Monday, March 7, 2011

My Favorite Sources of Inspiration for Getting Outside

Today’s post is part of “Your Green Hour Survival Guide,” a series which I hope will provide inspiration to make getting outside with your kids every day a habit.

One of the things I found most helpful when I started the 30-Day Outdoor Challenge last summer was having a list of things we like to do outside at the ready. To this list, I also added things I thought might be fun to try.

Then I posted our list near the back door so we’d have ideas on those days when we felt a little less than inspired – or for days when the kids were full of complaints.

Where do I look for simple, quick, fun ideas to connect kids with nature? Glad you asked! Here’s my list of favorites (with apologies to those I might have forgotten!). I hope you’ll add to it with a comment below.

Favorite Websites & Blogs for Nature Play Activities
  • Kari at knows how to have fun in all kinds of weather. (She almost makes me wish we had snow in Los Angeles!)
  • The National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement features a ton of activities you can try at home, in your backyard, at school and beyond.
  • The Idea Factory at KardensCorner provides tips for fun things to do with kids in the garden.
  • Little Humbugs author Marghanita shares inspiring ways to bring magic to time spent outdoors.
  • The Nature Rocks Activity Finder allows you to search by time available, location & age of child. And each season, there’s a free, downloadable activity guide (see the Spring activity guide here).
  • The Woodland Trust’s nature detectives offer a ton of free downloads to help kids connect with nature.
  • The Magnifying Glass describes itself as “an online nature journal” and makes turning the backyard into a place of nature discovery a snap.
  • TrailMix.Net is a great place to discover out-of-the-box activities and resources for things like starting a rock collection and geocaching.
  • Melynda of Your Wild Child and her two boys are always up to something fun outside. I'm not ashamed to admit I often steal her ideas to try with the explorers.

Favorite Books Chock-Full of Nature Play Ideas

Plus a Few Ideas of My Own
Note: I did not receive any compensation for mentioning any of the above resources. If you have any questions, read my full disclosure policy.

Now it’s your turn. Where do you go to find ideas for nature play with your kids?


  1. What a great list--I'm honored to be included. And of course, you should steal my ideas, that's what they are there for. I use your ideas, too;)

  2. @Mel: I'm glad you're out there doing your thing & sharing it with the world! :)

  3. Definitely bookmarking this one! A true survival guide. And thanks for including Be Out There!


  4. @Anne: Glad you found some helpful links here. Love the 'Be Out There' movement - such a great place to get ideas to head outside.

  5. Hi Debi - Thank you for including in your post and for the links too! Keep up the great work.
    Jodi @KDN


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