Exploring Nature in Your Neighborhood: Activities For Kids & Families
Want to get out and explore nature right in your own neighborhood? It is as easy as 1-2-3. Here are some activities that you can download for use with family and friends to get you started on some Neighborhood Nature adventuring.
You can see that the first activity below is for creating a Nature Journal. You can print out one of these starter pages for each of the activities below or for any Neighborhood Nature adventure that you, your friends, or your family members create!
Many of the activities below have sample pages from a Nature Journal that will give you some ideas about how to keep track of your Neighborhood Nature adventures. Have fun!
Start a Nature Journal
Keeping a Nature Journal is a great way to capture the details of your Neighborhood Nature adventures!
You can organize your Nature Journal by theme (woods, fields, water, etc.) or maybe by seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall). It's entirely up to you!
This starter page will help get your Nature Journal off to a great start.
A Poem for a Poppy or a Story for a Salamander
It's easy to capture the wonders of nature in words.
Look for the things in the nature that ignite your imagination and write your own poem for a poppy or story for a salamander.
Who Eats What?
Much of nature is about eating (and being eaten). When we talk about who eats what in nature, we are investigating something called a "food web."
This activity takes you through an exploration of food webs, in a quest to answer the question "Who eats what?"
Making ''Sense'' of Nature
Did you know you can use all five of your senses to learn about the natural world around us? You've probably looked at and listened to nature at some point, but what have you tasted, touched, and smelled?
There are many ways to make "sense" of nature, and this activity gives you some ideas to get you started on a "sense-ational" journey!
Go Buggy in Your Own Neighborhood
Bugs are a big part of nature, and they do all kinds of things you might not think about.
So go buggy in your own backyard or neighborhood and see what kinds of surprises you can find while exploring the universe of these mighty mini-beasts. This activity can help get you going.
What Fine Feathers You Have!
Want to soar like an eagle, dive like a pelican, or do amazing air acrobatics like a seagull? All it takes is a little knowledge and a good imagination.
This activity will get you started as a bird watcher--and it's guaranteed to take you to new heights in exploring the sights and sounds of the bird world.
Star Light. Star Bright. The First Star I See Tonight...
After looking around you at all that nature has to offer, it's time to stop and look up.
When was the last time you looked up (really looked) at the stars? Have you ever noticed that they aren't all the same color? Can you see patterns and pictures in the stars? You can if you look with your eyes and your imagination. Use this activity to begin your star explorations.
Get Out in Your State Parks
Did you know there are 278 state parks in California where you can continue your nature (and history) explorations? And did you know that many of these parks have activities and events for kids and families? For a listing of these events, be sure to visit our Calendar of Events and Activities webpage.
Want more ideas for getting your kids out in nature, having fun and learning a lot at the same time? Then check out our Children in Nature program webpage for useful information, links, and event listings.
And if you'd like even more ideas about things you can do with your kids, whether in parks or in your own neighborhood, check out our new booklet, What's Outside Your Door?--geared towards those of you with young children (ages 3 to 7).