This spring, we’ve learned and had so much fun engaging in nature play together. As the weather continues to warm up, we wanted to share some of favorite ways to nature play. Check out our ideas below and get out there--rain or shine! Sometimes rain makes for the BEST activities!
Plant something! Watch it grow.
Spring is a time for growth. The sun shines down and we get plenty of rain to give seeds the boost they need to grow into flowers, trees, and the food we eat. Choose some seeds to plant and let your child help you water them. Watch the seeds grow together. You can even track the growth from week to week and see how long it takes until a flower blooms or a vegetable appears. If it’s edible, you can use it to cook something and enjoy a tasty treat!
Go on a hunt for the rainbow
Though it may be tough to spot a real rainbow, you can find the colors of the rainbow all over! As flowers start to bloom, take walks through the park or around your neighborhood to see how many different colors of flowers you can find. If you keep track of the colors you see each time, you just may discover the whole rainbow!
Use mud to make art!
You may look at the muddy puddles left after a rainstorm and think to yourself, “Yuck! What a mess!” Even though you wouldn’t be wrong in saying mud is a mess, messes can be really fun! If you take a scoop of gloppy mud and mix it with a touch of paint, you can make messy mud into a beautiful and natural work of art. Sticking your fingers into a bowl of mud paint and drawing on the sidewalk can be the perfect activity after (or on) a rainy day!
Go ahead, splash in those puddles!
It’s no secret that even though spring brings some much needed sunshine, it also brings rain, and a lot of it. Sometimes rain keeps us inside, but other times it can mean it’s time for one of our favorite activities—puddle jumping!! Get out your raincoat and your boots and get to splashing! Jumping in puddles gets us moving and allows kids to take the lead. While you’re out there, see what else the rain brought with it. Can you find any worms wiggling out from the soil? Are there leaves that blew down from the trees up above and are now floating on a puddle’s surface?
Colorful window art
There are going to be days when the rain or cold weather prevents you from playing outside this spring, but it shouldn’t stop you from having fun! A simple rainy activity for you and your child is sticking foam shapes to your windows with a little bit of water. You can explore different shapes, colors, and patterns as you add to your picture.
Here is a link to instructions on how to recreate this simple project at home: http://theimaginationtree.com/2011/04/spring-foam-window-murals.html
We hope you have fun this spring trying out these ideas and other nature play activities! As always, we love to hear how you are incorporating nature play into your lives.
Written by Emily Van Laan