Family Nature Walks
Dr. Kristi Smith, D.Ed., M.Ed.   •   May 2, 2022

As the temperature continues to warm up, the flowers start blooming, and everyone begins to get out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors, families should take the opportunity to do nature walks. Doing nature walks together helps families connect in a hands-on way, sure to engage your little one’s curiosity.

Here are some nature walk ideas to try this month with your family:

  • Color Walk- For younger kids, go out as a family to look for and collect items of a particular color. This activity will help them to make connections between colors and their names. For older children, get a few bags and label each one with a color. Go on the walk and fill each bag with anything you find in that color. Back home, kids can use the items they collected to make a nature collage!

  • ABC Walk- As you walk as a family, find something that begins with each letter of the alphabet. For added difficulty, collect small things for each letter. These items could be taped onto folded paper to make your family’s own nature ABC book!

  • Heads/Tails Exploration- Have an adventure with no true destination in sight! Start out in your neighborhood or park with multiple walking trails and make decisions where to go by flipping a coin. Heads means you go right, and tails means you go left! This will break up the monotony of repeating the normal walking path each night!

  • Texture Walk- As your family heads out to explore, grab some paper and some crayons! While walking, stop and do an imprint of items with different textures. To do this, find an item with an interesting texture, help your child put a piece of paper on top, and rub a crayon over the surface. The pages can be put together to form a texture book. Some ideas would be the tree bark, bench, large rock, and leaves.

  • Photo Safari- Little one’s love taking photos! Take a family walk and allow your child to capture photos of nature from their perspective! Parents may be surprised exactly what your child captures from their view. When you get home, look back over the photos asking your child which photo is their favorite. Extend the safari by asking them to tell you about what is in the picture.

  •  “I Spy” Walk- Outdoor exercise is good for the whole family and turning it into a game is sure to engage everyone! As you walk, play a game of “I Spy.” Take turns with one person “spying” an object and the rest of the family asking questions and taking guesses on the object.

  • Flower Walk- As the saying goes- “April showers, bring May flowers!” May is the perfect time to go out and collect different types of flowers of all colors and sizes!
  • Clean Up Walk- Nature is fun to explore and enjoy, but everyone must also do their part to take care of it! Go in your backyard, neighborhood, or nearby park and do a clean up walk picking up trash to help beautify the areas!

No matter the type of walk, outdoor exploration is a perfect family activity. Your whole family will enjoy in the quality time and conversations with added benefits of physical activity. Make sure you don’t just stay inside while nature is blooming outside. Go out together and discover all that nature has to offer!

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