Kids Discover Nature–Resources & Activities

Mama raccoon returns to her nest

Activities to Learn about Nature

This page features links to online resources for parents and teachers. You’ll find kid-friendly activities to promote nature discovery and to better understand the creatures I write about in my blog. Some of the activities are of my own design.

Printables by Tales of a West Michigan Wood

Drum like a Woodpecker

Make your own drums from empty cans and canisters and learn what a woodpecker looks for when choosing a drumming tree.

Online resources for kids and families

Project Learning Tree is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting environmental education, providing ‘curriculum resources that use trees and forests as windows on the world.’ Take a look at Project Learning Tree’s activities for families.

Speaking of trees, Home Advisor has a terrific Backyard Tree Identification Guide. If you ever need to identify a tree by its leaves, its bark, or its fruit, you’ll find tons of resources here. In addition to quite a few identification keys, the page covers basic plant ecology, with lots of links for deeper dives into types of trees, plant life cycles, and more. There are printables and lots of kid-friendly articles… perfect for a day in the park, the forest, the back yard… or for a learning unit!  And… a shout-out to eleven-year-old Hailey, a STEM club member who suggested this wonderful resource!

KCedventures is a treasure trove if you happen to be out discovering nature in Kansas City, but the site also has some wonderful resources for kids and families everywhere. Here are some terrific printable summer scavenger hunts.

Mother Natured is another great blog that’s loaded with kid-centered nature discovery activities.  I particularly enjoy the post How to Make a Bird’s Nest.  Another wonderful post is a math skill-builder about measuring items in nature.

Online resources for the classroom

Here’s a wonderful classroom activity called Bringing Up Birdy, from PBS Learning Media.  Students learn that living things experience diverse lifecycles, using the eagle to model universal avian life stages: from egg to chick to fledgling juvenile to adult.

Nature Works Everywhere, from The Nature Conservancy, has many lesson plans with videos. One that caught my eye is How Dirt Works.

Sharing Nature is a wonderful resource for nature discovery in the classroom. A fun activity is creating a sound map. Kids sit in silence, actively listening and marking a map to denote what they hear, and where.