11 Nature Play Ideas to Inspire Active Outdoor Learning this Summer

11 Nature Play Ideas to Inspire Active Outdoor Learning this Summer

Connecting to nature can restore our sense of wellbeing. For children, this connection is best made through play – whether outdoors in nature or indoors with natural elements. That’s why the folks behind Outdoor Classroom Day have created a full playlist of ideas from amazing organizations and individuals who are passionate about nature play, to help engage your children in active outdoor learning!


Go on a Nature Walk

Explore new words with a girl and her father as they go on an exciting nature walk.

Source: Sesame Street in Communities


Explore a watery world with pond dipping

Summer is a great time to go exploring, and whether you’re by the sea, a pond or any other water, it’s also a great time to learn more about underwater nature first hand.

Source: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)


Tree Bark Rubbing

Depending on a type of tree, and its age, bark is rough or smooth. Let your children explore the different textures, and create a portfolio of bark rubbings to take their discoveries home.

Source: The Dad Lab


Make Mud Pies!

Enjoy creating your own mud pies – wonderfully mucky creations!

Source: The Gruffalo


Set up a Mud Kitchen

Learn to set up a mud kitchen and let the children loose on it, armed only with their imaginations. You can try this yourself at home or in the woods.

Source: Woodland Classroom


Go on a “Minibeast Safari”

Head out into the woods to become Wild Detectives for the day. Look for insects and other creatures to investigate and learn all about them.

Source: Woodland Classroom


Make Natural Paint Using Food

Is it possible to make natural paints from food ingredients at home and make no mess? Max has proven it is! The Dad Lab used spinach for GREEN, turmeric for YELLOW, cacao powder for BROWN and strawberry with beets for shades of RED.

Source: The Dad Lab


Build Your Own Den

Groundwork East’s Environmental Education Officer Carolyn shows you how to get “really wild” at home and build your own den.

Source: Groundwork East


Make a Fairy Door

Build a magical door for fairies using lolly sticks and buttons. An easy craft kids will love.

Source: The Woodland Trust


Learn to Make a Nature Crown

A super simple DIY Nature Crown video tutorial.

Source: Muddy Puddles


Make a Nature Collage

Collect lots of natural materials and get creative. What will you make?

Source: The Woodland Trust

Many thanks to the good people at Outdoor Classroom Day for pulling these great resources together! Be sure to visit their website for even more active outdoor learning resources: https://outdoorclassroomday.com/resources/

Learn more about Outdoor Classroom Day, including how you can get involved, at https://outdoorclassroomday.com/.

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