My family loves going on nature walks. Besides the great things the kids learn and the importance of fresh air and exercise, they absolutely love it. There is something about running around on the grass or between trees that make them happy, makes them stop fighting, and really brings out the joy in every child.
When we were in stricter lockdown periods, we loved taking long walks near our house. Outside in nature, away from everyone, it’s easy to forget all the stress and really breathe in the air and enjoy the outdoors and each other.
Going on a walk outdoors with your kids is an easy and fun activity.
It’s also usually free, which is particularly lovely if you are on a budget. There are two types of nature walks that we do. One is to find a field or open area or small wooded area, and the other is to go to a designated nature reserve or park. There are times we merely walk around the neighborhood trying to find different things to point out. These leisurely walks are enjoyable for everyone.
I love taking my kids on cheap and free activities. I really believe that I am helping my kids when we do things that don’t require money, a lot of gear, and travel. Anyone can find fun and enjoyment in your own backyard and across the street, and in the park.
We don’t need fancy trips and exciting adventures to have a good time and enjoy each other. We sometimes do hikes (when the ages of all the kids permit). It’s the same idea- enjoying our beautiful world cheaply and easily. I want to raise my kids for a love of the outdoors, and this is the first step!
Of course, even the most nature-minded kids can get bored and need some help learning how to enjoy what we see. Here are some ways to keep your kids entertained and train them to appreciate and notice the great outdoors. These are just some ways to make your nature walk more entertaining and engaging for kids of all ages.
Each of these nature activities keeps the walk new and fresh so you can go to the same place numerous times, each time with a different activity in mind. Keep in mind that different times of day and different seasons means other wildlife and flora and fauna, so you can go back to the same places at different times and get different results!
Don’t forget to bring water and hats!
8 Super Fun Nature Walk Activities For Kids
Nature Walk Memory Game
Take a few items and put them on the ground. Have each person looks at it for a few minutes and commit it to memory. Then cover it or put it away. Everyone has to recreate exactly what they saw by collecting similar items and placing them in the same order and design. Discuss the importance of observing in nature and how every leaf, acorn, pinecone, rock formation, and plant looks different from other species and types.
Nature Walk Bingo
Do a nature walk bingo by printing out my free nature walk bingo printable. Print out the nature walk bingo and enjoy! You can use markers, dot pains, or stickers to cover the squares when you see the item in the box.
The point is to have fun and enjoy nature as a family so you can make up your own rules regarding winning, or you can play for fun! The first page is a nature walk bingo that I created for my family when we went to a specific nature reserve. Therefore, some of the items may not be found where you are taking your nature walk. So I created a second one to fill in the items/animals/things you think you will see in your area.
The rules are the same as regular bingo- although you can put your own twist on it- for example, everyone has to find all the items and not just make BINGO.
Nature walk scavenger hunt.
Do a nature walk scavenger hunt by printing out my free printable nature walk scavenger hunt printable or creating your own and printing it out. This nature walk scavenger hunt is downloaded in a pdf and super easy to print and hand out to each kid. Grab a marker or some stickers and have each kid mark the items that they find on the way. The downloadable printables include a nature walk scavenger hunt for readers and non-readers alike.
Encourage your children to work together to find all the items or set it up as a competition (whoever gets the most wins!). Doing a nature walk scavenger hunt gives the kids (and adults!) something to do. It encourages them to be observant and really look out for details. Of course, you may not be able to find all the items in your specific area or place.
Starting with A, look for items that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can play this two ways by taking turns or seeing which person can find each letter first. This is a great way to teach kids new vocabulary as well; you may have to dig deep into your knowledge of flowers and animals to think of each letter. (We won’t judge if you sneak a look at your phone’s dictionary)
This is either for the brave of heart or older kids. Have each kid take close-up pictures of different items they find on the walk. When you get home, you can look at the pictures and remember what each item was. A close-up of a flower is very different than looking at a full bloom!
For the truly creative kids, you can take the time to print out some interesting prints and make a photo book for a whole gallery on your walls. Encourage your budding photographer and have them learn to love the beautiful intricacies and details of nature.
This is great for young kids who cannot read. Print out a rainbow template or a paper with different colored boxes (you can download mine here!) and have each kid look for other items that match that color along the way!
Start a nature collection.
Give each kid a bag to a container and have them take home a collection of things they find- leaves, twigs, pinecones, etc. Once you are home, you can either examine them or use them in different art projects. If you have poisonous or prickly plants in your area, don’t forget to point them out to your kids before you go- no one wants to end up with a bad case of poison ivy!
As you walk, each person calls out a color or shape that they see. Everyone else needs to look around and guess what they are talking about. for the super competitive, you can assign points to whoever guesses first. This is great for even little kids as it is straightforward for them to participate.
Teach Your Children about Nature
The best part of these nature walks is that you truly can do them anywhere. You don’t need specific hiking paths, woodlands, or nature parks to take your kids out and show them the world. There is nature everywhere-even if you live in an urban area and not near a wildlife sanctuary (although those are great, and you should try to take your kids to one!).
If you want to increase your nature knowledge and experience then try to find a nature center that encourages visitors and hikers near you. But you don’t need a state park to get started: an open-space park trail is a not too strenuous way to get your kids into hiking and they are usually stroller friendly which is great for young families. You can also bring along bikes and ride around the trails- as long as you practice bike safety rules!
To start your kid’s environmental education, google what natural habitats are in your area and what types of plant species, species of bird, and animal species can be found where you live. The most important thing is to Get Outside and have your kids really learn to appreciate what we have.
Look at every shrub and wildflower that grows through the paved walkways. have your kids find insects to study, and bring binoculars to have them look for birds in tall trees. The natural environment that we live in is all around us- take a look and see!
If you do have access to nature preserves or a natural forest then you can do all these things as well!
Of course, any time you take a hike, please make sure to respect all signage and stay on the marked paths. Many of these places are open to the public but have specific rules regarding what is prohibited and what is permitted. This is a great way to teach your kids about endangered or threatened species and habitats.
FREE Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt and FREE Nature Walk Bingo
As referenced above, I have put together a Nature Walk Entertainment Bundle that is FREE for you to download and print.
This FREE Nature Walk Entertainment Bundle of Printables Includes:
Nature Walk Bingo
Nature Walk Bingo with empty spaces you can fill in
Hike Bingo (To be used in areas with more wildlife)
Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt for Readers
Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt for Non-Readers
Things We Find in Our Backyard (scavenger hunt for when you are
stuck at home)
They are super easy to print and enjoy!
Get it now!