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11 Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Outside to Enjoy Nature

Nature study activities like nature walks, crafts, and just learning outdoors can be a fun way to do some Charlotte Mason-inspired appreciation of nature. Read on for more ideas about how you can do this simply in your homeschool!

Don’t miss the free Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt printable below!

kids and nature

Looking for simple and creative ways to connect your child to nature and get them excited about being outdoors? Here are some ways to get them away from screen-time with fun nature activities!

Don’t miss these books that celebrate getting outside, too. Good books are great for developing character and empathy. A group game for kids is another fun activity to try as well.

In today’s world, it seems increasingly harder and harder to get the kids to step away from the TV and video games and get outdoors to connect with nature. Some kids have a natural affection for anything to do with nature while others find it boring. Here are 11 fun ways to get your kids excited about and connected to nature!

Complete the form below to download your FREE Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt printable:

11 Ways to Get Your Kids Off Screens and Outside to Connect with Nature

  1. Nature walk– Head outdoors, whether it is in the backyard, at a local park, state park, the beach, botanical gardens, or in the woods. Get outdoors and look for nature together on the ground, in the trees, and in the air. Learn to identify edible and poisonous plants, listen for bird calls, and look for tracks. Read more nature walk ideas here.

  2. Nature journal– Buy or make a nature journal to record what you see, make notes, and sketch pictures. Our favorite way to make one is to fold a paper bag in half, slip white paper the same size inside and staple, roll and hold with a rubber band.

  3. Give them tools– Give your children some fun tools to make it exciting. They don’t have to be expensive, many can be homemade.  Bug catchers and holders, binoculars, a magnifying glass, field guides, and tweezers can all make the experience more fun and help them to feel like a real nature investigator! Read about our list of essential elementary science supplies for more ideas.

  4. Get involved– Get involved yourself! Don’t sit back and expect your child to dive in by themselves. Show them how to flip over a rock to look for bugs, point out the snakeskin on the tree, help scoop up the tadpoles for observation. When they see you getting into the study and exploration they won’t be able to hold back themselves.

  5. Fairy Garden– This is great for children whether they are reluctant or not to be in the outdoors (but it is really perfect to entice those who normally prefer indoor activities). Try making your own fairy furniture and accessories with twigs, leaves, pinecones, and such. This may spark a love of natural items that will lead to learning. You can see an example at this link.

  6. Junior Ranger Program– Many state parks offer a fun and educational program called Junior Rangers where children can earn certificates, and “badges” for completing tasks and visiting the parks.You’ll want to check out the post I wrote about the best National Parks to visit with kids and download your free research guide.

  7. Science shelf– For the times you can’t be outdoors and learning right in the environment, a science shelf is a fantastic addition to a homeschool room or even in the living room! Besides a few nature books, we add found items like sea shells, empty wasp nests, snake skin, an abandoned bird’s nest, pebbles, pinecones and sometimes even just interesting sticks. Include a microscope, tweezers, a magnifying glass and other items for exploration and discovery.  This gives the kids a chance to study individual pieces up close in a different environment with our books and computer at hand. Read about our science shelf in this post.

  8. Books– As a homeschool mom I really don’t have to be encouraged to add to our bookshelf. 😉 We keep books on our bookshelf, a basket in the living room, and on our science shelf. It is a great idea to offer your child books on things that you are studying currently as well as topics that might interest them. Colorful and interesting books on the ocean, nature field guides, general nature books. If they are full of color illustrations and simple facts the kids long to know more on these subjects — exactly as I hoped.

    These are some of our favorite books that sit on the shelf as well as go in our bags when we do nature walks:

  1. Nature Photography– If you have a budding photographer on your hands purchase an inexpensive starter camera for them and take them out to photograph nature — ants, a bird in flight, piles of leaves, whatever interests them. Let them make a nature scrapbook or journal, encourage them to write about their photographs.

  2. Go Bird Watching– You can head to your favorite local park or in your own backyard with a field guide and a good set of binoculars. Make a game of identifying the birds. Point out the differences in male and female, see if you can spot nests, listen for their calls.

  3. Unit Study– Your child can dive into a nature study of any topic of nature interest. Love butterflies? Get a habitat and watch them grow and emerge like we did. If oceans are your thing visit the beach and study tide pools. Include many of the methods above in your unit study — a science and nature shelf, nature photography, nature journal, etc. This really enriches the experience! Visit these posts for more nature unit study ideas:

I highly recommend the NaturExplorers nature unit studies from Our Journey Westward. They are great!
Our Journey Westward
Recommended resources:

Nature Study Notebooking Pages
Seasonal Nature Study

Do you have plans to get outside and enjoy nature? Share your ideas in the comments.

Read the entire nature study series here:

wildflowers nature study



How do you teach nature studies?

First: Choose the object of your study. Either a place or thing in nature to study.
Second: Plan a trip to study the things or places in nature you choose. It can be informal with just a rough idea of what you want to study. Or it can be more formal with lessons or goals set in place. Either way, allocate required time, materials, or supplies.
Third: Go to the place or location. Take pictures. Record videos if appropriate. Write down notes. Have open discussions. Keep focused on your plan but be sure to enjoy the nature study.
Fourth: Follow up with a narration or summary of the experience.

What are the types of nature studies?

You can study trees, flowers, plants, rocks, or animals.

What is nature study method?

Nature study method is using nature as the basis of a home education plan. Specifically for sciences.

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  1. #4 is SO important…adults need to get up and get outside just as much as kids. More nature for all! Dragons too… 🙂

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