For some people, getting out into nature is easy. They just step out their door and there it is. For others it might mean a walk in the park or at the beach, and others may have to drive a while to find what they are looking for. Here at Sparkle, getting kids and their grown ups out into nature is one of our highest priorities. Why? Because nature connects us to life. It reminds us of how big and small we are at the same time. It delights us and teaches us new things, while also humbling us and reminding us that life is fragile, and we should appreciate every moment.
We know that in our modern high-tech world it can sometimes be hard to get older children outside. So this round up includes nine great nature related crafts and activities that will have your kids out exploring in no time. Who knows? They might even be inspired one day to become a botantist, an arborist, a zooligist, a park ranger, a geologist or a naturalist. The list of outdoor professions goes on and on. So let's get them having fun outside — the possibilities are endless.
- Looking for great stories about the outdoors? Check out the Martin & Sylvia's Nature School Series.
Nothing makes taking a walk or a hike more fun then having a walking stick. It serves a myriad of purposes, from helping support you, to flipping over stones and moving branches out of the way. These personilzed hiking sticks are great fun for kids to decorate and make their own. They will be so excited to get out on the trail!
DIY Explorer bags
You've already got a hiking stick, now you need an explorer bag. These bags are easy to put together and can be customized for any age level. Make sure to leave them by the door so kids can grab them as they head out to explore. Once your kids are outside they won't be able to help but collect all the treasures they find. Even as grownup I carry an explorer bag anytime I go hiking. I just never know what amazing thing I might find next.
Autumn Nature Bracelets
These nature bracelets are great for any season. It's an easy way to get your kids out exploring, observing nature, and searching for natural treasures with supplies you very likely have at your fingertips. And they can make them over and over and no two will ever be the same
Hidden Earth Art
One great way to explore nature is by making subtle art with natural materials along the way. Follow David and Lisabeth as they take a hike and show you how to show your appreciation for nature by making hidden artful treasures as you explore.
Nature Journals are great for all ages. Learning to sit and observe, take notes, and remeber what you've seen, is helpful in all aspects of life. Nature observation journals are especially rewarding since you can return to your favorite spots at different times of the year and make totally different sketches depending on what's growing or living there at that time. Keep it in your explorer bag and you'll never miss capturing a special moment you want to remember.
When you are out exploring, without a doubt, someone in your party will see an animal track or two. That's when you'll be so glad to have a plaster casting kit in your explorer bag. Make a casting and take your findings home because next time you walk that path, it's very likely those little tracks will disappear and be replaced by something new to explore.
Flower Pot Fairy Houses
Fairy houses are a great way to keep kids returning to the outdoors to see if anything has changed. These houses are super easy to make, and your yard or garden look lovely and inviting.
As the sun goes down, there is a very good reason to stay outside — fireflies. Fireflies are the sure delight of those young and old on summer nights. Here is our safe and firefly friendly way to observe these fascinating creatures up close for a little while.
Milk Jug Lanterns
Last but not least, another reason to stay out after dark and go exploring — milk jug lanterns. These brightly colored lanterns are fun and kid friendly. They're sure to brigten up warm summer evenings even after the sun goes down.
About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.