I’m so excited to welcome my friend, Leah, from Crunchy Farm Baby, today to share some great ideas for nature activities we can do with the kiddos on those super hot, super wet, or super cold days. All of these activities can be done with simple materials that you probably already have at home, and they’re perfect if you’re homeschooling or even just on the weekends!
Let’s face it.
As much as we may want to get our kids outside exploring and creating every day, there are times and circumstances when we just can’t. Snow, pouring rain, thunderstorms, oppressive heat…. sometimes we simply don’t have the choice but to stay indoors.
Never fear though! We’ve got you covered with great ways to bring nature inside for those times when you can’t make it outdoors.
Here are five of our favorite nature activities for when you’re stuck inside:
1. Explore and Sketch – Set up a simple invitation to create by lining up a few vases with different flowers in them. You can use anything from elaborate bouquets to a few simple (free) wildflowers! Set these up on a table, with a magnifying glass, sketch paper, and colored pencils. Have your child explore the flowers, look at the intricate details, and sketch what they see.
2. Bird Count – For a wonderful way to practice counting skills as well as looking for birds in your area, watch through a window and count the birds you see. Set a timer for a specific length of time and see how many birds you can count before it beeps!
3. Earth Shaving Cream Play – This “clean” messy activity is best done in the bathtub to make for the easiest cleanup. You will need shaving cream and blue and green food coloring. On the floor of the empty bathtub, squirt two large piles of shaving cream. In one pile add a few drops of blue food coloring and in the other, add green food coloring. Use a spoon to stir the shaving cream around until the color is evenly mixed. Then invite your child to play and explore in the earth-themed tub. Add in a variety of exploration material such as scoops, spoons, containers, etc. When you’re ready to clean up, simply turn on the water and the shaving cream will rinse away.
4. Feather Threading – This simple counting activity is also wonderful for sorting skills, color recognition, and fine motor practice. You will need several colors of fake feathers, and matching colors of pony beads. Set up an investigation with one of each different color feather, and a mixed bowl of beads matching with corresponding colors. Have your child thread beads onto each feather, counting aloudd as they work. To extend this activity you could add a rolling die, and have your child roll a number for each feather to see how many beads they need to put on that feather.
5. Sensory Play Dough – Make a batch of homemade play dough and set it up for your child with a tray filled with a variety of objects from nature (we like to keep a basket of items we find on nature walks such as twigs, pinecones, dried leaves, acorns, etc. handy for stuff like this). Let your child go to town designing creatures and natural structures.
Want more amazing ideas just like these?
This nature-inspired preschool curriculum is chock full of over 500 activities that help you experience the brilliance of nature, inside and outside, with your child. Get access to activities that span the content areas – Math, Reading, Science, Nature, Sensory Play, Art, Cooking, and more!
What are your favorite activities for when you’re stuck inside?
Leah is first and foremost a crunchy Mama to a busy preschooler and an energetic toddler. Between nap times, snack prep, and backyard adventures, you can find her in her home office creating awesome learning toys for her Etsy shop and writing homeschooling goodies for families all over the world who want to provide an enriching and personal learning experience for their children. With the little free time left over, she enjoys copious amounts of coffee, gardening, baking, and bikram yoga. You can follow along with her family’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and in her free Natural Homeschooling Facebook Group.
What cute ideas. Also checked out you Etsy shop, those fabric letters are so cute! I don’t have kiddos, or even grandkiddos since you kind of need some of the former to have any of the latter. I wish I had seen them before the roomie’s great niece and nephew went off to Kansas – the nephew doesn’t need them now, but the niece could be able to use them.
I’m in love with Leah’s fabric letters too, aren’t they just adorable? 🙂