Observe some of spring’s beautiful colors on a nature walk with kids.
I must give a little nod to my friend Bethe over at the Grass Stain Guru for this one. Her love of crayons inspired me to ask my big explorer to pick his 10 favorite colors. Once he did, we wrote down the name of the color, too (talking about the names themselves is half the fun!) and added a small box where we would check each off as we found it.
Here’s what our list of colors looked like before we headed out:
OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
We brought our list along with us during a hike with some friends. (I have discovered in the past that sometimes a game of search and find can help tired legs find new-found energy.)
My only “rule” for this activity was that all the colors must be from things in nature, not from orange cones or brown shoes. Once the kids understood, they were off to see what they could find. There were plenty of dandelion-colored flowers:
And some horse poop to gawk at before checking brown off the list. There were red leaves that the boys saw but I missed. Then came the orange gems: ladybugs and butterflies:
As an added bonus, we saw painted lady butterflies, the very same as those we raised and released not so long ago.
There were plenty of rock finds, too, but this one fit the bill for my son’s favorite color choice, “bittersweet:”
Along the way, we added more colors to the list as the kids found things they thought were especially cool, like green cactus and lovely little white flowers.
The most unexpected part of this experience was that the big explorer didn’t seem to care about finding an item to match every color on his list. He seemed content to just enjoy time spent outside with friends.
I can’t wait to try this one again when the seasons change and new colors are waiting to be discovered.
This activity was super simple and can be done just about anywhere – be it your own backyard, your favorite park or even the beach. To make it even more fun:
- Let your child pick the colors. My son chose a great mix of colors, whereas I might have stuck with more basic ones to ensure he'd have success finding items to match. His list was much more fun!
- Keep a few treasures. While we don’t make a habit of removing things from nature, my son wanted to bring home his “bittersweet” rock. Now we’ve both got a permanent reminder of our adventure.
MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
My fellow outdoor bloggers have been busy, offering some great ideas to help you celebrate Earth Day. Here are a few nature play activities I’d love to try:
- Get to know a tree with some help from Melinda at Your Wild Child
- Find a robin! Jane Kirkland's got a challenge for you over on the Grass Stain Guru
- Make nature faces like the great ones on Brimful Curiosities
- Start a bird journal by downloading journal pages from the National Wildlife Federation
- Or try any of these great ideas from Puppy Love Preschool