Activity Quick Finder:

5 Fun Nature Activities for April

Nature Activities for April

April is the perfect month to incorporate outdoor activities for kids into your home or classroom. Fostering a sense of wonder and promoting holistic development, outdoor exploration is a wonderful way for children to learn through play, following their own pace and sense of curiosity. Outdoor learning activities not only promote scientific inquiry, but also help children develop a sense of independence, caring, and self-motivation.

Full of nature activity ideas for kids, Ruth Wilson’s Learning is in Bloom is a useful resource for parents and teachers looking to introduce their preschoolers to outdoor learning.

Get the book!

Learning In Bloom

Here are five nature activities you can try with your preschoolers this month!

 

Mini Gardens and Mini Forests

Primary Objective:  Children will explore the characteristics of natural materials by creating min gardens or mini forests.

Materials:

  • Natural materials, such as sticks, pebbles, seeds, and leaves
  • Playdough
  • Trays or shoe-box lids

What You Can Do:

  1. Spread some Playdough on a tray or shoe-box lid or directly on a table top.
  2. Collect small pieces of natural materials, such as  short sticks, pebbles, seeds, and leaves.
  3. Encourage the children to make a mini garden or mini forest by pushing the natural materials into the Playdough.

Additional Suggestions:

  • Fingerpaint with mud.
  • Use natural materials for “cooking.” Provide pots and pans, spoons, spatulas, and plates. Have soil, sand, water, and a variety of plant parts available.

 

Create a Creature

Primary Objective: Children will develop an interest in the physical features of animals by creating a creature using natural materials.

Materials:

  • Modeling clay or Playdough
  • Natural materials, such as leaves, sticks, seed pods, grass, and pinecones
  • Photos of a variety of animals

What You Can Do:

  1. Call attention to some pictures of animals, and have the children describe some of the physical features. To focus their attention, you might as some related questions such as the following:
    • Do you see the ears on the wolf? Do they look like rabbit ears?
    • How does the worm move? Does it have legs?
  2. Tell the children that they will be creating a creature of their own. Explain that they can create any kind of creature they want, but it should include some things that real animals have such as ears, legs, antennae, a tail, or wings.
  3. Take the children outside and have them collect some natural materials such as leaves, sticks, seed pods, grass, and pinecones, and so on. Tell the children they will be using these materials to create their creatures.
  4. Give each child a small amount of modeling clay. Tell them to use the clay to hold the natural materials together as they create their creatures.
  5. When they are finished with their creations, have them introduce their creatures to a friend. In doing so, have them describe some of its physical features and explain how it moves and where it lives.

 

Playing with the Wind

Primary Objective: Children will participate in a philosophical discussion about the things that are real but can’t be seen.

Materials:

  • Copy of the poem “ Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti.
  • Windy day

What You Can Do:

  1. Take the children outdoors on a windy day. Have them look around and list some of the things they see, such as trees, cars, grass, clouds, leaves, and so on.
  2. Encourage further discussion by asking the children to describe what they notice about some of the things they listed. Focus on things that are moved by the wind. “What do you notice about the trees? About the branches? About the leaves?”
  3. Continue the discussion by asking questions about what it would feel like to be the leaves or the trees.
  4. Invite the children to move like leaves or branches on a windy day. Encourage them to use their arms and legs, their hands and feet, and their entire bodies to show what it’s like to be blown about by the wind.
  5. Have the children sit or lie down on the ground with their eyes closed. Tell them to think about the wind. After a few minutes, invite the children to share their ideas about the wind and how it feels.
  6. Share the poem, “ Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti. Read or recite the poem a second time and then ask, “Who has seen the wind?” By now, some children may be ready to say, “not me and not you.” If not, read the poem again and note what it says about not being able to see the wind.
  7. Ask, “If we can’t see the wind, how do we know it’s there?”
  8. Ask for other examples of things that are real but can’t be seen, such as the chime of a bell, the air in a balloon, or the way we feel when we’re hungry.

 

Animal Yoga

Primary Objective: Children will practice animal poses and make animal movements.

What You Can Do:

  1. Ask the children if they’ve ever seen a cat arch its back. Invite a volunteer to demonstrate what this looks like. Explain that cats sometimes arch their backs to stretch after taking a nap and that sometimes they arch their backs when they feel threatened.
  2. Have the children pretend to be cats waking up from naps. Have them arch their backs and stretch.
  3. Invite the children to suggest other animals they could imitate with body motions. Give them time to demonstrate what each would look like.

 

Name in Nature

Primary Objective: Children will become more familiar with the beauty and characteristics of natural materials by using them to spell their names.

Materials:

  • Natural materials, such as leaves, flowers, and pebbles

What You Can Do:

  1. Gather some leaves, flowers, pebbles, and other small natural materials.
  2. Have the children spell their names by shaping these natural materials into letters. This might be done on a clear piece of ground, on a tabletop, or on a large sheet of paper or cardboard.

Additional Suggestions:

  • Have children use a stick to write their name in mud or wet sand. 



More Activities to Try


×