Five Ways to Explore Nature at Home

Last updated: March 24, 2023, at 11:43 a.m. PT

Originally published: March 9, 2023, at 8:51 a.m. PT


Spring is a great time to explore nature, both indoors and out. 

  1. Plant a Garden: No matter the space you live in, there are lots of opportunities to test your green thumb! Keep it small by making your own Soda Bottle Terrariums with simple materials, including a two-liter bottle, soil, and seeds! Or dream big and try your hand at crops – sunflowers, lettuce, and beans are a great place to start. Read more here for great tips for gardening with children.

  2. Go for a Hike: The best way to explore nature is to get in nature. Lace up your walking shoes and explore the flora and fauna of your neighborhood and check out some recommendations for best hikes with kids through the Washington Trails Association (WTA). Add a little excitement and do a scavenger hunt or play nature observation BINGO wherever you go!

  3. Fill the Bookshelves with Nature: We love storybooks but next time you are at a thrift store or used bookstore, keep an eye out for local field guides, encyclopedia books (any from National Geographic or the Smithsonian are awesome), or any non-fiction books about nature. You can also subscribe to kids magazines such as Ranger Rick or National Geographic Kids!
  4. Nature Treasure Shelf: Start a “treasure shelf” where your kids can display their exciting outdoor finds like rocks, cool leaves, pinecones, and more (bonus – it’ll keep them out of the washing machine). Consider adding a magnifying glass or kid’s microscope to encourage closer inspection and observations.

  5. Craft with Nature: The possibilities for crafting with nature are endless. We found some cool ideas including making pressed flower and leaf bookmarks, weaving with nature items, and painting with your own made from made-from-nature paintbrushes. Which project will you start with?