5 Nature Play Ideas To Keep Your Kids Creative
Find out about nature inspired play
Do you want your child to form a connection with nature? Do you want to teach your child how to love nature through play? If you answered yes to any of these questions then this blog post is for you! Here at Capikooa we have a passion for all things natural, so we’ve come up with 5 nature inspired play ideas that use natural materials! These activities will get their imagination at play as they promote creativity, fine motor skills, and a connection to the environment.
What is nature based play? What are the benefits of nature play?
Nature play is a type of play that lets children explore and do what they want! This type of unstructured play allows kids to make a connection to nature and lets them unleash their imaginations. Nature play is a great type of child-led play which allows kids to gain independence and confidence. Nature play has many benefits, getting a better night's sleep, developing motor skills, and fostering a love for nature and the environment are to name just a few! If you would like to read more about the benefits outdoor play has for children then we have a whole other blog post just about that so click here! Outdoor play and nature play have similar benefits and are both great for children. Keep reading to find out some easy nature play activities that will not only entertain your kids but help them learn too!
1. The first of our nature play activities is to make natural mandalas
This idea is a fun and creative way that uses nature as inspiration for art! It's the perfect wind-down activity for kids after a long day. But first, what are mandalas? Mandalas are symmetrical geometric patterns that are relaxing to draw. There are many natural mandalas that exist in nature! Snowflakes, flowers, spiderwebs are all examples. A great nature inspired play idea would be to go on a nature walk with your family and pick up some natural materials along the way! Flowers, pinecones, leaves, stones, and when you get home ask your kids to draw out the patterns they see. This activity is great for relaxing and it also promotes creativity and fine motor skill development. Don’t forget to hang their nature inspired masterpieces on the fridge!
2. A classic nature play idea is to collect and play conkers!
A timeless nature inspired play idea is to collect as many conkers as you can find on the way to and from school! This autumnal activity gets the kids excited about going on walks and is a great play idea! Your kids can play conkers the old-school way by threading their best conker competitor onto a piece of string (shoelaces work too) and then taking it in turns to hit each other's conker until one is left victorious! However, this game is only suitable for older kids so we came up with an alternative game for little ones instead! After washing your conkers thoroughly, you can set up some counting and sorting exercises which are great for practicing their fine motor skills, logical thinking, and hand eye coordination. We didn't want your little ones to miss out on the nature based autumn fun!
3. Make masks out of leaves as your next nature based play idea!
For this next nature inspired play idea, you only need one thing: A big leaf! This activity can be done in the playground or at home in the garden. All you need to do is ask your child to find the biggest leaf they can, make some holes in it for the eyes and mouth and then they have a leaf mask! If your child is old enough, they could use a pair of scissors to make more accurate eye holes. This nature inspired play idea is great practice for their fine motor skill development and gets them outside and moving! This nature based activity is a fun one to do around halloween time as they can make the leaf masks appear spooky by cutting out more slanted eye holes to give them that evil villain look! Leaf masks are the perfect option for a quick and easy nature based activity to do with the kids this autumn.
4. Make nature’s soup and potions for some nature inspired play!
One of the best activities to do to get kids outside into nature is to make some nature soup! All they have to do is find some natural ingredients such as grass, flowers, pinecones, sticks, and leaves. Then they can find a bigger stick to stir all these ingredients together to make a fun pretend soup! This nature inspired play idea is a timeless one that we’ve all played in our childhoods before! Scavenging for ingredients gets them roaming around outdoors, breathing fresh air, and getting active. You could also do this activity at home and get even more creative! Start by collecting flowers and putting the petals into a bowl, then ask your children to grab a tea bag and empty the bits into the bowl too, if you have any herbs they would be a great addition! Add this concoction to a little glass jar and then they have their very own potion! This nature inspired play idea is great for enhancing your child’s creativity.
5. Nature inspired mark making!
This next nature inspired play idea is great practice for your little one’s fine motor skills as mark making uses the muscles in their hands and wrists. For this mark making activity you will need some big leaves, paint, and some paper or cardboard (you could use your Capikooa playful packaging!) The next step is to set up your surface and lay the cardboard down next to the paint and the leaves your children have collected. Then ask your children to place a leaf into the paint and then press it down onto the cardboard. When they take the leaf off it will leave a cool imprint! This activity teaches your children what different types of leaves look like up close and about their varying patterns. It also sparks creativity as they could decide to make something from it! For example, two leaves could be the wings of a butterfly.
There are so many creative activities to spark your child’s interest in nature! We hope you enjoyed these nature inspired play ideas and if you try one (or all of them!) out, please tag us in your pictures! We love seeing children’s imagination at play. Also, make sure to follow our Instagram for more play ideas. Thanks for reading!
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