Wednesday, August 11, 2010

50 Ways to Explore Nature in Your Own Backyard

Exploring nature doesn’t have to mean hitting the trail, heading to the mountains or going camping (though those are all fine ideas). Connecting with nature can be as simple as heading out the back door.

50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard

Many of these ideas for backyard nature fun are things we’ve tried; others are on our bucket list (which means you may be reading about them in the future). Thanks to all you wonderful outdoor and play bloggers out there inspiring me every day with your great work!

Hope one or more of these ideas will encourage you to head outdoors and spend some time exploring nature with your kids.

1. Go cloud watching
2. Build a fort
3. Climb a tree
4. Roar at the moon
5. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
6. Plant a garden
7. Create a backyard beach
8. Explore a flower
9. Run barefoot through the grass
10. Dig in the dirt
11. Follow an ant trail
12. Camp out in your backyard
13. Tour your neighbor’s front gardens
14. Take a color walk
15. Jump in puddles
16. Go on a backyard birdwatching expedition
17. Bake mudcakes
18. Raise a caterpillar; release a butterfly
19. Build a fairy house
20. Make leaf, rock or bark rubbings
21. Start a backyard field guide
22. Create rock art
23. Gaze at the stars
24. Plant a tree from seed
25. Play with sticks
26. Build snow animals
27. Watch a sunset
28. Go butterfly watching (and maybe catch a few!)
29. Host a backyard garden tour
30. Keep a moon diary
31. Run through a pile of leaves
32. Start a seed collection
33. Paint with mud
34. Take a flower walk
35. Create a fairy garden
36. Plant a flower
37. Search for spider webs
38. Go on a backyard safari
39. Explore a tree
40. Design a backyard hiking trail
41. Create a treasure map
42. Enjoy a backyard campfire
43. Go on a bird watching scavenger hunt
44. Make a birdfeeder
45. Start a nature journal
46. Paint rocks
47. Create land art
48. Take a compass walk
49. Make sand angels (snow angels are nice, too)
50. Go on a backyard bug hunt

50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard

What about you – what’s your favorite way to connect with nature in your backyard?


  1. Fantastic list!! I've shared it on twitter :-)

  2. Love it! I can't believe all of the great things your family has done! Your kids are very lucky to have you :)

  3. @SquiggleMum: Thanks for sharing!

    @backyardsafari: Glad you enjoyed the list. Thanks for saying such a sweet thing! :)

  4. Oh this is an EXCELLENT List! LOVE it!

  5. Quite comprehensive! It must be sort of rewarding to make a list like this and see all the things you've done. And great for the rest of us to get some ideas.

  6. Great list Deb and big hugs for including my pinecone bird feeder and fairy house building. So many wonderful things to do with your children in your own back yard. One of my favourite being .........bug hunts!

  7. What a great list! The experiences you're sharing with your children are so very inspiring. I agree with backyardsafari...your boys are so very lucky!

    (I'm sorry I've been MIA for a while family's had a wonderfully eventful, exhausting month. I'm settling down with a cup of tea while Shane naps and am determined to catch up with you and the other blogs I love to read!)

  8. @Kerri: Thank you!

    @Mel: I never thought of this as a list of our accomplishments, actually. But, yeah, I guess you're right - we're walking the talk!

    @Marghanita: Thank you for your continued inspiration my nature friend!

    @Crystal: You are sweet ... & many congrats to you - I've missed you!

  9. I'm impressed! We need more people like you who inspire others to stop sitting in front of TV screens and computers and head outside to explore.

    By the way, thanks for sharing this great article on the Nature Rocks Facebook page. I really appreciate it!

  10. Love your list! Can I still roar at the moon if I am over 50??


  11. @Nature Rocks: Thank you! :o)

    @Frank & Sue: I most certainly hope you continue to roar at the moon well beyond 50! Kids need role models!:)

  12. What a great list! I shared it on my Pensacola with Kids ( blog. We are having to spend a lot of time at home this week so it is nice to have a few new ideas!

  13. @Jen: Thanks so much for sharing the list on your blog. Hope you guys are enjoying some fun in your backyard! :)

  14. Nice blog, and terrific list. I look forward to looking at more of the posts you link to. If I could add a number 51, it would be to "practice nature photography." Actually, this combines well with a number of your other items . . . my boys did your number 50 with the help of my camera today: (

  15. @clarkbeast: I agree about giving kids a camera -- it adds a whole new world of discovery for them. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Love your list! I saw a mom at the park today tracing her kids shadows with sidewalk chalk and then letting the kids draw on the clothes and facial features. My kids love playing with their shadows!

  17. @Karin: Yay - what a great thing to hear! Shadows are great because we take them everywhere we go. :)

  18. Looks awesome.

    I'm doing a kids book "Outdoor Play from A to Z" and I'd love to get your take.

    Shoot me an email at

    P.S. For others we've done:

  19. @Tim: Thanks for stopping by, Tim!

  20. Great list! We do so many of these but are such great ideas to share.
    Sharing with my fans on Greening Sam and Avery facebook!

  21. great post. Saving for next week's Sunday Surf and newest follower!

  22. @Abbie & Mamapoekie: Thanks so much for sharing - I'm excited to meet so many people wanting to get their kids outside!

  23. Very fun list!! I've bookmarked it for future reference! :)

  24. @Laura: Thanks for stopping by! :)

  25. What a wonderful list! Thank you so much for sharing. I have pinned this to my pinterest board.

  26. @Tim: Thanks for sharing! :)

  27. Oh WOW! I am going to link to this too. What an amazing list! Thank you :-)

  28. @Anna: Glad you found it helpful! :)

  29. GREAT list. Can't wait to get started.

  30. Outstanding list and very inspiring. Thank you.


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