Nature Play Activities

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Recommend for: Cognitive, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Baby, Toddler,


Summary: What can be better for children than nature play? It allows them to satisfy their curiosity, explore the open and get some fresh air. Nature can also calm and refresh your little adventurer and stimulate their creativity. The simple act of being in nature is an amazing sensory stimulation in itself. No matter the season, you can encourage your child to play outside and have fun! Here are some great nature play ideas you can try today with your baby or toddler…

1. Outdoor exploration

Equipped with the right clothing and a bag, go outside with your child and explore your backyard or neighbourhood.

Encourage your child to collect all the special natural items they can find. Add to your collection bag any items that catch your child’s attention.

Look for things that have a nice shape, an interesting colour or texture.

Tip: Make this activity more interesting by discussing with your child the items they are collecting. For example, you can ask them questions like:

  • What do you think this is?
  • Why do you think you found it here?
  • What is its use/role in nature?

2. Review your collection

When your outdoor exploration is over, it’s time to go back inside and take a look at your collection.

You can sort your items out and talk about how they have different colours, shapes and textures. Try to figure out together the kind of toys you can build from the items you’ve collected.

When you build things using items you collected from nature, your child will develop a sense of ownership over them because they found them.

Tip: Using these objects in your crafts will also make it more likely for your child to happily engage in the play activity.

3. Create a magic wand


  • Wool
  • Masking tape
  • A small stick
  • Leaves
  • Decorations


  1. Start tying the wool around your stick. You can also practise tying knots together. This simple step can be a great exercise for your child’s fine motor skills’ development.
  2. Attach some leaves on top of the stick to give your wand extra magic.
  3. Use masking tape and wrap it around the stock of the leaf to hold it in place.
  4. You can decorate the wand with coloured leaves, glitter or feathers. Encourage your child to be creative in personalising their magic wand!

Now you can play all sorts of fun games with your new magic wand. You can transform each other into magical creatures! Enjoy the fun!

Activity from Cat Sewell - Playgroup NSW's PlayThinker In Residence

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