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Nature Scavenger Hunts & Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Spending time in nature can help us to feel more at peace, which is especially important now. If you are still caring for little ones or if you have children at home and are looking for something fun to do, outdoor activities are a great way to enjoy the weather, get some fresh air, and add some much needed variety into your daily routine.

In this article, we share some fun ideas for activities and helpful resources to help you feel inspired to get outside.

Outdoor Activity Ideas from Tinkergarten

Tinkergarten is a network of leaders that bring families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play. The classes help kids develop important capabilities, including empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence and problem solving.

Tinkergarten’s website offers a wide variety of outdoor activity ideas, broken down by age group. Here are a couple of fun examples:

  • My Friend, the Tree: An invitation to explore trees with all 5 senses! For this activity, all you need to do is find a tree that sparks your interest, and get up close to touch the tree, notice its smells, and listen to the sound of the leaves! This activity is free, simple, requires no set-up or clean-up and helps children to develop a connection with nature.

  • Petal Potions: With so much blooming in spring and summer, it’s the perfect time for kids to make petal potions with a splash of water and other natural materials found outside, such as leaves and flower petals. To make a potion, encourage children to search, collect, combine, mash, stir, shake, and repeat. Ask them what kind of magic their potion has!

Nature Hunts

A nature hunt can mean taking a walk around the block or exploring your own yard! It’s a fun activity and also a safe way to get out of the house if you maintain a safe distance from others who might be walking. The lists below can be brought along to guide your next outdoor adventure, or they can be used as inspiration to make your own scavenger hunt.

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