As a child I was always spending my time outdoors, climbing trees and making petal potions. Outside I was curious and learning calculated risks and connected to nature. In the last month our ‘normal’ lives have changed enormously. As our beaches, playgrounds and schools close we need to adjust our daily activities. This substantial change can leave us and our children stressed and anxious. Research shows that being immersed and connected to nature can reduce the effect of these emotions on our mind and body.
As parents we need to encourage our children to get outside and explore their nature spaces, backyard or communal garden to find a sense of calm.
Here are a few activities to have your children engaged in nature play.
- Frozen Nature Eggs
Recycle some rinsed Egg Shells. Explore your garden for petals, leaves, gumnuts or herbs. Place in the egg shell and fill with water. Leave over night in the freezer. The next day, peel the egg shell off and your beautiful frozen nature eggs will be revealed.
2. Build a Nest
Collect twigs, leaves and build a nest for an animal.
3. Bird Watching
Sit outside, watch and listen. What birds can you see? Kookaburra, Rosella, Rainbow Lorikeet or a Cockatoo. You can download a printable ‘I Spy Birds’ worksheet here.
4. Colours of a Rainbow
Draw a rainbow on a piece of paper. Can you find all the colours in your garden?
5. Mud Monster
Mix dirt and water to a thick consistency and decorate using leaves, sticks or petals. You could also use clay or playdoh if you prefer.
6. Climb a Tree
How high can you climb? Remember to always have 3 body parts (e.g. two feet, one hand) touching a tree to reduce risk of unbalancing.
7. Nature Bracelet
Loosely stick masking tape around your wrist – sticky side out. Walk around your garden and decorate until no space is left on the tape.
8. Mud Kitchen
This doesn’t need to be fancy to be fun! Simply use different height logs, or planks of timber and add variety of different size pots n pans. Add water, dirt, natural resources and let the kids create and explore
9. Seasonal Tree
Draw the trunk and branches of a tree on a piece of paper. Decorate the tree and trunk with leaves and bark you find in the garden. What Season is it? Do the leaves or the bark change depending on the season?
10. Bug Bingo
Wander around your backyard, peak under pebbles and leaves – what bugs can you find? We have a printable Bug Bingo card you can download.
We hope this list of activities has your family enjoying your backyard and connecting with nature.
For more ideas and activities check out how your kids can be ‘Naturally Learning’ at wildkindy.com.au