5 Creative Ways to Explore Nature with Your Kids

Enjoy some fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors

By Kyrie Collins, Publisher of Macaroni KID Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree, Colo. April 5, 2023

Getting outside is the perfect way to relax, socialize, and connect with nature. Walking outside can provide an opportunity for kids to observe wildlife, learn about different plants and trees, and engage in physical activity.

In addition to the educational and physical benefits, spending time in nature has been shown to have positive effects on mental health, which can be particularly important for children. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote overall well-being.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life while you enjoy some fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors. Visit your favorite local park or try a new one. Go for a kid-friendly hike and have a picnic. There's really no wrong way to get outside! Here are five creative ideas to help you and your kiddos explore nature in a whole new way.

Westbury & IOFOTO via Canva

1. Make it a Rainbow Walk.

Find something in nature of every color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Bonus points if you actually know the difference between blue, indigo, and violet. Double bonus points if you tell me so I'll know too!

Bring your camera so you can take pictures of what you find. Afterward, create a photo album keepsake of your Rainbow Nature Walk.

2. Play Nature Bingo.

Create different Bingo cards with items you might find during a day spent outside, such as butterflies, spiders, pine cones, ladybugs, grasshoppers, dandelions, clouds, trees, the sun, squirrels, and grass.

You can use words if your kiddos are already reading (bonus if they practice writing them on the card), or make your own with pictures from your computer, a free online design tool, or have your kids draw the pictures.

Julie Dikken/Macaroni KID

3. Create Projects with Natural Objects.

It's the time of year when we're spending more time outside enjoying the change in season and the longer hours of sun.

Get the kids engaged in a creative way outdoors this spring by challenging them to make art projects from found natural objects. The best part about using nature for art is you can use almost anything — flowers, rocks, sticks, leaves — anything they can find!

Here are seven ideas for natural art projects to inspire your kids.

4. Explore Your Senses.

One of the ways to reduce my brain clutter is to connect with my surroundings through my senses. In the middle of your walk, stop and observe your surroundings.

Try to name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. You can bring a treat on your walk to ensure you have a good answer for the last one!

Jacob Lund via Canva

5. Look A Little Closer.

Give your child a magnifying glass and take a closer look at tree bark, flower petals, and even dirt. Lift up logs and look under rocks. A whole other world exists at our feet!

Kyrie Collins, Publisher of Macaroni KID Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree, Colo.