With the weather getting a little bit warmer now that we're well into springtime, it's time to start taking those sensory activities outside and getting a little more creative! There are so many sensory activities that can be done inside the house, but sometimes we all need a little bit of fresh air and some nature! Today, we're going to delve into some of our absolute favourite sensory play activities that incorporate a little nature into our usual routines.
1. Sensory Scavenger Hunts
This one is fairly simple but it's an easy way to get the kids engaged in nature! Any type of scavenger hunt could technically be seen as a sensory scavenger hunt, but this one specifically focuses on our five senses! By encouraging children to search for items they can identify with each of their senses, not only do they have the chance to explore nature but they also have the chance to become more attuned to their senses by being able to accurately identify items that fit into each of the categories!
2. Flower Petal Painting
Another great nature-themed activity that could easily include some of the items picked up from a scavenger hunt! By pressing and rubbing petals into paper, it is easy to create colours and shapes with a little more fun and creativity than a regular pen or pencil. It also allows children to become accustomed to new textures, such as different types of petals, or even leaves too, whilst also learning about colours too!
3. Bug Hotel
Another great activity that can use items gathered in a scavenger hunt for double the sensory fun! Start by using a cardboard box before adding various items to create a lovely living space for whichever bugs decide to come by. You can add rocks, leaves, tree barks, petals, as well as a little compost too, if you have some to spare. This is a great opportunity for children to interact with nature and later on, for them to learn about different bugs and their living environments!
4. Nature Frames
This activity is perfect for children with creative tendencies! Start by gathering materials from outdoors, depending on what type of frame they would like to create. Perhaps they would like a certain coloured frame, or for the frame to depict a certain season. Once you have gathered all the materials, begin sticking them to a frame in any order! Then, print out a picture and you have your very own nature frame! Not only does this allow children to explore nature by gathering their own materials, but it also allows them to learn about shapes, colours and organisation skills, too.
5. Nature Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are always a great way to get children engaged in sensory play. The best thing about sensory bins is that they can be themed, too! This activity is also great for allowing children to explore nature, even in cold weather, as sensory bins are easy to store and usable indoors too! Fill your bin with any type of nature themed materials, such as leaves, petals, tree bark, sticks, pinecones, grass, etc. Children will easily find themselves entertained for hours whilst getting the chance to play and explore their senses! If you're unsure about how to create a sensory bin from scratch, check out our dedicated blog post here!
These are just a few of our favourite nature themed sensory activities, but rest assured there are plenty more! Children are naturally curious, and creating activities that incorporate the fun and creative side of nature will always provide entertainment and a great learning experience for all involved, so get outside and have some great fun!