Getting your kids outside isn’t always easy. Maybe it’s blizzarding and raining buckets, you live miles from a park, or your kids just simply refuse to go out. Sometimes a quiet and covert approach is necessary. Below are 15 easy indoor nature activities to help you foster a love of nature in your kids.
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It is my hope that some of these indoor nature activities will spark an interest and curiosity that expands to the outside world… giving your kids the eagerness and willingness to get outside and explore.
Easy Indoor Nature Activities:
- Teach your kids how to tend to the houseplants.
- Grow herbs, sprouts, or mushrooms indoors and use these for cooking.
- Hang artwork on the walls depicting plants, animals, and landscapes.
- Fill your children’s bookshelves with nature guides, animal picture books, or subscribe to nature-geared magazines.
- Choose story time books about animals or the relationship between the environment and people.
- Direct kids to nature and science-based television programming and websites.
- Regularly check out online ‘nature cams’.
- Set up a fish tank or terrarium.
- Care for pets or babysit a neighbor’s furry (or scaly) friend for the weekend.
- Start a ‘treasure shelf’ where kids can display their outdoor finds (rocks, leaves, pine cones, etc). Consider leaving a magnifying glass or kid’s microscope on this shelf.
- Set up a telescope in a window with a constellation map or reference book near by.
- Offer animal and dinosaur figurines or stuffies to play or cuddle with.
- Encourage dinner table conversation about animals, science, and nature.
- Create nature element sensory bins and collect natural loose parts to play and build with (think sand, seashells, pine cones, rocks, and twigs).
- Make a comfortable bird watching station with pillows, a bird guide, binoculars, and note paper.
Above all else, kids are the world`s biggest copycats. So, the most important thing you can do to encourage a love of nature is to model a respect for living things and the environment, and to show them your interest and excitement with the above suggestions.
It will be fun to see how your kids get excited and interested in nature as kids’ interests are always different, and sometimes surprising. My son became very interested in dinosaurs after watching the Walking with Dinosaur series. This interest then lead us on many fossil hunting hikes and museum trips. My daughter found our Audubon Bird Guide, made a pair of binoculars, created a bird notebook, and began going bird watching – all on her own initiative.
Each of these above suggestions will be expanded on further at a future time. If you are interested in more information from this indoor nature activity series, or want to receive tips on getting your kids outside, just sign up for the newsletter and receive the tips delivered right to your inbox.
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