Whether you’re a parent, educator or caregiver, this poster is designed to make it really easy for children to take that first step outside and start interacting with the natural world.
Each one of these tear-off tasks is simple to do and can take as short or long a time as you or the child wants.
How to use this nature poster
- Download the file and print onto recycled paper. If you’re doing this for a whole class you may want to print multiple copies.
- Cut along the lines between each task so that they can be easily torn off at the top.
- Tear off the one on the far left so it’s clear to the kids that they should do the same.
- Put it up where it can be seen (and somewhere you have permission to put it!) like a classroom wall, noticeboard or on the refrigerator.
- Invite the children to tear off a task that resonates with them.
These would make lovely homework tasks or childcare activities (outdoor play is essential to brain development!).
It’s also a great way to finish off any kind of structured children’s activity, like an art class, sports practice or scout meeting. Invite the kids to tear one off as they leave to complete at home.
Parents, pop it on the fridge and let the kids pick one task each afternoon to help them settle down after school, especially in the first weeks of the new school year or in the final weeks of term when they start getting grumpy and over-tired in the afternoons.
These little outdoor challenges naturally encourage a state of mindfulness as you use your senses to connect with the world around you.
Nature play tear-off tasks to inspire outdoor fun
This can be quite a powerful and soothing experience.
Count all the different sounds you hear, natural and otherwise. Did closing your eyes make it easier or harder to concentrate on the sounds?
Smell some flowers
You may even like to pick some to put in a vase. Just make sure you leave enough for the birds and
Scrunch a leaf in your hand and smell it
This is an especially good one to do with eucalypt or tea tree leaves.
Look for bugs on a tree
Use your eyes, a magnifying glass, or try this technique with a white sheet.
Write your name in the dirt
Or the sand or snow. Find a good stick or use your finger.
Count how many birds you see in the sky
Older children may also like to count how many different species they see.
Try to mimic a noise you hear in nature
Maybe it’s a bird call. Maybe it’s the swish of the wind through the leaves. Maybe it’s the click of tapping one rock on another.
Watch the clouds and look for shapes
This can be a really peaceful activity. Take a picnic blanket outside, lie down and settle in.
Water your plants in the backyard
Don’t get too upset if they end up watering themselves as well 🙂
Observe an animal for five minutes
Whether it’s a bird, a bee or a beetle, they all have more to show us than we first assume.
Make something using nature
Construct your own unique creation or select something from my (rather extensive!) list of nature crafts.
Lay on the grass and pretend you’re as small as an ant
What would a single blade of grass look like to you? What about a crumb?
Create a nature mandala with fallen sticks and leaves
Soothing, creative and pretty. I love doing these.
Hug a tree for 30 seconds
Really get to know your tree.
These nature play tear-off task tasks are designed to be a jumping off point.
Our goal here is to develop an affinity with the outdoors, not to complete every task to perfection. If the kids abandon their mandalas after five minutes to play tag or climb a tree, that’s not a problem (in fact, it’s wonderful!).
Happy nature playing!
You may also like to download the FREE Nature Color/colour Wheel too!