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Nature Based Activities for Toddlers

We all know that being outside and getting into nature is good for our toddlers and children, with the NHS recommending toddlers should be active every day for at least three hours (including outdoor time) and collectives like 1000 Hours Outside calling for at least 20 hours per week spent outside.

On the surface, these can feel like big numbers, especially when we’re trying to combine it with our wider load as parents! But with benefits for our toddlers including physical, cognitive and emotional growth - not to mention an increased understanding of and respect for the natural world - outdoor time is a real powerhouse of development potential.

A child is climbing on a rock outdoors; they are wearing a pale coloured dress and you can see trees to the left in the background, and a river to the right

Here are some ideas for nature-based play to boost those hours outside together from a selection of our favourite Instagram accounts:

Leaf Printing

This is such a fab simple option from ABCD Learning, especially as it can be done indoors or outdoors and utilises easy to grab items!

Sticky Flowery Fro

We absolutely love this idea from Creative Mama Che! You might need to gather some more items for this one (unless you’ve got a roll of self adhesive film to hand, of course..!) but it’s a lovely way to create a memento from your walk.

Nature Butterfly

Another great use of cardboard cut outs here from EYFS Books and Things, this nature butterfly window is a great way to test language and recognition skills throughout your adventure.

Rain Painting

A great option from Outside the Toy Box for when the weather’s looking a little less than ideal for a full walk, rain painting combines art and science, sparking conversation as well as a piece of work to proudly display!

Tree Bark Rubbings

Another simple option, this time from Suburban School, where all you need is some paper and crayons or pencils to create and explore the different patterns nature produces.

Food Friends

Raining outside and need to find another way to engage your little one with nature? We adore these creative plates of food from Baby Food and DIY to encourage conversation and identification - just make sure you take a snap before serving!

Thanks to our new custom log timers, you can easily track your toddler’s time outside, allowing you to view insights across each week to make sure they’re hitting their recommended time in nature - not to mention how this time might then influence sleep, milestones and more.

What’s your favourite way to engage with nature as a family? Let us know over on Instagram!

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