Nature activities for children

Need to keep the kids busy? We've collated some great wildlife-inspired activities they can get stuck into.

Girl playing with fairy toys garden. © Getty

Looking for inspiration for kids activities whilst staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some great nature-themed projects for them to get stuck into.

Keep this page bookmarked as we’ll keep adding more ideas.

Also check out our guide to enjoying nature and staying positive during the coronavirus pandemic.


Writing about nature

Lucy McRobert, a wildlife storyteller and the author of 365 Days Wild, has launched a youth nature writing competition to encourage children and y0ung adults to connect with nature during the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC Wildlife is partnering with the competition, with our editor Paul McGuinness joining the judging panel. In addition, we will be publishing the winning entries in the magazine and provide a year’s subscription to the magazine for the winning entry in the 13-17 age category.

Mother and son writing. © Roy Mehta/Getty
Mother and son writing. © Roy Mehta/Getty

Activities for the garden

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

How to make an orange birdfeeder

Help the birds in your garden stay full with this fruity feeder.

How to make a pine cone birdfeeder

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

How to make a bird splash 

A simple project to help your garden birds keep properly watered

How to make a bird bath

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

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.

How to make a butterfly feeder

Feed your local Lepidoptera and keep the kids busy with this simple activity.

How to make a pitfall trap

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

How to make a reptile rockery

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

How to make a footprint trap

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

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!

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

Hedgehog rolls

Perky penguins

Spider biscuits

Spooky spider cakes

Chocolate spider cookies

Bunny cupcakes

White rabbit biscuits

Chocolate bat biscuits

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:

Garden butterflies to spot in March and April

As spring gets underway, look out for butterflies flying on warm days. This guide will explain which species you are likely to see.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly. © Megan Shersby
Small tortoiseshell butterfly. © Megan Shersby

How to identify common British caterpillars

12 common British caterpillars for you to look for, with typical food plants listed to help you identify them.

Large white caterpillar
Large white caterpillar. © Felicity Rose Cole

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

How to identify pond wildlife

12 species for you to look for on your next pond-dipping adventure.

Pond skater. © Felicity Rose Cole

Children’s books

Read our recent reviews of books for younger readers.

365 Days Wild, by Lucy McRobert

The Bumper Book of Nature, by Stephen Moss

RSPB: Born To Be Wild, by Hattie Garlick

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

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

101 Things For Kids To Do Outside, by Dawn Isaac


More online resources