Last week we kept busy with low-key sick day activities
, and thankfully, we've recovered and are itching to get outside.
My boys are curious, and with that comes endless questioning about the world around them. If your usual walking path is losing its luster, and you're getting tired of questions about the same rotten log, it might be time to mix it up a little. I've gathered together some crafts
that celebrate nature
and use materials found in their environment.
After the break, I'll share some of these nature-based activities and crafts that will cater to their outdoor interests.
Color coded walk
Michelle Mitchell's color coded nature walk
will have your children darting around, excitedly gathering pieces of their surroundings. The idea here is that you take an old egg carton and paint the cups in different colors. Your child can forage the beach, park, or garden, and collect things to match each color.
This scavenger hunt can be modified for older kids too, labeling each cup with a letter, and having them look for treasures that start with each one. This is a great twist on your regular walk, and when the day is over, they'll have a nice, tidy place to store their collection. Make a cereal bird feeder
Invite some feathered friends into the yard with these Cheerio bird feeders
. Using peanut butter, paste Cheerios and bird seed to a sugared ice-cream cone, and tie it to a branch with a pipe cleaner. Hang the feeder somewhere that your child can easily see the birds.Make a seashell wind-chime
Making a seashell wind-chime
would be a great way to preserve little treasures from a beach vacation. Tie string around a cardboard tube, attaching a few shells or pieces of driftwood to each strand. Hang the chimes where they will catch the wind, and enjoy. Binoculars
This craft is as old as toilet paper rolls, and not because some creative adult dreamed it up, but because children look at cardboard rolls and immediately see binoculars, telescopes and the like. Take a cue from their imaginative play, and help them craft a more permanent set of toilet paper roll binoculars.
Typically, this simple project involves gluing the two rolls together, punching holes in the side, running the string through, and tying it at the end. Personally, I use a thicker ribbon, and Velcro the pieces together so my little ones aren't at any risk of getting tangled up in the string. You can also let your children decorate the cardboard so they can go exploring in style. Pebble pets
My boys love collecting rocks. Our older one likes to find rocks that resemble things, and has a great time searching for new and interestingly shaped rocks. Our younger one is less discriminating, choosing rocks at random and treating them as if they are his own little friends.
This pebble pets project
would be perfect for the two of them. Find some smooth rocks, glue on some wiggly eyes and paint them, creating little characters. Finish them off with a spray coat of varnish and your kids will have the cheapest, best behaved pet on the block.
My favorite thing about taking nature walks with the children is that it forces me to slow down and reconnect with my surroundings. If you're not sure where to start, try these tips for the 5 senses nature walk
. Use that outdoor adventure time to gather materials for your favorite nature craft.