Need ideas for planning your next outdoor nature walk? I’ll share some links (for warm or cold weather) at the end of this post, but first let me share about our recent outdoor nature walk at a local nature center. Winter has been hanging on here, with record snowfall now over 6 feet, twice as much as usual. Needless to say, we’ll be happy when spring comes. But for now, we’ve been content with snow.
The other day, we braved the cold weather to visit the Leslie Nature Center for storytime and an outdoor nature walk. The monthly weekend storytime event is well-loved by the kids. We started out indoors, and read a book on spiders while waiting for storytime to start. The storytime tale was about bunnies — so there were guest appearances by the two resident bunnies (they normally live in the Critter House at the nature center).
This particular bunny was shedding quite a bit — notice the tufts of fur floating in the air in front of Toby’s face:
After getting to say hi to the bunnies, we donned our gear for an outdoor nature walk on the trails. It was nice to see Toby finally getting his snow legs. The first couple times we ventured outdoors in the deep snow, he wasn’t quite sure what to do, By the time of this outing, he was an old pro. On our outdoor nature walk, we listened for birds (and spotted a far-off cardinal), saw animal tracks (dogs, squirrels, fox, deer, etc), discovered snow fleas, and found rabbit scat.
And the finale of our outing, we of course visited the raptor enclosure. The Leslie Nature Center houses a variety of raptors (birds of prey) that are not capable of surviving in the wild. There are bald eagles, owls, falcons, and even a turkey vulture. Click on an image below to open the gallery view.
I know some of you love resources and reading further. So, with that in mind, here are some blog posts on planning outdoor nature walks and relevant outdoor nature activities for kids. The links will open in a new window so you can consult the list as desired. Enjoy!
Cold Weather Outdoor Nature Ideas
- Winter Nature Walk Ideas – how to make an winter outdoor nature walk fun and educational
- Winter Listening Walk – explore the sounds of the outdoors with your kids
- What Happens to a Stream In Winter? – an outdoor nature walk to learn about winter streams
- Outdoor Learning Adventure – have an outdoor play/birthday party for your kids
Year Round Outdoor Nature Ideas
- Animal Tracking With Children (Beginner’s Guide) – the how to’s and why’s of animal tracking
- ABC Scavenger Hunt – learn how to “see” letters no matter where you are
- Go Geocaching – learn what geocaching is and how to do it in an educational way
- Bringing Nature Learning Indoors – how to bring home “visitors” for a brief stay
- Getting Kids Outside With Magical Maps – create maps and create excitement about nature
- Take Learning Outside With Nature Walks – every outdoor nature walk is an opportunity to learn
- 5 Senses Activities For Kids Outdoors – creative ways to explore the senses in nature
- Nature Study For Newbies – get supplies, be prepared, how to get started
- Butterfly Alphabet Matching Cards – help your toddler learn the alphabet
- Spring Flower Bulb Identification Cards – ID flowers and bulbs with your child
- Leaf Identification Cards – ID leaves with your child
- Earth Day Outdoor Nature Walk – observe and explore nature for Earth Day
- The Easter Story, Nature Walk – Easter-themed nature scavenger hunt for kids
Birds + Bird Watching
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Cams – watch birds live from your computer
- Bird Beak Comprehension – “experiments” for kids to eat like birds, make nests, etc
- Bird Watching With Kids – 7 steps for a fun outing
- Watching Wrens – includes a video of baby wrens hatching!
- Bird Unit Study Resources – resources on teaching your kids about birds
- Winter Birding With Kids – tips for a successful bird watching walk with kids
- DIY Bird Feeders for Kids – easy projects to bring birds in for bird watching
Have More Outdoor Nature Walk Ideas?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to creative, imaginative, outdoor play. Hopefully these photographs and links get your brain coming up with even more great ideas!
Do you have more fun outdoor nature walk ideas? Or fond memories of things you enjoyed doing when young? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.