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15 Nature-Inspired Activities for Kids

Published on: January 24, 2014

Nature Looms

Nature looms

Even adults will love this whimsical idea for nature looms by Paint Cut Paste. Colorful yarn wrapped around a few branches creates a base for weaving in collected pieces from the yard and nature walks.

 Bug House

Bug house

This project for a DIY bug house by Classic Play really does bring nature indoors. With a small cardboard container, paints, and screen material (plus a little adult supervision for the cuts and clips), kids can make a bug hotel ready for jumpy creatures to stay awhile once the weather warms up.  

Star Gazing


Way cooler than a nightlight, Design Mom features a DIY constellation jar that’s a tricky way to sneak in a science lesson into an art project. Teach the kids the different constellations while you draw out the patterns onto a foil cake pan. Loop the sheet and place inside a glass jar, add a click light, take into a dark room and enjoy!

Build a bug


Let imaginations run wild with this idea by Modern Parents Messy Kids for an art project made from little bits found in nature. Fourteen legs? Six eyes? True to life or make believe, the kids will have hours of fun piecing together their bug friends. 

Little Worlds

Little worlds

This terrarium idea by Sweet Little Peanut truly brings nature indoors. For year-round green, and plants that the kids can tend to, the foolproof order is layered: rocks, activated carbon, potting soil, moss and plants. Add little toys and decorations to personalize!

Nature Watch

Weather window

Nature-Watch’s cloud identification activity kit gives us an idea for creating similar cloud  “windows” for kids to use inside to identify winter’s clouds as they roll in. Make a DIY version using printed-out photos of the different formations, or buy the Nature-Watch version for only 6 bucks.

Nature Journal

Nature journal

A nature journal like this one by Pink and Green Mama is a great way to encourage writing, drawing and exploring! Your little Lewis and Clarks will love documenting their adventures after nature walks or animal sightings.


Homemade rainbow

Bring the colors of nature indoors with this idea for homemade watercolors by Learn Play Imagine. Colorful petals placed in zippered bags with some warm water yield surprising results! You may need to buy your flowers from the market during winter, but this project is worth it.

Painted Sticks

Painted sticks

This simple idea by To Swoon For let’s kids turn backyard sticks into works of art with their painted designs. Whether they’re wizard wands or walking sticks, the kids will love striping the sticks with their favorite colors.

Rolling Stones

Rolling stones

This idea for bringing nature indoors featured at Handmade Charlotte requires little prep time, but a lot of imagination. Setting up flat stepping stones in a hallway, or along a blue rug or runner, lets kids imagine they’re trekking across a stream on the best of springtime days.

Alphabet gum nuts, by an Idea on Tuesday

Nature A-to-Z

This idea for a DIY alphabet set featured at An Idea on Tuesday is a fun way to create a learning toy out of natural materials. While this example uses gumnuts (who knows about these?), a Northwest version may work better with acorns, pine cones or cross-sections of a large branch (think: little wooden coins).

Mini Forest


Combine two playtime MVPs, play dough and nature, in this idea for a miniature forest by Sunhats & Wellie Boots. Check out the post for a homemade natural play dough recipe and ideas for forest, flower and beach themes.

Nature Display

Nature displays

There’s just something so comforting about having plants and nature around the house. These DIY paper vases by A Subtle Revelry are not only a great way to keep kids busy with an afternoon project, but also a great gift idea for any occasion. The folded paper disguises recycled jars of potted plants or water for flower stems.

 Wild Green

Wild green

We love finding ideas that can use up all the scrap paper we’ve squirreled away. We know this idea for creating a nature landscape by Mr. Printables will inspire hours of creativity and stories. How cute are those little trees? Check out the post for a closer look at the elements and links to print off all of the papers used!

Sun Catchers

Winter sun catchers

Temperatures may be low, but that doesn’t stop the sun from shining! These icy sun catchers by Ready For Ten let kids freeze nature for display close by a window. The best part? Watching them melt as the temperature warms up — natural thermometers!

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