10 things to do in nature

Getting out into nature can be done in many ways, depending on where you live and what your neighbourhood is like. But, whether it’s a farm, a park, the beach or your backyard, there are plenty of things to do when you go on an adventure in the great outdoors.

If you are running short on ideas, we have put together this list of 10 things to do when you are out and about.  We’re pretty sure you can come up with some great ideas too depending on what interests your child.

1. Point and name some things that you see

A child’s excitement in the outside world means that you will probably have plenty of things that you can talk about. Some ideas of things you might say are “big; small; tiny; high; low; hiding; coloured”.

2. Close your eyes and listen

Sit down quietly with your child and ask them to close their eyes. Take a quiet moment to listen and then talk about what you hear. Can you hear birds, cars, dogs barking, children playing, people working?

3. Draw in the dirt

Grab a stick and find a patch of dirt (or sand, or gravel) that you can draw in. Ask your child to draw what they can see around, or maybe something from their imagination. Ask them to draw a picture of you, and then you can draw a picture of them. You can then draw things and ask them to guess what they are!

4. Blow a dandelion flower seed head and make a wish

At the right time of year there are dandelion seed heads everywhere! When you see one, help your child to carefully pick it so the seeds don’t fall off. Let them blow on it until the seeds come off and then tell them they can make a wish. But shhh… keep it a secret!

5. Collect leaves of different size, colour and shape

You can then choose to:

  • sort them by colour, size or shape,
  • thread them onto a piece of string to make a wind catcher, or
  • make a pattern.

6. Pick a small posy of flowers or leaves

Take the time to notice the colours, smells and shapes. Ask your child which is their favourite colour or shape. Which ones smell the nicest? You can carry them home and put them in a vase to decorate their room.

7.  Water a plant

Take a watering can and fill it with water. (It might be good for you to carry it with you, but if you aren’t going far, your child will probably want to try carrying it!) Gumboots can be a good idea for this one. Which plant do they want to water? Do they have enough water for more than one plant? 

8. Start a collection of natural things

Take a bucket, basket or other container with you and start collecting. Your child may want to collect just one type of thing, or they might want to collect all types of things, such as: special rocks, leaves, sticks, shells, feathers.

9. Go on a mushroom or bug hunt

See what you can discover as you roam around outside. You don’t need to bring them home, just collect them digitally by taking a photo with your phone or a camera. Then you and your child can look at their collection later – and even show other family members!

10. Make a mudpie

We saved the best for last: this one gets a little messy but – oh, what fun! All you need is a bucket of water, a bit of dirt and a ‘pie dish’. But make sure your child is wearing old clothes, and maybe a smock and gumboots because cooking mudpies can be messy work!