As much as I hate seeing one of my kids down with fever, I have to admit I enjoy the fight and scream free house it brings along. A nasty virus got my youngest in bed for a week and this led to a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. My oldest had to play on his own , which is something he doesn’t experience too often. He didn’t have to share his toys and no one was around to crash his constructions so he was as happy as he could be.
When we’re outside my kids will usually take out their bikes or scooters but this time around my oldest chose to explore nature. He gathered twigs for daddy to make a fire, looked for pine cones to make a soup and collected rocks, which he ended up painting. This reminded me of my own childhood. As an only child, I had to come up with new ways to entertain myself and nature was always a great resource.
Inspired by my son’s outdoor play I put together a list of fun items to encourage kids to explore nature and spend time observing animals, insects and plants. Each and every item listed below can be the starting point of endless outdoor learning activities leading to numerous ways of enjoying nature and its beauty.
Explore Nature Gifts for Kids
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Outdoor gear for kids
You can’t go on a nature walk without binoculars. These particular binoculars have a built-in compass that will help kids not to get lost anywhere they go.
If you plan on a nature exploration with your kids at dusk time, you will need a good mini lantern that can be easily handled by little hands.
A science magnifier and tweezers in your pocket and you are ready to see even the smallest bug hiding in the grass.
Learn about animals
An animal callers with sounds of five different creatures from North America is a good starter to have fun and learn about these particular animals.
Learn about insects
A critter barn habitat is great for observing bugs and frogs. It has a built-in light and magnifier to help better observe critters inside.
Spot colorful butterflies and interesting bugs and use a bug net to catch them. If kids are interested in studying the bugs, this creature peeper has a top and bottom magnifier to satisfy any curiosity.
A butterfly garden is a great spring project for kids. They can observe caterpillars grow and turn into beautiful butterflies. This one comes with several live caterpillars.
A butterfly feeder is a good addition to a butterfly kit or it can be used alone in your backyard to attract butterflies.
No study is complete without a great book. National Geographic put together a lovely collection of images accompanied by detailed explanations about how caterpillars turn into butterflies.
Insectigations is the second book on my list. It includes 40 hands-on activities: experiments, art projects and games, to explore the insect world.
Observe the life of ants with the help of a mini ant factory and see for yourself how they make tunnels in the sand.
Just like butterflies, ladybugs have many fans among kids. You can now order 1500 (!) live ladybugs.
A ladybug playground makes it easier for kids to observe the insects closely.
Learn about plants
For kids who have a green thumb, get them a garden tool set and let them help you planting and taking care of veggies and herbs.
This wood flower press reminds me of one of my favorite outdoor activities as a kid.