Outdoor nature games for kids are a great way to teach kids about nature while allowing them to have fun exploring their environment. Whether you are on a beach or in a forest, you one person a team or a circle – everyone can get involved with nature games. You can also adapt outdoor nature games to provide entertainment for children while they learn about the world around them.
The best outdoor nature games and nature activities
Kids nature and the outdoors are all made for each other and we have some wonderful ideas to bring them together in a host of fun and fabulous nature games.
What outdoor games can we play?
A little peruse of this blog post and a copy of my latest book A year of Nature Walks and Games and you will always have an answer to this!
10 awesome nature games for kids
Some of these games just take place in the outdoors and some more directly involve nature. All of them get kids off screen and out in he fresh air and moving. For tons more fab ideas like this have a look at my post on getting kids outside.
Outdoor games are the best and wilderness was made to be explored.Playing in the wild helps kids to build skills in both practical and creative senses. Nature is a wonderful teacher.
You might also want to check out my brand new book on nature walks and games which is packed to the brim with free outdoor and backyard nature games for kids to enjoy.
Nature Bingo – Environmental games for kids
Make bingo cards with pictures of various natural objects like birds, trees, butterflies, or clouds. Take the kids outside and have them mark off the items as they spot them in their surroundings.
Species See Nature Games for Kids
In “Species See,” children learn to identify various plants and animals in their environment. Give your children a notepad and a pencil, and have them take a walk within a short distance of a starting point.
Natural games like this help children to develop an affinity with nature.
This can be outside around a school, home, park or any outdoor location. They will need to make two lists on the notepad—one entitled “Animals” and the other, “Plants.” As they walk around their trail, they will write down the different kinds of species of plants and animals they see. If they don’t know the name of a type of plant or animal, have them create one. Let children name their pretend trail. By letting children take ownership of the area, they may want to visit and play “Species See” on their own.
Hug-a-Tree Nature Games
Play this game near several trees with a group of children. Divide children into pairs. One child is the tree-hugger, and the other is the leader. Blindfold the tree-hugger, and have the leader walk the child toward a tree. The tree-hugger then hugs and touches the tree, trying to memorize the tree’s, shape, size, smell and other attributes. The leader then takes the tree-hugger back to the starting point, and the tree-hugger must try to find his tree without the blindfold. Players then switch roles and repeat.
Nature Scavenger Hunt – Great Outdoor Games about nature for Kids
A nature scavenger hunt follows the same rules as a traditional scavenger hunt using items found in nature. Peruse the area ahead of time to determine what types of items are available at that site.
Write a list of the items for children to find. You may want to include some very common items with some that are harder to find to make the list more challenging. You can easily adjust the scavenger hunt to match the children’s age and skill level by changing the number and type of items and size of the groups.
For instance, you may instruct younger children to find objects like pinecones or acorns, while older children can find certain specific types of leaves or flowers.
There is something about finding things in nature kids just love.
Leaf Pile Jumping Nature Games for Kids
Rake up a big pile of fallen leaves and let the kids jump into it. It’s a classic outdoor activity that allows children to engage with nature while having fun.
Nature Photography Nature Games
Give kids disposable or digital cameras and encourage them to capture the beauty of nature around them. They can document flowers, insects, animals, or interesting landscapes.
Outdoor Nature Journaling
Provide kids with notebooks or sketchbooks and encourage them to observe and record their experiences in nature. They can write about their observations, draw sketches of plants and animals, or write poems inspired by the natural environment.
Water Balloon Toss
Adults and children can enjoy a water balloon toss. Divide your picnic into teams of two. Each team gets a water balloon and the members of the team stand about 5 feet apart. The members of the team toss the water balloon in an underhand manner back and forth.
Each time they complete a successful back-and-forth toss, they move back 2 feet. Keep on going in this manner until the water balloon breaks. The team that can keep the water balloon toss going the longest and getting the most distance between the two members of the team wins.
This is an old-fashioned game that has been played at picnics for years. Divide the willing participants into teams of two. Have each pair of players stand next to each other with the left leg of one team member next to the right leg of the other. Tie those legs together. The players are now collected by the legs and they must hold on to each other for support.
Line up all teams at the starting line and set up a finish about 50 feet away. The race starter will call “On your mark, get set, go.” Each team will go as fast as they can and the team that gets to the finish line wins the race. The key to winning is the team members developing a coordination with the legs that are tied together so they don’t fall.
