Great spring & summer weather takes us all outdoors. We love to explore on trails, parks, and even walks in the neighborhood. Though it is totally against my personality, I am intentionally slowing down my pace and allowing my kids to take in nature at it’s best. We ohh & awe over the various colored butterflies in the field by our home. We point out the singing birds in the trees. And we will always want to watch the big, industrial mowers in action proving that not everything that catches my toddler’s eye is natural.
Wanting to take advantage of all he is touching and smelling and collecting, I created a Nature Bag for us to use on our walks. To help us get the most out of our time in nature, I have packed a canvas bag with a few of these fun items:
Magnifying Glass/Binoculars: I am encouraging him to take a closer look at things and discover treasures hidden in plain view. Last week we saw tiny bugs crawling all over a rock. We grab the binoculars when we see a bird in the sky that we want to take a closer look at.
Digging Tools: My kids love to dig, so we pack along a plastic shovel to allow him to dig a deep hole to see what the soil looks like below the surface, find any hidden rocks, or maybe a squiggly worm.
Spray Bottle with Water: Just a quick spritz of water changes the look of things – notice the way rocks change colors when they get wet, or the spider-webs shimmer.
Nature Hike Checklist: I created a checklist to encourage my son to look for things. We make it into a game to see who can spot an item from the list first. Ours is pretty basic – a red bird, a yellow flower, a round rock, etc. – but can be adapted to fit any learning level.
Egg Carton: I picked up this idea a few years back, with my older kids. They loved it so much, we incorporated it with our Nature Bag. We painted the bottom of each compartment of an empty egg container a different color. We then collect items that are those colors on our nature walk to take home a great souvenir from our trip.
Utilizing our Nature Bag allows us to have fun and make our walks a little more intentional.
Here are some other fun nature activities to do with your little ones:
- Preschool Nature Activity: Matching and Sorting
- Going Camping with Preschoolers
- Tree Blocks: Building with Nature
Do you have any fun games or activities you try on Nature Walks? I’d love to hear them!