Click on different areas of the landscape below for great ways to connect with nature in your neighbourhood.
A Tent Between Trees
You will need: a sheet or piece of fabric, blanket or sleeping bag, clothespins, rope or twine, umbrella or parasol, cushions, and chairs
Take advantage of good weather and build your own tent between trees or use chairs.
To do this:
Use fabric, rope, clothespins, parasol and pillows to create a space for yourself.
Invite your friends and play together in this magnificent tent; you will take advantage of the sun, nature and tranquility.
Crafts with Found Objects
You will need: flowers, leaves, books, arts and crafts materials
Discover gardens and surrounding parks to collect diverse flowers and leaves off the ground.
- Try to collect flowers and leaves of various colours, species and shape.
- After collecting them, you can sort them by colour and shape.
- When you are done sorting, press the flowers and leaves in a book and make an art project with them in the future.
A beautiful leaf imprint!
You will need: a leaf, paint, brushes, coloured pencils, markers and stickers
It’s easy to create an original drawing with a beautiful leaf imprint:
- First, go outside and look on the ground for leaves of different shapes and sizes.
- Paint the inside face of a big leaf.
- When the leaf is covered in paint, turn it over and place it in the middle of a white sheet of paper.
- Press lightly on it so the leaf imprint transfers well. Then, slowly remove the leaf, voila! An amazing leaf imprint!
Finally, to develop your imagination, try including the imprint in a drawing, for example: an animal, a flower, a car, or even a person. Anything goes!
You will need: magnifying glass
Discover the world that surrounds you by looking for insects in your garden, on nearby trees, at the beach or in a park.
- Arm yourself with a magnifying glass to be able to observe them closer.
- Look everywhere: lift pebbles, look on the bark of trees, and check under leaves.
Remember to be mindful not to hurt the insects.
Guess the Object in the Sand!
You will need: blindfold, small objects
Are you ever bored at the beach or the park? No problem, a game of “guess the object” can keep you busy.
- Ask your parents or friends to hide various objects in the sand when you aren’t looking.
- Once the objects are hidden, blindfold your eyes and feel for the objects in the sand and try guessing what each one is.
Have a few friends who want to play too? Take turns having one friend hide the objects for everyone. You can use a stopwatch to see who can identify the object the quickest. Keep score by giving a point for each correct answer or you can just play for fun!
You will need: toy cars, shovel, rake, and bucket
Instead of playing with toy cars in the house, go outside and build your own race track in the sand or dirt.
- You will need a shovel, rake and bucket to be able to build the circuit as you imagine it.
Once your race track is complete, you can play on it as much as you want, why not invite friends to come play with you too!
Arts and Crafts with Natural Found Objects
You will need: pine cones, leaves, flowers, sand, grass, or any other natural object.
Do you want to create a magnificent work of art? It’s easy, get outside and find objects in your backyard or go for a walk around a park nearby and discover your neighbourhood.
- Collect interesting items you find on the ground: different shapes, textures, colours. (Sand, dirt, leaves, pebbles, flowers, feathers …)
- Take a large sheet, or find a clear space on the ground, and create an original masterpiece, try recreating a landscape with all of these natural items
TIP: In addition to all the things you have collected, you can also use coloured pencils, markers or paint to give colour to your creation.
Game of Pawns!
You will need: chalk, 6 shells or pebbles
- Trace a big square using chalk or your finger (sidewalk or sand), and make 2 diagonal lines inside the square making an X.
- Now make 2 straight lines in the middle to connect all four edges of the square.
- Add one circle at each point of intersection for a total of 9 circles in the whole square.
- Each player has 3 pawns (shells/pebbles) aligned on opposite sides.
- Each turn, the player moves a pawn to a free round base. Pawns can be moved by a base in all directions and can jump a base only if it is occupied by another pawn.
To win you must successfully have three pawns in a row on any line.
You will need: trees and tennis balls.
If you want to play with your friends outside, try playing the Kangaroo game.
- Find two trees about 20 meters away from each other.
- Each player holds a ball pressed between their knees.
- Players will jump from one tree to the other and back without dropping the ball.
- The first one to return wins.
Laughter and fun are guaranteed!
1-2-3 sun is an amazing game to play with many friends.
- Everyone forms a line on one end of a field or park, except one person who will be the Sun
- The Sun faces away from the others and counts "1-2-3 sun!”
- The others move toward the sun as fast as they can.
- When the sun turns to face the others, they must stay motionless. If one is caught moving, they are sent back to the starting line by the Sun.
The first one to reach the Sun becomes the Sun and it becomes their turn to count.
You will need: notebook, plants/wild flowers found on the ground, markers, coloured pencils
Here is a playful way to explore plants and create your own herbarium.
First press the plant you found in your book. Then, place the plant on the first page and write the following headings beneath it.
- Scientific name of the plant
- Common name
- Notes about the plant (take the opportunity to look for information on the plant)
- Place and date the plant was collect.
Think about what other information you would like to keep track of for each specimen and write that down too.
Nature Photo Album
You will need: a digital camera, photo album or notebook, coloured pencils/markers, paint, glue or tape
Do you want to be a reporter and create a great nature themed photo album?
- Take your bike/ skateboard or go for a walk and photograph things you find interesting. This can be landscapes, flowers, plants, animals, insects etc.
- Once your photos are taken, print your favourites.
Use these photos and all the tools at your disposal to create a beautiful nature photo album full of colours, illustrations and legends.
You will need: a magnifying glass
Snails come out during the wet season. When it rains, you can start looking for them! You can look for them under leaves or behind rocks. Take a good look at their anatomy, how they move, how they look, etc. Use your magnifying glass to observe snails closer.
