With more and more attention being drawn to the realities of climate change and other eco issues, it’s never been more important to help teach our kids about the importance and wonder of nature. Here are 15 creative activities to help them appreciate the world around them while having fun and nurturing their inner artist:
Next time you’re out for a family adventure, pack sketchbooks and pencils to try your hand at landscape drawing together. Pick a comfy spot with a good view (National Trust garden, local park… it doesn’t matter where) and draw what you can see.
Leaf & tree rubbings
This activity is a classic, suitable for all ages. All you need are some strong wax crayons and paper. Place them on top of tree bark or a dry leaf and rub the crayon over the top to create a print of the texture beneath.
Dancing in the rain
Rain. It can dampen the mood, but it doesn’t always need to. Put your wellies on and try getting outside with your children and dancing in the rain! Be silly together and appreciate how amazing weather is… water falling from the sky is quite bizarre when you stop and think about it.
Collaging with nature
Take a nature walk looking out for interesting natural finds like leaves, feathers, conkers, acorns, twigs etc. Then take them home and arrange them onto card to create a nature collage.
Cloud shape spotting
How often do you stop and look up at the sky? Show your children how vast and amazing it is and get your creative juices going by seeing what funny or impressive shapes and animals you can find in the clouds.
Water play is a really easy way to be creative without having to make too much of a mess (if you dress right). Splash in puddles, collect rain in buckets, paddle in the sea, wade through streams – there’s plenty of opportunity outdoors.
You’ve probably noticed by now, not all creative activity needs to involve paint and craft materials! Tree climbing gets all the same creative pathways working as children need to problem solve which foot to put where while taking in the sensory input of tree bark and the need to balance.
If you’re taking a trip to the beach, take sandcastle building to another level with beach sculptures. Create characters and scenes out of sand then add stones, seaweed, twigs, driftwood and shells to for the finishing touches.
Nature scavenger hunt
Draw up a quick list of things to find in nature then hand over the list to your kids. A lovely way to keep them engaged on a family walk. You could include things to listen out for as well as objects to find.
Have you ever tried making a sculpture of balancing stones? It’s such a simple yet mindful activity which will leave you satisfied. Expect a bit of family competition as to who can make the tallest.
How many colours of the rainbow can you spot in nature the next time you’re outdoor exploring? You may be surprised! Discuss with your kids which colours are the hardest to find? Why is this?
Pack a magnifying glass next time you head to the park and see how many bugs you can spot. This is a great way to encourage creative thinking. Where to look next? What to look under? Plus, the creative process of comparing bugs… Is that another ant or something else?
We love finding unusual shells on the beach, whether it’s an unusual pattern or a different shape. What’s the coolest shell your kids can find?
Make music with nature
Let your kids get noisy outdoors and boost their creativity through music, there are lots of opportunities to make noise outdoors – from whistling with grass to drumming on tree stumps!
Outdoor free play
Don’t forget the creative importance of free play outdoors. Let your children spend time outdoors with no prescribed outcome and see where their imagination takes them. Whether they’re running through fields of tall grass, clambering over rock pools or playing hide and seek in the garden – playing outdoors helps them immerse themselves in new imaginary worlds and think creatively as they appreciate different scenery.
Which of these creative activities will you be trying next? We’d love to know! Tag us over on Instagram.