15 Nature Activities For Kids

earth dayI don’t want to jinx it but we have been outside in the sun everyday for a week! In honor of our re-connection with nature I thought I would round up some of our favorite nature activities for kids in one handy place. I hope that no matter where you live that mother nature lets you get outside to explore these nature activities with your kids soon!

Beach In A Jar
Sticky Window Garden
Not A Stick Story & Activity
Painting With Nature
Backyard Photo Safari
Shell Sorting
Bird & Stick Collage
Find & Count Bug Hunt
Painting Outside
Sound Safari
Mud Soup
Shell Frame
Nature Color Hunt
Acorn Collage
Investigating Nature

Spring Garden Sensory Tub

spring sensory activities

Sensory bins are such great teaching tools and for this one I wanted it not just to look like a spring garden but to feel like one too. So we stuck with earthy natural colors, all natural contents ( minus the tongs and pots) and talked about how we can ( and will) plant some of the beans from the bin and track it’s growth.  The big lima beans we used are big enough to be a chocking hazard for little ones so remember to only use contents that fit your children’s specific level of development.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some dried split peas, large dried Lima beans, dried orange lentils, dried white beans, mini bow tie pasta and some small flower pots. You will also need a tub – this one was a dollar at Walmart.
  2. Start by pouring the dried beans and lentils into the tub.
  3. Next add a handful of butterflies ( the dry bow tie pasta).
  4. Add some mini flower pots and explore.
  5. My son was fascinated by the lima beans , they are not a staple on our dinner table.
  6. You can simply scoop and pour with the flower pots
  7. Or grab some tongs and sort and count.

Books About Gardening


The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. Carle’s distinctive collage will keep your children marveling at the illustrations while learning about plants.

The Gardener

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work. She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do. She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and the general sense of sadness . In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.


Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost 3 year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.

Venus Fly Trap Craft

by Kim

This project came up by accident. We were at the pond and we watched small bugs and tiny new frogs get on the lily pads. We started talking about different plants and I asked my son if he knew that some plants can actually eat bugs. His eyes almost popped out of his head.

So we went to the library that afternoon after I was bombarded by a million annoying curious questions. We found a kid’s book about the Venus Fly Trap that was a really cute fiction book. We also got online and looked up pictures and information about real life Venus Fly Traps.

Then it hit me. We needed a craft/game. So I came up with this. What you will need: cardboard from a pizza (or just cardboard cut in a circle), green paint, green paper, scissors, glue, and a few pieces of black paper.

Paint your circle green. We used the small paint roller (that Allie always uses) and it worked great because the paint came on thin and even. The paint dried really quickly. For a paint free version you can just glue some green construction paper onto the cardboard. You will want to make both sides green.

While the paint is drying you can cut out triangles of green construction paper.

Cut the black pieces of paper into strips or small pieces and then wad them up into small little balls.

After your paint has dried, put a bead of glue around the edge and have your child place the triangles with long points out. I had to do a few to show my son, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly.

When you are done it should look like a big green sun. My son was a tad confused until I folded it in half.

Then he grabbed it and made it chomp. After I finally got him to stop chasing the dogs with his new Venus Fly Trap, I had him stand in one place.

I tossed the wadded up pieces of black paper (our flies) and had him catch the flies with the Venus Fly Trap. He did really well. We counted the flies as we caught them.

We learned all about a new plant (along with a whole new aspect of nature – carnivorous plants), made a cool puppet-like toy, played a fun game, practiced motor skills, and sharpened our eye coordination.

Here is the information on the book we checked out from the library.

Venus the Very Proper Fly Trap by Lynne Burton-Hupp

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself.