23 nature-loving summer crafts and activities for kids.

When the natives are restless, it helps to have fun, nature-loving projects and crafts on hand to celebrate the slip and slide into summer.

Max and Micah playing Sink or Float earlier this afternoon (#16 on the list).

  1. Make a noteworthy nature journal with this PDF download. Because everything is quite remark-able.
  2. Grab a few baskets, get the kids, and go for a rock hunt. Bring back the look and make story stones.
  3. Create this tree house play scene and keep it in the car trunk for play dates and trips. Little ones are especially good at selecting the pieces to make the play scene. Max acted as architect and blueprint-designer for ours.
  4. Make rosemary vinegar for all the elderly singles that live on your street. And deliver them.
  5. Whistle with a blade of grass. Or find someone in the neighborhood who can play grass-whistling guru.
  6. Give those little stingers a safe place to call home– make a bee house.
  7. Wash a big bowl of cherries and strawberries, set up a picnic blanket in the yard, and paint each other while you savor the fruits. See who can make an entire arm or leg cherry-red first.
  8. Create your own music video for a Dave Matthews Band song (anything from Under the Table and Dreaming).
  9. Play the listening game. You’ll need a timer, paper, and pencils. Set the timer for 10 minutes and have everyone take a vow of silence. The goal is to write down as many different sounds as you hear while sitting in the backyard for ten minutes.
  10. Plan a local Roamschool trip (I adore these guys).
  11. Play a game of good, old-fashioned hopscotch.
  12. Grow a beanpole teepee as the perfect summer shade spot.
  13. Start a local children’s art group and make sure to invite us.
  14. Make a field guide to the backyard. This is a great way to practice being a naturalist and start exploring your local ecosystem.
  15. Whittle your own crochet hooks.
  16. Forage for edibles and ornamentals.
  17. Play Sink or Float. Fill a bucket with water outside (so they can splash if they so desire) and print a few copies my Sink or float chart. Then walk around the house and yard letting little ones add objects they wish to test to a bag. Have one child do the writing (fill out the chart and make educated guesses) while the other (in my case, Micah) places each object in the water to “test” it. When you are finished, have your child determine how many they hypothesized correctly. What surprised them about the list?
  18. Make mud pies for dinner. You might want to fill up a baby pool on the side. Cause everybody knows that Daddy loves chocolate pie.
  19. Go crazy with mobile-making. Plan to make a mobile a day for mobile week. Use found objects discovered yardside and roadside.
  20. Try pooch painting with your pet or, in our case, with your mother’s pets. (Diabolical laugh begins.)
  21. Create a backyard waterpark complete with a few baby pools, slip and slides, water buckets, sponges, soap, and sprinklers. Let your kids do the arranging and have them make signs for each “ride” or amusement. Then let them walk you through it. This is a great way to water your grass on a scorching day like today.
  22. And while you’re all wet, 21 fun things to do with kiddie pools.
  23. Get together some flower petals (the hydrangeas are still in bloom), dried leaves, and outdoorisms and make flower rainbows.