Nature provides a great opportunity for children to:
- explore their 3D world,
- use all sensory systems in their body,
- self-regulate by connecting more with interoception,
- use creative thinking to turn open ended natural resources into play experiences,
- and use their motor skills to walk, run, jump, climb, balance, etc.
Below I share nature play activity ideas to encourage children to try when playing outdoors:
1. Sensory activities - these are games such as making mudpies, picking up and hole punching leaves, collecting gumnuts to play a game of naughts and crosses, 'ring around a rosie', etc
2. Looking for birds and/or flying a kite - getting children to move their head up and down, side to side to find the birds in the trees or kite in the sky will help develop children's visual tracking, and vestibular balance
3. 20 minutes actively moving around all areas of the play equipment - using play equipment is great for building skills such as core strength, dynamic balance, hand-eye coordination, crossing the midline, spatial awareness. The swing is also great for reducing anxiety through vagus nerve, vestibular, proprioception, and PSN stimulation
4. Creating an obstacle course - by getting children to create an outdoor obstacle course outdoors using bark, small logs, sticks, shapes drawn in the dirt, it will help children with creative thinking, team work, and building up their physical literacy skills
5. Going on a scavenger hunt - for children like my son who used to be hard to motivate outdoors, provide children with a scavenger hunt list, or map to look around the environment for common objects like flowers, rocks, birds, insects, paths, etc.
For more activity ideas, check out my 125 play activities book below.
Images from freepik.com