50 Ways to Explore Nature in Your Own Backyard!

Exploring nature is good or the body and the soul! Playing outside creates meaningful connections with peers, siblings and family while also providing necessary exercise. We can learn so much about our planet and ourselves by just stepping into the forest. Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to hiking, camping or heading to the mountains for a weekend getaway (although those are all fine ideas). Connecting with nature is as simple as heading out the back door! Why not try one of these ideas in your very own yard this Summer?

  1. Go cloud watching
  2. Build a fort
  3. climb a tree
  4. Roar at the moon
  5. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
  6. Plant a garden
  7. Create a backyard beach
  8. Explore a flower
  9. Run barefoot through the grass (especially wet grass)
  10. Dig in the dirt
  11. Watch ants
  12. Camp out in your backyard
  13. Tour your neighbor’s front gardens
  14. Take a color walk and name all the colors you see
  15. Jump in puddles
  16. Birdwatching expedition
  17. Bake mud cakes
  18. Raise a caterpillar; release a butterfly
  19. Build a fairy house with twigs and leaves
  20. Make leaf, rock or bark rubbings (get creative and make an outside art project out of it)
  21. Start a back yard field guide (complete with a drawn  map and descriptions)
  22. Create rock art (trying to balance as many rocks on each other can be fun too–Rock Jinga!
  23. Gaze at the stars and find shapes
  24. Plant a tree from seed or some flowers
  25. Play with sticks (sword fights are always fun but be careful!)
  26. Build snow animals during the Winter
  27. Watch a sunset or a sunrise from your yard; look at it each day and see how the sun moves!
  28. Go butterfly watching (and maybe catch a few!)
  29. Host a back yard garden tour or throw a planting party!
  30. Make a moon journal
  31. Run through a pile of leaves
  32. Start a seed collection..or a rock collection!
  33. Paint with mud
  34. Take a flower walk (collect some, place in a thick book, for a fun, beautiful dried-flower craft!)
  35. Create a fairy garden
  36. Go on a backyard photo shoot and make a album of your findings later!
  37. Search for spider webs
  38. Go on a back yard safari
  39. Explore a tree
  40. Design a backyard hiking trail
  41. Create a treasure map
  42. Enjoy a backyard campfire
  43. Go on a bird scavenger hunt
  44. Make a bird-feeder
  45. Start a nature journal
  46. Paint rocks
  47. Create land art
  48. Take a compass walk
  49. Make sand angels (or a nice snow angel in Winter)
  50. Go on a backyard bug hunt

There’s so much to do with out going very far! For more ideas and inspiration to get you and your family outside and connecting with nature, visit: http://goexplorenature.blogspot.com. Get outdoors and get Chipper today!

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  1. […] Family Game Night – be puzzled by the thought or allow yourself to get into a little Trouble (hint, hint). Even going outside to explore your own backyard can become a game! Here are some ideas.  […]

  2. […] Play helps a child learn to solve problems, promotes flexibility and motivation, teaches regulation of emotions and builds resilience and confidence. It is also essential to the development of the child’s brain, forming the basis of healthy cognitive function and mastery of the child’s physical world. If you take just a moment to reflect on your own childhood you will most likely recall days playing hide-and-seek, kick-the-can, or just riding bikes to the local park. Now think about what your child will remember back to when they are an adult. From the camp or school program you choose to the activities you provide at home, see each decision as an opportunity to enrich your child’s life and excite their motivation to play and explore their own interests. In honor of National Backyard Games Week, here are 50 ways to play in your own backyard!  […]

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