdoors is great mental stimulation for your little ones.

Some people use paper plates for this, but an eco-friendlier alternative would be to cut up pieces of cardboard from old cereal boxes and so on. You can then arrange everything on top to make funny faces and stick the objects down with glue. 

5. Make Nature Bracelets/Daisy Chains

Another way to use the natural resources in your garden is to turn them into jewellery! This could be something as simple as making a daisy chain, but you can also take strips of paper, apply a thin coat of glue, and then stick items on top. Wrap them around your child’s wrist and there you go – a beautiful natural bracelet! 

As an added bonus, teaching your kids how to do this will mean they’re able to make their own accessories from now on. It’s creative, pretty, and good for your bank balance – a perfect combo if you ask us!

6. Let Your Kids Get Messy

One of the oldest and greatest outdoor activities that both teaches kids about the natural world and lets them enjoy it is also the simplest:

Allowing them to run amuck outside and get all messy! Rolling around on the grass, splashing in puddles, jumping in piles of leaves, and playing with things like mud are awesome sensory activities for a developing child.

So, as long as they’re safe, try to let them explore, run around, pick things up, play with things they find, get their hands stuck in and their clothes dirty. It’s all part of a healthy growing up experience.

Time to Try These Outdoor Activities

Kids love the natural world. Not only do they want to be out in it, but they also want to learn how to protect it. As a parent, then, why not make it your mission to tick both boxes by engaging them with the outdoor activities on this list?!

Whether you try one or all of them, they’re sure to go down a treat.

And don’t stop there! For additional ways to get your children involved with the environment, check out our previous blog posts on educating kids on climate change, eco-friendly days out for kids, and eco-friendly holidays with the kids.

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