It’s almost time for spring and that means warmer weather and outdoor ADVENTURES!!!! Being in nature is one of our favorite things to do as a family. Going on walks, collecting leaves, or making mud pies on a rainy day, we love it all. Below I am going to share with you my top five favorite activities to do in nature with my kiddos.
Five Senses Walk
I love asking my kids to use their five senses to describe their environment. We will take a walk around our yard, the park, or really wherever we can. Then I play a modified version of “ I spy.” So, if we are using our sense of smell, I would say, “I smell with my little nose something that is sweet.” Or I might say, “ I hear with my little ears snorting” or “I feel on my little face a breeze blowing.” My three year old begs to play this game and I truly believe it helps her to focus on what we are doing and be observant all the beauty nature has to offer.
Dancing in the Rain
Don’t let a rainy day spoil your plans. There is nothing more fun or sensory-packed than going outside and playing in a warm rain. My kids and I LOVE to splash in puddles and dance in the rain. Go for it!
Make a print out (or find one online) of pictures of items in nature. Give each child a scavenger hunt paper and a basket and let them go out into your yard or take them to a park to find the items on their list. After they have found all the items talk about each one and how they help people or animals.
Build a mud kitchen! Gather some dirt and divide it into two large plastic tubs, add water to the dirt to make it into mud, provide kids with old pots, pans, and spoons, and let the messy fun begin. If you are feeling really creative, you can even paint rocks to look like fruits and veggies that they can use as ingredients in their muddy creations. I know this one is really messy but is great for exposing your kids to the squishy texture of mud and, let’s be honest, playing in the mud is just really fun!
Make a kid-friendly garden! I plan to build a small box garden just for my kiddos to work in this year. You could plant cherry tomatoes, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, sweet peppers, really anything that your kids find tasty or beautiful. The sky is the limit! Just be sure to not start your gardening project too early this spring. Gardens should be planted after the last frost of the season. This is a great activity for late April and May!