Connecting With Nature
Engaging ways for kids to connect with nature
In celebration of DOC's annual Conservation Week, we have put together some fun and engaging ways for kids to connect with nature at home and beyond. These activities can be enjoyed not only during Conservation Week, but any time you want to go out and connect with nature.
Head into your backyard to discover what lives there, explore a new landscape and see what you can find, or be creative and enjoy making some of our nature crafts.
Don't forget to share with us how you have 'taken a moment to notice nature'. We would love to see you enjoying these activities!
1. Make a Nature Journal
A nature journal is a fun and easy activity for kids to enjoy at home. You can easily create one with items you can find around your house.
Once you have created your nature journal, don't forget to head outdoors and fill it up with all the amazing discoveries you come across on your adventures.
Draw a picture of a special tree at your house or an interesting tree you spot on a walk.
Take a minute to sit quietly in nature, note down everything you hear, smell or can feel. Go back another day to the same spot and see if you notice anything different.
Do some leaf rubbings.
Draw the different birds you spot and see if you can identify them.
See if you can spot something red, something green, something yellow and something brown, and then draw them in your journal.
If you create a fantastic Nature Journal don't forget to head on over to the Department of Conservation Toyota Kiwi Guardian website to claim your medal!
Click this image to download PDF instructions on how to make a Nature Journal
2. Create Nature Art
Go for a walk around your section or local reserve. Collect leaves, sticks, seed pods and bark...anything you can find on the ground that has fallen off a tree or plant. Remember not to pick or pull anything off a live plant.
Create some fun bits of nature art with your found items:
Create a Mandala pattern. You could do this on the side of a track or at a reserve for someone else to find.
Do some leaf rubbings. You can make really fun wrapping paper out of it or a card. Or add them to your nature journal.
Make a fun picture to send to your friend. This can be a fun way to wish someone Happy Birthday without needing a card.
Make a self-portrait with the items. What can you use as hair? Stones might make good eyes!
Have fun creating items with the nature you collect, but just remember when you're done to put it all back into nature.
Fallen leaves, flowers and sticks help are homes for insects and fungi. To help protect the biodiversity of our environment it's important to put everything back where it belongs once you have finished having some fun.