Nature Activities

Halloween Nature Play – Puddles and Pumpkins Start with P

Where we live, October is sometimes called Rocktober because of the weather but with the right costume, it’s fun to go out for some Halloween nature play.

nature play rain

The nursery rhyme Rock-a-bye Baby goes, “When the wind blows the cradle will rock, when the bough breaks the cradle will drop.” That’s what our weather is often like in October. Rain doesn’t keep us inside or we’d all get cabin fever. The wet coast doesn’t get much sun in the fall and winter. Kids need rain costumes and boots. Forget the umbrellas, the wind breaks them like it does branches on the trees. If we are lucky, the power doesn’t go out. But with the rain suit, kids can splash, stomp, catch drops on their tongues, and feel the wind on their cheeks.

This may not look like fun to adults, but it sure is to kids. Dressed to keep at least most of the water outside, kids can splash to their heart’s content. All around the world, we need to partner with Nature. We can’t change what the weather does, we can only change what we do. We have to take it into account and deal with it as best we can. How can we expe

Finding ways for kids to connect with Nature when they are young, provides them with a sense of security and well-being that lasts their lives. Besides splashing in puddles, this might include gathering some nature treasures, growing plants indoors and out, going for walks, watching bugs and other critters, and playing in dirt, rocks, and grass. Look for pockets of nature in your neighborhood, even in urban areas.

nature play rain

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, “Humans are hardwired to need nature—because we are part of it.” Whatever the weather where you are and dressed for it, can your child enjoy some connecting to nature time and Halloween nature play?

Fall In The Air: Let’s Go Outside for October Nature Time

If Nature Could Talk What Would It Say?

Fall is in the air and what better way for kids to start this exciting, colorful month than some fun outdoors with October nature time? Let’s play outside.

October nature time fall

Fall isn’t the only thing in the air, so is this little one. Good thing his dad is right there to catch him. Likely he wouldn’t be jumping off a high rock without that pair of arms ready and waiting but many kids are convinced they can fly. It does feel like flying if only for a brief instant. There are some geese on the lake taking a break from their flight south. Soon, they’ll be in the air too.

Each year nature tells us it’s fall with specific signs. It’s like nature is speaking to us but we have to go outside for this conversation. How does nature talk? Maybe in pictures. Let’s see. The leaves on the trees are changing color and falling to the ground. In areas like these where most of the trees are evergreens there might be a few bushes with bright red berries. The grass is turning dry and brown and many plants have seeds. Some flowers only bloom in the cooler weather. Usually, they are fall colors, like gold and bronze. Check the ground for acorns. Any other pictures?

We can hear nature too, with the honk of birds overhead and the crunch of dried grass and plants underfoot. Wind rustles in the dried grass and leaves. Nature is whispering, “It’s autumn.” That’s another word for fall time.

Nature puts the message in the weather. This time of year it’s cooler and night comes sooner. We have to feel this message. There might be things to smell, like smoke from burning leaves. Certainly, there are things to taste like ripe apples.

Nature doesn’t talk in words. We have to use our senses. When people talk to each other, it’s polite to listen and pay attention. Nature is ‘talking’ but are we there to hear? We will spend our entire lives in some sort of conversation with nature. October nature time is inviting us to join. Are you helping your child learn how to hear what nature has to say?

Fall Nature Treasure Hunt – Golden Moments of Time

Fall has its own special treasures and a fall nature treasure hunt comes with some we don’t see, like a connection to nature and golden feel-good moments.

fall nature treasure hunt

On a scavenger hunt, there is usually a list of things to find. These could be specific items like pine cones and seeds, or things to go with each color. On a treasure hunt, kids get to choose what they think has a special value. It isn’t always the same as what grownups choose, that’s for sure.

On a fall treasure hunt, kids find obvious items like leaves, pine cones, rocks, seeds, dried grass, feathers, and late flowers. These are the nature items. Little Sister found some bits of shiny paper and a piece of orange tape. To her, these were valuable too.

Big Sister collected her items all in one place and used them to make some nature art. She carefully placed the pine cones and rocks in a design and used a stick to make lines in the soft dirt. Little Sister just collected. How children play and interact reflects their personalities as well as their age.fall nature treasure hunt art

Whatever kids do, the nature treasures are part of the gold of the moment. Time in nature feels good on so many levels. Physically, our bodies respond to the sun, the warmth of the earth, and the air. We can stretch out kinks and warm our muscles. Emotionally, nature absorbs stress. Life has lots of moments that create anxiety for kids. They have to cope with a great deal of confusion and frustration as they figure out the world and the people around them. Mentally, nature seems to calm our worries. No wonder nature is so special.

Time in nature is a treasure for all of us. Although nature has a definite schedule and cycle, it is also timeless. Is there space in your child’s day for a fall nature treasure hunt and playtime?

Before I Go to Kindergarten #4: Time in Nature for Young Children

Time in nature for young children will impact their days at home and at school or daycare. So much so that our kids need some outside time every day. For most of human history, we have had far more time outside than we do now. This divorce from nature has really happened in just one … Continue reading Before I Go to Kindergarten #4: Time in Nature for Young Children

Olympics #5: Olympic Challenge to Connect to Nature

The Opening Ceremony in Rio issued an Olympic challenge to connect to nature. “It is not enough to stop harming the planet, it is time to start healing it,” was the message to the world. Each athlete was given a native tree seed and a small container of soil. They were invited to plant it … Continue reading Olympics #5: Olympic Challenge to Connect to Nature

Space Activities for Kids #17: Moon Rocks Bottle Activity

Space activities do not have to be elaborate to be fun for kids. This moon rocks bottle activity was engaging and simple, full of learning and play. It appeals to any child who likes rocks, and that’s most, if not all of them. Finding a pile of small rocks is usually easy. Rocks have a … Continue reading Space Activities for Kids #17: Moon Rocks Bottle Activity

Space Activities #5: Connect to Earth’s Nature

The arrival of the space probe Juno to Jupiter is tremendously exciting. How about another planet? Kids can play and connect to Earth’s nature. This week some special instruments were turned on, including Juno’s eyes. For today’s space activity, pretend to turn on your child’s eyes. Go outside and check what those eyes see on … Continue reading Space Activities #5: Connect to Earth’s Nature

Space Activities #1: Sky Watching for Kids

The solar spacecraft Juno intersected with the planet Jupiter. This exciting news has inspired the play-of-the-day: sky watching for kids, both big and little. Binoculars can add to the fun, but aren’t necessary. During the summer isn’t the best time to see stars and space, unless you live in the southern half of the world … Continue reading Space Activities #1: Sky Watching for Kids

International Mud Day, Glorious MUD!

Get Your MUD On! It’s here! It’s here! International Mud Day, that is. Oh yes, International Mud Day, glorious MUD. Aka, Ultimate Kids’ Day. If you were a young child, wouldn’t you think mud is something to celebrate? Today isn’t a day to be hesitant about mud. No, instead it’s a day to embrace mud wholeheartedly. … Continue reading International Mud Day, Glorious MUD!