TAKE IT OUTSIDE: 19 Ways to Inspire Nature Walks with Kids

boy hiking

We can officially celebrate the fact that it feels like summer in every corner of the country. An inspired nature walk can mean so much more than a hike in the woods, but a focused narrative that can create unforgettable interactions with nature, cognitive and sensory development and wonderful memories of family time.

Location Scouting:

  • Even in areas busy and populated, many times there are hidden natural areas that you may not notice until you start looking for them.
  • If possible, take your nature walks away from the view of public playground equipment to keep your little ones focused on the richness of the natural environment.
  • Be realistic about how much walking your toddler will enjoy doing to ensure a happy experience for him or her.

 

 

 

What Should I Bring?

  • First aid kit, wet wipes, sunscreen
  • Plastic bags or sealable containers (1 for each child)
  • Snacks and plenty of water
  • Magnifying glass
  • Crayons and paper for rubbing surfaces like leaves and bark
  • A book on local insects, birds or trees
  • Hats, walking sticks

What Should I Look For?  

  • Fallen logs and stones:  Turn them over see what kinds of creatures have created homes underneath
  • Water sources: puddles, streams, or even curled up leaves that may have collected rain water
  • Birds and Nests:discuss their color, wingspan, sounds and habitat
  • Flowers and Plants

Make it Fun!

  • Play Hide and Seek
  • Embark on a treasure hunt: collect leaves or stones to bring home for observation
  • Color paper on top of different surfaces to capture textures, or encourage your child to create their own self-directed art
  • Crunch down to the ground, and look closely with a magnifying glass. What do you see now that you may not have noticed before? What do you hear?
  • Take a moonlit, evening walk and observe how it’s different from the daytime, particularly the sounds.

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