Heading out for a nature walk with your kids? No need for a rigid plan; nature walks are all about spontaneous adventures, full of exciting discoveries along the way. However, if your little ones could use a bit of extra motivation or love when things feel “special,” we’ve got some fun themed nature walk ideas that will have them itching to head outside today.
Nature Walk Themes
1. Rainbow Walk
Take a stroll through nature and embark on a colorful adventure with your kids. This is a great opportunity to discuss the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, blue, violet) and spot them in their natural surroundings.
Look at the flowers, the leaves and the sky, but consider other unexpected sources of color: fungi, insects, birds. You might be surprised at what you find!
2. Color Matching Walk
Challenge your kids to notice the wide range of colors, hues, shades and tints in nature during your walk.
To talk your color walk to the next level, bring along a few supplies for a color matching walk. You can use paint swatches or collect found objects.
If you happen to have any leftover paint swatches from a previous project, bring them along! Don’t have any? No worries – you can easily create your own with some scraps of colored paper.
Before setting off, gather small colored objects from around the house like Lego blocks, bits of paper, or small toys. Colored pencils and crayons work well too; they provide clear color cues and are easy to carry. And be sure to note some of the crayon colors’ names — often taken from nature itself!
3. Texture Walk
A texture walk is one way to highlight your sense of touch, whether in practice or just in theory.
Before leaving on your walk, talk about different textures and discuss some that you might come across today. You may be able to touch/feel some textures, and others you may choose to just look at.
Some to consider:
During your walk, select two items in nature and have a conversation about how they differ in terms of texture. Which one feels smoother? Which one is softer?
For more sensory-focused outdoor activities, don’t miss our post [“50+ Simple Outdoor Sensory Activities for Kids to Enjoy in Nature] and printable resources [Outdoor Sensory Activity Bundle].
4. I Spy Walk
When you stop for a snack break, a sit spot break, a breather break, play a game of I Spy. Challenge your little explorers to include three different descriptors each time they spy something. These could include:
- color (yellow, red, brown, bright, dull)
- size (smaller than my hand, taller than me, bigger than a car)
- distance (far away, within reach)
- texture (soft, prickly, rough, velvety)
- sound (loud, soft, melodious, regular pattern, etc.)
- pattern (striped, spotted)
5. Photo Safari Walk
My kids made up their version of this game, imagining themselves as professional photographers getting paid for their best nature shots. This game is very flexible and can be as real or as imaginary as you’d like. It’s incredible what they see (real or pretend) as we walk along!
You can establish the rules beforehand or make them up as you go along. Just ensure your kids understand that the money is purely make-believe.
You may decide to assign different values to their “photographs”, perhaps on the degree of difficulty. For example:
- $1 for a beautiful tree
- $1 for a favorite flower
- $5 for a bird in flight
- $5 for a fungi
- $5 for a great view
- $10 for an animal
- $10 for an insect
The cameras and photographs can also be imaginary, so no need for any special equipment. Sometimes, the subjects they capture “on film” might even be imaginary too – like my kids who’ve earned heaps of pretend money for snapping shots of invisible tigers. The rules are up to you – just go out and enjoy yourselves!
A bonus with this game? It’s an opportunity for some sneaky math practice. Depending on their age, they can tally up their earnings as they go or hire you to be their personal accountant. My kids also love discussing what they’ll buy with all their pretend earned money.
Going on a nature walk with kids is such a great experience for everyone involved. We encourage free play and spontaneity, but if you could benefit from a theme or loose outline, consider one of these nature walk ideas. They’re bound to infuse a bit of extra excitement into your outdoor adventures with the kids. Go on, get outside, and create some cherished memories together!