Activities To Teach Your Toddler About Nature

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Now that summer weather is officially here, there’s no better time to take your toddler outside for a bit of fun. Help them learn about their environment through the following activities that combine learning and fun for an educational opportunity.

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10 Scavenger Hunt

If you want to introduce your toddler to a new object in nature, then a great place to start is a scavenger hunt, Teaching 2 and 3-Year Olds recommends. Create a list of different things you’ll find locally outdoors, like twigs, leaves, and bugs. Consider printing off pictures to help show your toddler what you’re searching for. Then, have fun trying to check everything off the list.

9 Plant Seeds Together

Gardening is a fun way to spend time in nature while working towards something productive. My Little Moppet suggests planting seeds with toddlers to teach them about the life cycle of plants. You can do it outside in a garden, or in a small cup or planter that can be left on a windowsill.

Show your child photos of what the plant will transform into with proper watering and care, so they’re excited about the final product. Please note this activity will require parental assistance.

8 Nature Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are excellent ways to stimulate all your child’s senses in an educational yet fun way. Consider creating a nature-themed sensory bin. Simply collect some items from the outdoors and throw them in a box together. Then, allow your child to explore and interact with the different items.

A great thing about this hack is that you don’t necessarily need to go outside, other than to source the supplies. You can do the sensory bin indoors, especially if the weather isn’t great.

7 Nature Collage

If your toddler loves creative projects, then help them create a nature collage. The first step is to go outdoors and find items that can work for the craft – think aesthetic items, like flowers and leaves. Then, have your child glue or tape the items onto a piece of paper or poster board to create a collage. Help your toddler hang it on the fridge or bedroom wall, so they can be proud of their work.

6 Rock Painting

Another creative project you can do with items from nature is rock painting. Simply take your child for a walk to find materials. Then, at home, use child-friendly paints to create a masterpiece. Especially for younger kids, this activity is going to get messy. So, consider going outside. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just rocks. Your toddler can paint any nature item, so long as it’s safe and has an easy-to-print surface.

If your toddler is fascinated by animals, then help them learn about new species through their footprint types. While you can’t expect to find footprints easily in the world, Google images of different footprints – like a bear’s or duck’s. Then, with a bit of finger painting, help your toddler recreate each type of footprint while learning more about the animal.

4 Tree Bark Coloring

Take a moment to educate your toddler about tree bark with this activity. After explaining to them the important role of bark, have your toddler hold up a plain piece of paper to the tree. Then, using a crayon or marker, color the paper, so the outline of bark becomes apparent on the sheet. Your toddler will be mesmerized by the cool pattern.

3 Frozen Flower Play

If it’s a hot day outside, then allow your toddler to cool down with this genius activity. It requires a bit of prep work. Specifically, parents need to find an array of flowers (can be real or fake – remember, with fake ones you can reuse them). Then, freeze them into ice cubes. When your child is ready to play, take the ice cubes out and put them in a bucket to create a sensory bin. Your child will have fun interacting with the item, all while cooling down.

2 Dandelion Painting

Another painting activity is to use dandelions. Teach Preschool instructs adults to help children put a glob of paint on a piece of paper or cardboard. Spread the paint out so it’s not runny. Then, take the sheet outside and find a dandelion. Have your toddler blow the dandelion, so its seeds spread on the paper. Not only is this a fun activity, but it’s a great opportunity to teach your child about dandelions as well as other common plants they may see.

1 Flower Crowns

If your toddler loves all feminine things, then they’ll love this activity. Take them somewhere with flowers that you can pick, like your backyard garden. Then help them create a flower crown or other jewelry (like bracelets) with the flowers. Be warned this will take some adult assistance, but your child will love the beautiful creations that come out of this activity.

Sources: Teach Preschool, My Little Moppet, Teaching 2 and 3-Year Olds,

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