Do you love nature hikes? It is one of my most favourite ways to get kids to burn off energy. Seriously… they can just go. And go they do. I had a thought today about how tomorrow we will go for a nature hike. Then I had a thought “how can I make the nature hike a learning experience that is fun?” These are 7 things that you can bring on your next nature hike that will turn it into a fun learning experience.
- Paper and Crayons
- Outdoor Explorer Kit
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Kids Cameras
- Mighty Magnifier
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Paper and Crayons
Arm the kids with a crayon and a piece of easel paper and go. As we go along our walk we collect different “samples” of tree bark. I like to use the Crayola easel paper and cut it into smaller pieces. You can check out what I mean – go to this link.
I think kids like to do this kind of activity because they get to explore different textures. And if there is one thing I know about kids is they like to touch EVERYTHING. Do you ever watch a kid go down a hall? They most certainly are running their hands down the walls as they go. Now they get to touch the walls of nature (I know – super cheesy) and colour ALL over it.
Outdoor Explorer Kit
If I am totally honest, I have to say that I would only bring about 25% of the kit with me. If you want to see what explorer kit I mean, go here. They are pretty neat little kits for kids. But on a nature walk we get the most use out of the collection bucket, binoculars, and magnify glass.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
I still love scavenger hunts. For the kids it is like a treasure hunt. We printed off our own Nature Scavenger Hunt, and I used giant zip-lock bags to keep the snow out. But, you can buy pretty cool ones off of Amazon – check out this link.
Kids Camera for Nature Pictures
I don’t know what it is like for you guys. I can tell you that if I have my phone out to take pictures, it most certainly will become possession of my daughters. It’s always a surprise when I get my phone back and see all the funny things my daughter took a picture of. However, the thought of my daughter on a nature hike with my phone in her hands does make me a bit nervous.
That’s why these kids cameras are so great. Check these guys out – click here. (Try to ignore that the descriptions is gender specific. Boys like pink, and girls like blue – we really need to ditch the “colour is gender” thing.) So much fun can be had by a toddler who is in charge of photos. They learn composition and spatial awareness, and we get to see the world though their eyes.
I don’t know why, but it’s always so much fun to see things REALLY close up. Snowflakes, tree leaves, bark, and whatever else encountered on the walk. These Mighty Magnifiers are so cool, and really open a door to talk about what kids see through them. I find that the littles I spend the day with love to explore their world, and these guys let them look close up. Go check these out. Click on this link here.
What You Walk Away With
Nature walks are a great way to get out and enjoy some fresh air. Sometimes the kiddos get a little bored during the walk. To avoid that boredom we take fun, educational activities with us.
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