Nature activities for children

Looking for some wildlife-themed activities to inspire the kids? Browse our guide to nature activities for children for inspiration.

Girl playing with fairy toys garden. © Getty

Here are some great nature-themed projects for children (and their parents) to get stuck into.

Advertisement

We’ve split these ideas into the following categories:


Activities for the garden

How to make a small pond for wildlife

Ornithologist, presenter and author Dan Rouse provides a step-by-step guide to creating a small pond by adapting items such as washing-up bowls, large plant pots or old sinks. Plus, find out how to identify what species might live in your pond.

Girl and boy crouched on lawn with the equipment for building a small pond in a container and a wheelbarrow. © DK Images
Girl and boy crouched on lawn with the equipment for building a small pond in a container and a wheelbarrow. © DK Images

How to monitor your garden wildlife

Watching your garden wildlife is not only enjoyable; recording your observations will contribute to important national data.

Tadpoles. © Pauline Lewis/Getty
Tadpoles. © Pauline Lewis/Getty Images

How to make a pine cone birdfeeder

Encourage hungry birds into your garden with this simple feeding station.

BBC20Wildlife20Pine20cone420by20Alan20Batley_623-39ad16e

How to make a bird bath

Fresh water is essential for birds, and a bird bath is a simple way to provide it.

BBC20Wildlife20Bird20Bath20artwork_4_623-9a68246

How to make a pooter

A pooter enables you to observe tiny insects without touching them and is an essential tool for any young wildlife enthusiast.

pooter3_623-9a9bdc7

How to make a pitfall trap

Set up a pitfall trap to carry out a small-scale survey of the insects in your garden.

step-4-f2030a7

How to make a reptile rockery

A simple project to provide a hiding place and basking spot for lizards.

rockery1_alanbatley_623-5484d3b

How to make a footprint tunnel

Use a footprint trap to find out which mammals visit your garden during the night.

Make20your20own20footprint20trap_step204_Alan20Batley_623-d882e35

How to make a kite, from BBC Countryfile Magazine

There are few joys as simple and exhilarating as flying a brightly coloured kite in the breeze. For great family fun, build your own kite with this easy step-by-step guide.

Kite illustration. © Liam O’Farrell
Kite illustration. © Liam O’Farrell

How to make leaf-pressed coasters, from BBC Countryfile Magazine 

Capture the beauty of leaves in clay and display them in a pretty and practical way around your home, giving your coffee table a natural uplift.

Coasters. © Enya Todd
Coasters. © Enya Todd

How to draw feathers, from BBC Countryfile Magazine

One of the best ways to appreciate the splendour of a feather is by drawing it – follow these simple steps.

Drawing feathers. © Emma Mitchell
Drawing feathers. © Emma Mitchell

How to make a sea glass and driftwood mobile, from BBC Countryfile Magazine

Look out for driftwood and sea glass on your next beach trip to create this natural hanging decoration.

Driftwood and seaglass mobile.
Driftwood and seaglass mobile.

10 gardening projects for kids, from BBC Gardener’s World Magazine

These simple garden projects are a great way to get the kids outside, entertained and away from the TV or computer screen. Little ones will need a bit of extra help and guidance, while the more grown up can be given planning and decision-making responsibilities, and the use of tools such as hand drills and shears.

Girl playing with fairy toys garden. © Getty
Girl playing with fairy toys garden. © Getty

Get baking!

Foraging recipes

Fancy a spot of foraging? Blackberry picking is a great activity to do with children, and our recipes for blackberry pudding, bilberry muffins and wild cherry ice lollies are delicious! Learn how to identify wild fruits in our wild guide.

Cherry lollies. © Jason Ingram
Cherry lollies. © Jason Ingram

Our sister magazine, BBC Good Food, has loads of recipes for delicious food. Here are some inspired by wildlife:

Hedgehog rolls

hedgehog-bread-roll

Perky penguins

penguins

Spider biscuits

spider-biscuits

Spooky spider cakes

recipe-image-legacy-id--447455_11

Chocolate spider cookies

recipe-image-legacy-id--781463_11

Bunny cupcakes

bunny-cupcake

White rabbit biscuits

white-rabbit-cookies

Chocolate bat biscuits

chocolate-bat-biscuits

Polar bear peppermint creams

polar-bear-peppermint-creams

Discover beautiful wildlife-inspired cakes created by BBC Wildlife readers.


Learn how to identify wildlife

Our wildlife ID guides will help you identify a range of wildlife – both in the garden and further afield. Here are some garden species to look out for:

How to identify rockpool wildlife

Heading to the coast this summer? Learn how to identify the different animals in a rockpool. Plus, how to identify seaweed and how to make a rockpool viewer.

Shore crab. © Getty
Shore crab. © Getty Images

Identify bird song and bird calls

Birder and author David Lindo explains the difference between bird calls and bird song, and how to learn how to identify bird song from different species.

David Lindo listening for birdsong.
David Lindo listening for birdsong. © Russell F Spencer

How to tell the difference between a common frog and a common toad

Have you seen a frog or a toad? Pat Morris explains how you can tell them apart.

Common frog © Mike Lane / Getty
Common frog. © Mike Lane/Getty Images

How to identify insects and invertebrates under stones and logs

Lifting up stones and logs and taking a look at the creatures below is always a fascinating activity. Our illustrated guide will help you identify some of the species you might find.

If you’re interested in identifying other insects and invertebrates, check out our guides to beetles, hoverflies, caterpillars and pond wildlife.

Pill woodlouse. © Konrad Wothe/Getty
Pill woodlouse. © Konrad Wothe/Getty Images

Books about activities for children

Read our recent reviews of books for younger readers.

365 Days Wild, by Lucy McRobert

365 Days Wild

The Bumper Book of Nature, by Stephen Moss

Bumper book

RSPB: Born To Be Wild, by Hattie Garlick

Born to be wild

National Trust: Go Wild In The Woods, by Goldie Hawk (author) and Rachael Saunders (illustrator)

go wild in the woods

The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick, by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield 

stick book

101 Things For Kids To Do Outside, by Dawn Isaac

101 things

More ideas for connecting with nature whilst inside

Play some games 

Read BBC Wildlife Magazine‘s reviews of wildlife games, including a bird-themed Monopoly, matching butterfly wings cards, and an augmented reality mobile app.

Playing a board game. © Sean Justice/Corbis/VCG
Playing a board game. © Sean Justice/Corbis/VCG

Watch wildlife live around the world

There is a huge variety of animal livestreams available online – pandas, puppies, kittens, donkeys, sheep and more. We have focussed on wild animals (including wildlife rehabilitation) in our comprehensive list of wildlife webcams to livestream around the world.

Lance-tailed manakins. © Cornell Lab Bird Cams
Lance-tailed manakins. © Cornell Lab Bird Cams

Watch wildlife documentaries

Find the best nature documentaries of all time to stream from the comfort of home with our ultimate TV guide.

Advertisement
Sir David Attenborough pictured in the Maasai Mara in Kenya while filming David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. © Keith Scholey/Silverback Films
Sir David Attenborough pictured in the Maasai Mara in Kenya while filming David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. © Keith Scholey/Silverback Films

More online resources