7 Nature Activities To Do With Your Toddler

Getting outside to spend time in nature is beneficial for people of any age, and is especially a great experience for toddlers. Experiencing nature with your toddler provides endless opportunities for children to explore, learn, and connect with the natural world. Nature activities also allow toddlers additional freedom to be loud, run freely, and be messy as well as embrace the natural world around them. 

By exposing your toddler to nature they will develop a love for the environment, and natural flora and fauna. However, if getting outside with your little one sounds overwhelming then don't worry, we have some great engaging nature activities to do with your toddler to create lasting memories and aid their development.

1. Nature scavenger hunt

A nature scavenger hunt is an exciting way to get your toddler engaged with the environment around them. Look around your local area, on your walk home from the shops, or around your local park, and create a list of nature items they can find. This can include leaves, rocks, flowers, trees, and birds. 

Give your toddler a small basket or bag to collect their treasures as they find them. Encourage them to look at the colours of each item and where it was found. This is a great activity for Autumn as all the leaves in the trees will be changing colour. 

2. Nature art

Natural materials are perfect for making nature art and your toddler will love feeling the natural textures. Collect leaves, twigs, and flowers, and let your child get creative. They could make a nature collage or make leaf prints by painting found leaves with non-toxic paint or with natural materials like mud, sand, or crushed berries. You could easily save the findings from a nature hunt to make art with on a rainy day when you might not want to go outside. 

3. Picnics in the park

For a relaxing outdoor activity, a picnic in the park is a great way for toddlers to enjoy nature while having a meal. Let your toddler get involved in packing the picnic basket and choose a nice spot in the park to sit down on a blanket. 

Point out any wildlife you observe as you eat such as squirrels, birds, or insects that may be fluttering around. This simple activity can create wonderful memories and instil a love for outdoor dining. It's a great activity during summer when the weather is warm. 

4. Cloud gazing

Nature doesn't always have to mean getting muddy. You could spend a morning gazing at the clouds while lying in your garden or balcony. Encourage your toddler to describe the shapes or objects they see in the clouds, or let them sketch the clouds with crayons. This activity not only sparks their imagination but also enhances their observation skills. Plus, it's a relaxing way to connect with nature.

5. Mini gardening 

Many gardening activities are great for toddlers and you don't need a garden to have fun with plants. Compost, seeds, and plant pots are cheap to purchase from garden centres and you can teach toddlers how to grow herbs and small plants in the windows around your home. There are even mini gardening tools available to get children involved, and you can get them their very own mini watering can to keep their seedlings watered. Watercress is an ideal starter plant as it grows quickly and you can eat the shoots with your toddler. 

6. Nature sounds

Listening to nature sounds is a wonderful sensory way to engage with nature, and will also teach your toddler how to slow down and appreciate the world around them. Sit quietly and identify the bird calls, rustling leaves, or flowing water you can hear outside. It's an excellent way to help children connect with their auditory senses and develop an appreciation for the music of the natural world.

7. Rock and stick collections

If you have a toddler you will know how much they like to experience the world through touch and that they are natural collectors. A great nature activity is collecting interesting rocks, sticks, and other natural objects they find during your nature walks. Create a display at home for their collections, and don't forget to label and describe the items together.

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