Nature Activities for Families Guide

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Nature is a great teacher! Try these fun and easy-to-do activity ideas from Project Learning Tree (PLT) to connect the children in your life to the outdoors and nature. Encouraging children to spend time outside and play in nature can improve their creativity and imagination, classroom performance and academic achievement, as well as their overall health and fitness.

What you'll find inside the Nature Activities for Families Guide:

  • 25 family activities to try while walking in the forest, visiting a local park, exploring your own backyard, or when all else fails- inside!
  • Suitable for children ages 3 - 15, some activities work better for younger children, while others are more advanced. The way you present them will change depending on the child's knowledge and ability.
  • Journal pages, with room for children to make notes and draw sketches of what they observe.
  • Details:

  • Teach children how to figure out the age of a tree, discover wildlife living in your backyard, or explore connections between plants, animals, and their surrounding habitat. Each activity builds children's creative and critical thinking skills while they learn what the environment needs to remain healthy and sustainable.
  • Find Activities to Do:
  • - In the Forest - Play detective on your next walk in the woods and discover how plants grow, age, decay, and more.
    - At a Local Park - Get in touch with trees in your local park and use these family activities to take a closer look.
    - In Your Backyard - Uncover nature's diversity in your own backyard. Look, listen, and meet your natural neighbors.
    - Inside - Give these activities a try on a rainy day or when you just can't get outside.

    Copyright: 2014, American Forest Foundation

    Revised: September 19, 2014
    Pages: 40
    Cost: Check for current pricing

    For more information or to order a printed copy visit

    Project Learning Tree
    2000 M Street, NW, Suite 550
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    Project Learning Tree (PLT)
    Topic Areas: 
    Outdoor Education
    Outdoor Recreation
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Early Childhood
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Outside Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: