How to Go on a Nature Walk – Preschool Learning Activity

Going on a nature walk or scavenger hunt with your children is an excellent way to inspire a love and appreciation for the natural world. I share how we do it and give a free printable for your own nature hunt book!

My Merry Messy Life: How to go on a Nature Walk with Kids to Inspire an Appreciation for Nature

Once we decided we were going to try homeschooling for pre-k, I searched high and low for curriculum that is Montessori and Waldorf based and came across Oak Meadow. They have an emphasis on child-led education that is heavily based in the arts, which is exactly what I was looking for. In one of their books, “Learning Processes,” they have a whole chapter on how to go on a nature walk with your child and it really inspired me to do with our children.

This past spring, we moved into a new house that has more than two splendid acres. About a third of it is cut and the kids can run and play in the grass, and the rest is just a thick forest. So thick that it is difficult for two toddlers to comfortably walk and navigate. So, I’ve been waiting for Mr. Merry to buy a machete and chop us down a path, which he was able to do a few weeks ago. He made this really cool circular path that takes us along the creek and meanders through the trees.

My Merry Messy Life: Toddler Field Guide for Nature Walks and Scavenger Hunts

You can use the book to learn the names of leaves, insects and critters or as a scavenger hunt.

Focus Their Attention on the Treasures Around Them

So, with baby Griffin strapped to my back and a canvas bag in hand, we set off on the path to see what we could discover. In the curriculum, they write “While you are walking, keep your attention (and your child’s) focused upon the sights and sounds around you, and not upon other things, such as conversations.” But it goes on to read, “Don’t try to make a big issue of “paying attention,” or it will tend to make the walk rather tiresome for both you and your child.” Keeping that in mind, I created a nature field guide for toddlers for each of my boys to keep our focus on our surroundings but I also tried to just make it fun, with a goal to inspire them to show them the wonders of the forest. The last thing I wanted to do was to be annoying, nagging them to stay on task. I feel like that just creates stress and anxiety for them and zaps the fun of learning.

My Merry Messy Life: How to Go on a Nature Walk with Toddlers

Watch Them Transform into Little Biologists

As we entered the woods, they wanted to go about their usual fun of climbing on fallen trees and running like bobcats. So, at first, I redirected them, or as Oak Meadow puts it, “shifted the focus,” back to the forest. I said things like, “Wow! Look at this leaf! I wonder what the name of it is. Here, I’ll look in my book.” It was so cute to watch the boys come running over to me to see what the excitement was about. Then, I found a bunch of bark on the ground and made it sound like it was a brand new shiny toy. My trickery worked again. Before I knew it, they were walking around expressing the same excitement for everything they saw and heard and wanting to put it in the bag. Even Grayson, who’s just two, got the hang of it and asked me several times, “What dat sound, mama?” He kept picking up the brown, rotten leaves and saying, “Wook, mama! A weaf! A weaf!” It was precious, and so much fun.

Gabriel, who’s four, found tons of spider webs on his own and spent a lot of time watching the spiders move around their webs. With Grayson being closer the ground (smile), he was looking more at the fallen leaves, sticks and trees, so we discussed how even the dead things in the forest are important as they disintegrate and turn into soil.

It accomplished exactly what I set out to do – when does THAT ever happen?! And the woods can be an entire math, science, art and even language arts lesson in one, especially if you use a book or bring along a journal.

Tips & Extension Activity Ideas

A nature walk can be anywhere

The beach, a forest, a field, or even down a neighborhood street or your own yard. There is no right or wrong place as long as it’s natural.

Bring a bag

Bring a bag to carry your forest treasures back to the house. I love how this made the walk even more special for us. Then bring the items inside and place them in a basket for observation and play (this is both a Montessori and Waldorf activity).

Math

Incorporate math by counting leaves, sticks or stones. Symmetry is everywhere in nature, so it would be another easy thing to introduce.

Science

Use the field guide to learn the names of the animals, insects, trees, leaves and more. Then, talk about how the ecosystem and how each thing is important to keep the forest healthy and alive, much like how each person is important and has valuable talents to contribute.

