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 when the opportunity arises.
15 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-themed 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 or ‘nature cams’
- Do some composting with indoor composting worms.
- Set up a fish tank or terrarium.
- Have kids 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, build, and craft with (think sand, seashells, pine cones, rocks, and twigs).
- Make a comfortable indoor 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.
With a little prompting, it can be fun to see how your kids will get excited and interested in nature. I love watching kids’ interests grow… they’re 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 regular bird watching – all on her own initiative.
Perhaps those interests would have generated on their own; however, I do believe that the little invitations to learn that we’ve left around the home did play a role in igniting those passions.
What else can you do?
If you are interested in more information from this indoor nature activity series, want to receive tips on getting your kids outside more, or learn more about outdoor family adventure, sign up for the newsletter and receive the goodies and news delivered right to your inbox.
P.S. I know that getting outside can be a challenge for today’s busy families. That’s why I’ve put together this list of easy indoor nature activities. If you’d like to further explore how to foster stronger nature connections for your family, join the 5 day mini-course challenge. After the week you’ll have been challenged to notice nature, bring more nature into your home, play and create with nature, and even plan and go on an outdoor adventure with your family. Bringing more nature into your family’s life doesn’t need to involve week-long adventure excursions. You can do it in just minutes a day!
Want to read more?
- How to set up an indoor birdwatching station
- Fun Insects books to get kids excited about bugs
- How to get kids outside because it’s not always easy
(Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you happen to make a purchase after clicking through a link, I get a very small commission at no added cost to you, the consumer… and you get an awesome product that we use and love. So, thanks in advance for your support.)