101 Ways to Get Kids Outside & Spark a Love of Nature

Here’s my very own list full of fun and mostly easy ideas to encourage you and your kids to get outside more.


Meet friends at the playground.
Give kids permission to get dirty.
Share an interest or hobby like birding, hiking, rock collecting, gardening, etc.
Overturn rocks, logs, and walking stones to see what’s underneath.
Walk or ride a bike.
Stop at the park or a nature trail on the way home from school.
Take a full-moon walk.
Join a nature club or family outdoor club.
Put a water feature in your yard.
Allow a space for digging.
Climb trees.
Make snow-angels.
Build forts.
Explore a stream with nets and buckets.
Paint the snow with food coloring.
Go sledding.
Draw pictures on the sidewalk.
Organize a scavenger hunt.
Observe and gently handle insects, worms, snails, and bugs.
Collect objects for nature art such as pebbles, leaves, twigs, and berries.
Pick flowers.
Grow something.
Sit around a bonfire.
Take binoculars or a magnifying glass on a walk.
Bury treasure and dig it up.
Put bird feeders in your yard or attach to a window.
Shovel the driveway, cut grass, pick weeds, and do other chores as a family.
Go apple picking.
Visit a farm.
Create an outdoor stage.
Make fairy homes.
Lay on your back and watch the clouds.
Skip rope while waiting at the bus stop.
Make a map of your yard, the playground, or the neighborhood.
Pick up litter.
Skate on an outdoor rink.
Spin in circles until you fall down.
Set up an obstacle course.
Make-believe you’re an animal, fairy, pirate, explorer, mountain-climber, scientist…
Build sand castles.
Swim in ponds, lakes, and oceans.
Stomp in puddles.
Make mud pies.
Catch frogs.
Go fishing.
Chase fireflies.
Pick wild edibles.
Visit an animal sanctuary or nature center.
Have a picnic.
Make a dandelion crown.
Go horse-back riding on a trail.
Rake leaves (jump in them).
Raise chickens.
Attend a Native American Pow Wow.
Create a nature journal with stories, poems, pictures, etc.
Practice moments of silence outside.
Make a snowman.
Set up easel and paints in your yard, at a park, or by a pond.
Attend outdoor music festivals, concerts, plays, and other kid-friendly events.
Eat dinner al fresco.
Go camping.
Put a tent or tipi in the back-yard.
Skip stones.
Give kids their own cameras to capture nature.
Start a nature collection.
Be a friend to the birds, bees, and butterflies by setting up gardens and feeders that support them.
Identify native plants, trees, and invasive species.
Vist an arboretum.
Go to the zoo.
Explore the water by canoe or kayak.
Join a citizen scientist program.
Catch raindrops and snowflakes on your tongue.
Fly a kite.
Hunt for crabs, crayfish, tadpoles and other water creatures.
Sail boats in local ponds or streams.
Go barefoot.
Use a school or church parking lot after hours for playing games or riding bikes and scooters.
Play hop-scotch on the sidewalk or in a driveway.
Learn jump rope songs and games.
Use fallen logs like balance beams.
Make a bird’s nest using natural materials.
Take story-time outside.
Paint with mud.
Run through a sprinkler.
Join a community pool.
Play capture the flag.
Cook outside.
Host a neighborhood BBQ, Easter egg hunt, or other outdoor event.
Watch the sunrise and the sunset.
Identify animal tracks and scat.
Pick your own berries, apples, pumpkins, etc. at local farms.
Search for sea glass on the beach.
Use a blade of grass as a whistle.
Bathe in a waterfall.
Walk a dog.
Go rock climbing.
Watch for shooting stars.
Shop at a farmer’s market.
Make a shell necklace.
Set up a hammock (you’re going to need a rest after all that!).


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