Art

Bring along some paper and your child’s favorite drawing utensils and let them go to town. I personally don’t like to give much direction when it comes to art – I love to see what the kids create on their own and I hope it will encourage them to see art as an extension of the soul, not something that’s right or wrong, pretty or ugly. However, for a little more structure, check out the nature field guide I created, where I included colored boxes for children to draw objects they see that match the colors.

Language

You could use the free field guide to teach the kids how to spell the words. You could also bring along a journal and have the children write about their five senses, or dictate to you and you write it down for them.

The learning possibilities are endless!

A Note About the Free Printable

This is designed so you don’t have to cut it – just fold in half along the lines and stack the papers on top of each other. Then, punch 2 holes along the middle of and tie a piece of string, ribbon or yarn to hold them together. If you have a long stapler, that would be even easier, but I don’t, so this was the next best thing! Download it here!

Nature Hunt Free Printable Booklet for a Nature Walk with Preschoolers

Download your free printable booklet by clicking on the picture.

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Comments

  1. Thankyou for helping out, superb information.

  2. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Much thanks again.

  3. Of course, what a splendid site and instructive posts, I surely will bookmark your site.Have an awsome day!

  4. nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that

  5. Hello, what do you think about appvn store download? Really neat matter, right?

  6. Thank you for sharing this fine post. Very inspiring! (as always, btw)

  7. Vu que nous voulons que votre bien, nous offrons le premier

  8. I’а†ve learn several good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you put to make such a wonderful informative web site.

  9. You have made some really good points there. I checked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  10. In the event y?u аАааАТƒan at аАааАТƒhoose a coupon

  11. Dose Of Amoxicillin For Sinus Infection [url=http://levinorx.com]viagra prescription[/url] Keflex For Staff Infection

  12. We will any lengthy time watcher and i also only believed Would head to plus claim hello right now there for ones extremely first time period.

  13. Amoxicillin Solution [url=http://onlinecial.com]cialis[/url] Jelly Kamagra

  14. is said to be a distraction. But besides collecting I also play in these shoes.

  15. Wow, fantastic blog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The entire glance of your site is excellent, as well as the content material!

  16. Well I really enjoyed reading it. This information offered by you is very practical for proper planning.

  17. read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and

  18. Im thankful for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  19. Wohh precisely what I was looking for, thankyou for putting up. If it as meant to be it as up to me. by Terri Gulick.

  20. I think this is a real great blog post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

  21. Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  22. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  23. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later
    on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great
    posts, have a nice evening!

  24. Propecia Low Dose [url=http://buytadalaf.com]cialis[/url] Acquisto Cialis Tadalafil Groups

  25. My spouse and I unquestionably like your blog and find the majority of your blogposts to be just what I’m trying to find. Do you offer other people to post material for you? I would not mind writing a story on birthday thoughts or perhaps on some of the things you write about on this site. Nice website!

  26. Bentyl Coligon Where To Buy [url=http://buytadalaf.com]online pharmacy[/url] Precio Viagra Autentica

  27. “Thanks for making me to acquire new suggestions about pc’s. I also have the belief that one of the best ways to maintain your mobile computer in leading condition is a hard plastic-type case, as well as shell, which fits over the top of one’s computer. These types of protective gear are usually model unique since they are manufactured to fit perfectly above the natural outer shell. You can buy them directly from the vendor, or via third party places if they are designed for your notebook computer, however its not all laptop could have a covering on the market. Again, thanks for your ideas.”

  28. Im obliged for the blog.Much thanks again. Will read on

  29. Hey there, You have performed an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  30. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  31. Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.Really thank you! Awesome.

  32. 410 Online Meds Without Scripts [url=http://cialvia.com]cialis buy online[/url] Viagra Sous La Langue

  33. Looking forward to reading more. Great article post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  34. Major thankies for the post.Thanks Again. Great.

  35. This actually answered my drawback, thanks!

  36. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now
    whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

Speak Your Mind

*