Nature activities for kids to do at home - part eight
Summer is around the corner, and so for our final blog in the nature activities for kids to do at home series, we run through some fantastic summertime activities for your kids to enjoy.
Some can be done indoors for bad weather days, while others are perfect for when the sun is shining. Just make sure you follow government guidelines on social distancing.
Credit: Martin Gabriel / naturepl.com
1. Spot signs of summer
Summer is almost here, so it's the perfect time to see which signs of summer you can spot when out in the garden or when exercising. Can you see certain summer flowers blooming, or spot butterflies fluttering by? Keep your eyes peeled for caterpillars, bees, grasshoppers and trees in full leaf, too.
2. Have a twig boat race
On your marks, get set, go! Why not have a go at making your very own raft out of twigs and challenge another member of your family to a boat race? Simply gather some twigs from your garden, line them up and fasten them together with string. Slot an upright stick into your raft to make a mast and thread a leaf or two onto it for the sails.
Once you've made them, try your boats out on a puddle, in a paddling pool or even in your bath. Have a race and see who can blow their boat from one side to the other first! For an extra challenge add some cargo, such as small pebbles, nuts or berries.
Credit: Kayleigh Jacobs Rutter / WTML
3. Make a minibeast mask
If your kids are fans of minibeasts, this is a super fun craft for you to do together, while teaching them all about creepy crawlies. Cut a paper plate in half, or cut out a semi-circle from some card. Make two eye holes and cut out a notch for your child's nose. Now decide which minibeast they'd like to be and get creative with the decorating! You could paint your mask, stick on scraps of paper or fabric, or even use natural materials from your garden.
When you've finished, punch a hole at either side and attach some string so your child can wear it. Afterwards, why not do some research about your child's minibeast and see what you can find out?
Credit: Andy Sands / naturepl.com
4. Listen to the sounds of summer
You can definitely tell that summer is in the air, even without having to open your eyes! Encourage your children to listen to the sounds of summer with this mindful activity and help them use their senses to connect with nature.
Head out into your garden or open a window, and listen for sounds of summer. You might find closing your eyes helps you focus. Can you hear chirping grasshoppers, buzzing bees, tweeting birds or leaves being ruffled by the breeze? What else do you hear?
Credit: Jane Corey / WTML
5. Go butterfly spotting
Butterflies are all around at this time of year - but which ones can you spot? Butterfly spotting is a great way for kids to hone their observational skills, and summer is a great time to do it. Read our butterfly identification blog to learn about some of the UK's butterflies, then keep your eyes peeled in your garden or while out on a walk and see how many you can spot! Once you're back inside, why not research them and have a go at drawing your favourite?
Learn all about butterflies
Credit: Danielle Wesley / WTML
6. Try stick weaving
This natural craft is a wonderful way for youngsters to get creative. Find a Y-shaped stick and wrap some wool around it to make a loom. Then gather natural items from your garden or while you're on a walk and weave them into it. Just make sure you don't pick wild flowers or pull bits off trees - look for fallen petals and leaves instead.
If you try this activity in the woods, remember to take your wool and any craft materials home with you to help us protect the natural environment.
And there you have it - part eight in our series of nature activities for kids to do at home. We really hope these activities have helped keep your kids occupied while teaching them all about nature over the past few weeks.
If you're still stuck for ideas, take a look at the previous blog posts in the series, listed below, or why not visit the Tree Tools for Schools website for more fantastic activities? It's home to all our educational materials for schools - from wildlife ID sheets to interactive puzzles and quizzes. So you'll find plenty of ways to keep your children engaged and active over the coming weeks.
More activities for kids
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part two
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part three
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part four
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part five
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part six
Nature activities for kids to do at home - part seven
Tree Tools for Schools
Tree Tools for Schools
Discover our schools' resources and Nature Detectives activities in our online learning hub.