Nature Obstacle Course – the best of nature games
Set up an obstacle course in your backyard or a nearby park using natural elements. Kids can crawl under fallen logs, climb over rocks, jump across small streams, and navigate through bushes.
What to play in nature? Nature Games can be any game if you take it outside
Pretty much anything you play inside can be played outside so get creative and head to the great outdoors with Twister or a chess set. Much nicer!
Even more nature games for kids
Here are 15 nature-themed games for kids:
- Nature Noises – record how many different noises you here on your walk but do it secretly and compare at the end. who heard the most?
- Leaf Rubbings: Place leaves under a piece of paper and use crayons to rub over the paper, revealing the leaf’s texture.
- Nature Art: Gather sticks, leaves, rocks, and other natural materials to create art pieces on the ground or with glue and paper.
- Animal Tracks Identification: Search for animal tracks and teach kids to identify the creatures that left them.
- Birdwatching Bingo: Create bingo cards with different bird species, and mark them off as you spot them.
- Nature I Spy: Take turns describing something in nature, and others have to guess what it is based on the description.
- Color Hunt: Challenge kids to find objects in nature that match specific colors.
- Rock Painting: Collect smooth rocks and paint them to create your own outdoor decorations.
- Bug Hunt: Explore the world of insects and see how many different kinds you can find.
- Nature Memory Game: Collect various natural objects, like leaves, shells, or rocks, and create a memory game by pairing them up.
- Geochaing – download the app and give it a go
- Cloud watching – who can make op the best story form shapes seen in the clouds
- Shadow Tracing: Trace the outlines of objects’ shadows on the ground during different times of the day.
- Nature Charades: Act out animals or natural phenomena for others to guess.
- Outdoor Storytelling: Use the natural environment as inspiration for creating imaginative stories together.
Remember to prioritize safety and respect for the environment while playing these games. Additionally, adapt the activities to the age and interests of the children involved.
ready for some more – take look at these brilliant ideas for things to do in nature for kids
The 5 main benefits of nature games
Nature games have been around for centuries and continue to gain popularity among people of all ages. These games offer a unique opportunity to connect with the environment, learn about different species, and develop an appreciation for the natural world. Here are some reasons why nature games are the best:
1. Encourage outdoor exploration – Nature games encourage players to explore their surroundings and discover new things in the outdoors. Whether it’s searching for hidden treasures or identifying different types of plants and animals, these activities promote curiosity and a sense of adventure.
2. Promote environmental awareness – By playing nature games, individuals can learn about important environmental issues such as conservation, climate change, and sustainability. This helps them develop a deeper understanding of their impact on the planet and motivates them to take action towards a more sustainable future.
3 . Foster creativity- Nature is full of wonders that can inspire artistic expression in various forms like drawing or painting landscapes or birds or writing stories inspired by nature.
4 . Improve physical health- Playing outdoor nature games promotes physical activity which contributes significantly to better overall health. It is also fun engaging with friends while exploring the outdoors.
5 . Enhance mental well-being- Spending time in nature has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and boost cognitive function. Therefore playing nature-based game leads to better mental well-being
In conclusion, natural games provide numerous benefits ranging from enhancing physical fitness, promoting environmental awareness encouraging creativity amongst others making it an excellent way for people of all ages to engage with their environment while having fun at the same time!
Nature Games from around the world.
I promise to write a whole post on this really soon! But here are two nature gamnes form further afield to pique your interest.
I love ther diverse ways in which different cultures celebrate and interact with nature.
1. Sepak Takraw – Malaysia:
Originating from Southeast Asia, Sepak Takraw is a thrilling game that combines elements of volleyball and soccer. Played on a rectangular court divided by a net, teams of three players use acrobatic skills to keep a small rattan ball airborne using only their feet, knees, chest, and head. The objective is to outscore opponents by hitting the ball over the net without it touching the ground on their side.
2. Kabaddi – India:
Kabaddi is an ancient Indian sport that has gained international recognition for its exhilarating gameplay rooted in traditional folklore. Played across South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia, it involves two teams taking turns sending a “raider” into enemy territory to tag as many opponents as possible while holding his breath and chanting “kabaddi.” The raider must return safely back to his own half before inhaling again; otherwise, he concedes points to the defenders. This intense game often takes place outdoors on dusty fields or open grounds where players showcase incredible strength and strategic maneuvering amidst lush greenery.
Exciting natures games indeed!
More fun nature games for end of school parties
Further reading on outdoor nature games for kids
For more games to play in nature you might also like my post on