Nature Activities

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?

First Day of Fall Nature Walk – Connecting to Nature

The first day of each season we like to go for a walk to see signs of change. Would you like to come with us on our first day of fall nature walk?

We look up and down, and all around.
In the sky and on the ground.
In a bush and under a rock.
We see lots on a nature walk.

Just outside the door, tiny purple flowers have appeared on the plants in the pots.

The blackberries sure have changed. There are no ripe ones left. A few of them may continue ripening in the sun but it’s not warm like in the summer. The air is much cooler.

Red berries of different kinds are on some bushes and trees. These ones are for the birds and other animals to eat. This Japanese maple tree has purple leaves.

Leaves are changing color. A few trees down the road are yellow, orange, and red, and one is pink.

The grass and bushes are turning brown in some places. Pampas grass has almost silver feathers that wave in the wind. In some places, it’s classed as a weed because there are thousands of seeds.

Up high, the sky is light, bright blue. Two days ago after a fast, heavy downpour, there was a double rainbow out our window. It didn’t last very long.

As you and your child walk around the neighborhood, what kind of changes do you see for fall? Talk about them and how it’s different from the summer time. We don’t have to live in areas of vast wilderness for kids to connect to nature. There will be pots of nature on balconies and patios, hidden spots underneath rocks and along streets. Nature surrounds us in the midst of the city with sun, clouds, and sky. All we have to do is look.

Developing a connection to nature is critical for us. It’s part of our nature and we need to nourish it. Especially for kids. What will you see on your fall nature walk today?

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.

time in nature for young children

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 generation. It’s not only because we live in cities. Kids are not getting enough time outdoors. Linda Buzzell, author and psychotherapist, states. “Their need to be outside is not just a thrill, it’s a physical and emotional need. We’ve just forgotten it.”

After the summer holidays, children often have changes. It could be a new daycare or preschool program. Some might be starting kindergarten. Parents and caregivers might have changes in their schedules too. Nature can help kids cope. When children have spent time outdoors, they develop a connection to nature. Nature becomes a familiar and comforting friend. As kids deal with the challenges of something new, they can relax in the familiarity of nature. Many studies are proving nature-time lessens anxiety for kids and grownups.


Enough for the information. Could you use a few ways to spend time outside with kids?

When morning starts at your house, look outside. Kids can go to the window and tell Nature, “Good Morning.” What’s the weather like? Sunny or cloudy? Kids can say good morning to the clouds, rain, puddles, rocks, flowers, plants, and anything else they see. Once you do go outside, listen as you walk along to hear if anything answers.

Pockets of nature might be hiding in towns and cities, but they will be there. Look for them in yards, patios, balconies, or other spaces. Dress for the weather and feel nature on your faces, whether it’s warm, cool, hot, cold, wet, dry, calm or windy.

Parks and playgrounds have areas where kids can just run around or kick a ball outside. Hopefully, there will be some grassy spaces. Blow bubbles, collect nature treasures, have a close encounter of the touch kind with sticks, dirt, and rocks.

time in nature for young children

A connection to nature will be one of the most powerful resources for your child’s well-being and security. Somehow, outdoor time seems to connect us to our inner nature. As support for growth and development, before going to kindergarten or other program, will your day include time in nature for young children?

To see the rest of the ready poster, check the Before I Go to Kindergarten post.

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!

Play-of-the Day: Take Dad Outside for Fathers Day

Could there be a particular reason Father’s Day comes along in mid-June? Maybe, it’s so we can take dad outside for Fathers Day and spend time in nature. If the weather is cooperating, Father’s Day can start with a breakfast picnic outside. Sticky cinnamon buns, breakfast tortilla rollups, and coffee, hot or iced, in a … Continue reading Play-of-the Day: Take Dad Outside for Fathers Day

Bubble Fun and Learning #20: Dandelion Bubbles

On a walk today, we saw some dandelions near the sidewalk. We picked a few because they were just what we needed for making dandelion bubbles. Recently, we saw this video on a FB post from I Heart Crafty Things.  Rachel and her 3 kids share all kinds of activities on the blog I Heart Crafty … Continue reading Bubble Fun and Learning #20: Dandelion Bubbles