Always remember to be respectful of the snail and its environment.
You will need: a watering can filled with water, kitchen utensils, plastic bowls
Do you want to cook a great meal? It’s simple! With two ingredients you will be able to create the most beautiful cakes and dishes!
- Collect a little soil in a salad bowl, and add some water
- Mix with a spoon to make the batter
- Use your imagination to create the most original dishes and cakes!
- You can use plates, molds, or glasses to be as creative as possible!
- You can also decorate your meals with leaves, seeds, and pebbles or grass that you find on the ground. It will add colour to your creations!
You will need: pebbles, shells, leaves, flowers, twigs, feathers, sand, etc.
You may have heard of colour mandalas, but why not create your own mandala with natural elements? An original and creative activity!
- Go outside and find some loose objects on the ground, look for different colours and shapes in nature like pebbles, shells, leaves, flowers, etc.
- Begin by creating the outline of the mandala. You can use pebbles and shells to make a square, a circle or a triangle.
- Now, with your remaining found items you can begin to fill in the mandala any way you like.
Don’t forget to use as many colours and shapes to make an original masterpiece.
You will need: binoculars
Want to explore your surroundings and observe birds? It’s easier than you think!
- Go for a walk, bike ride or skateboard to discover your surroundings.
- Listen closely to hear where birds may be.
- If you have binoculars, use them to look closer.
- You can also photograph them if you like.
Build a Fairy House
You will need: leaves, twigs, pine cones, pebbles, feathers, flowers, petals, acorns, shells, etc.
Do you want to build an amazing house for fairies?
- Gather some natural items you find on the ground.
Remember; DO NOT break or pick anything living to add to your construction.
- Now, look for a tree with a big trunk to build your house around it. The trunk will allow you to stabilize your house.
- Finally, make your dream fairy house around this trunk using sticks as walls, pebbles for pathways and acorns as chairs. The ideas are endless!
You will need: blanket
Go outside and find a comfortable place to lie down with a clear view of the sky. You can lie on a blanket and watch the clouds. Use your imagination to identify different shapes, animals, or objects you may see in the clouds. You can turn cloud watching into a game with friends by trying to guess which cloud the other is describing.
Skip a Stone
You will need: stones
If you are near a pond, stream, or lake you can practice skipping stones on the water! The trick to skipping stones is to use a flat stone with round edges and throwing it on an angle to make it skim across the top of the water. Try it a few times until you get it right. Turn it into a challenge and see how many times you can make your stone skip along the water before it falls in.
You will need: small twigs, string, acorns, leaves, found flowers, and glue
It’s easy to make nature people:
1. To create the body of the figure, tie together some twigs found on the ground to make two little bundles of sticks. Using string, tie the two bundles together in a perpendicular shape to make the person’s body.
2. For the head take an acorn and stick it on the body.
3. For the nature people’s clothing, you can use things like leaves or flowers found on the ground. Use string or glue to attach their clothing.
Make a nature bracelet
You will need:
How to make nature bracelets
Wrap a piece of duct tape or masking tape around your wrist with the sticky side facing out.*
Go outside and look for leaves, flowers, seed pods, and other small bits of nature on the ground; then stick them onto the tape.
*Not too tightly. You don’t want to cut off circulation!
Have a water fight
You will need:
— Water pistols, garden hose, bucket and/or sprinkler
— Access to water source
In a backyard, in a park or on a beach, a water fight is the perfect way to keep cool on a hot day. Turn on the sprinklers, crank up the hose, fill up those water pistols and see who gets soaked first!
Make a daisy chain
Making a daisy chain is a great way to get creative with nature. You can create a small daisy chain for your wrist, a longer one that can be worn as a crown, or an even longer one as a necklace.
What you need:
— Daisies or other wild flowers found in nature
How to make a daisy chain
1. Using your fingernail, pierce a 5 cm slit below the flower blossom in the stem of the daisy.
2. Carefully thread another daisy through the slit in the stem and pull it all the way through until the flower head prevents it from going any further.
3. Repeat the first step by cutting a slit into the stem of the second daisy and thread another new flower through the second daisy's stem.
4. Repeat these steps until you reach the desired length of your daisy chain.
Hug a Tree
Hug a Tree is a fun way to learn about different tree species.
Players get into pairs, with one person in each pair wearing a blindfold. Those who are blindfolded are led to a specific tree by their partners and must feel the tree with their hands for 30 seconds, paying attention to its shape, texture, smell, etc. Then, they are led back to the starting point, the blindfolds are removed and they must try and identify their tree amongst all the others without any other clues.
Make a sound map
What do you need?
— Coloured pencils
Find a spot outside where you can sit for a moment and relax, undisturbed. Close your eyes and listen – what sounds do you hear?
On a piece of paper, mark an X in the centre. Write a symbol describing the sound of a bird or the wind; in the direction you hear it. It is always amazing to see what we hear when we truly listen. Coloured pencils or crayons can be used to draw a symbol or write words describing the sounds around us.
Archaeologist for a day
What do you need?
Have you ever wanted to explore what’s under the earth, look for dinosaur fossils or become an archaeologist like Indiana Jones? It’s easy and fun to get started!
Find a spot where you have permission to dig. Use your shovel to start excavating and see what you can find. Look for stones, snail shells, acorns and more — just try not to hit any worms! Once you’ve found a treasure, use the paintbrush to brush off the soil. Store your items in the bucket.
Be sure to refill the hole when you’re done!
Look up at the sky by night
What do you need?
— Pair of binoculars
At night, the sky offers an endless source of visual entertainment. Go outside and find a comfortable place to lie down with a clear view of the sky. You can use a pairs of binoculars to try and identify the constellations, or just create your own constellations using your imagination.