Kids these days are not getting enough time outside. This is a shame because nature has so much to offer! Whether it’s the fresh air, the beautiful views, or an abundance of wildlife—the great outdoors is the most entertaining place of all. Add a few of these Nature Summer Camp Theme Activities to get your children enjoying natural materials and the great outdoors all summer long.
With all the free time kids have this summer, they’ll need to get plenty of exercise and vitamin D from sunshine.
Nature Summer Camp Theme Activities
These nature summer camp crafts can help make your child’s outdoor experience more fun and engaging. They’re quick and easy to do in groups, but you don’t have to go anywhere for them! If your kids aren’t headed to camp, do them in your own backyard!
Get out there this summer with your little ones and enjoy nature together.
Best Summer Nature Activities
Here are some of our favorite nature-based crafts that we’ve done over the years. They’re perfect for summer camp because they encourage kids to explore nature in a hands-on way and get involved in taking care of their fellow creatures.
Make some homemade bird feeders or birdseed ornaments to support the feathered friends in your area. It’s a great way to support our fellow creatures, and you can spend some quiet time observing the birds that stop by the feeder. Make a bird-watching journal to document the many different species you see stopping by for a snack.
A rainforest terrarium is a magical miniature ecosystem that provides an easy way to bring the wild into your home. We’ll show you how to build one layer by layer to ensure that your terrarium stays healthy and can be enjoyed for years to come.
Bees are crucial to our ecosystem. They help pollinate flowers, providing us with berries, seeds, trees, and lots of other food and oxygen providers. Fortunately, mason bees pollinate but do not sting, so building a habitat for them is a win-win situation! Let’s help our pollinators!
If you live near a beach or are planning on visiting one for vacation, print our beach scavenger hunt to take with you! It’s a great way to get kids to observe their surroundings while looking for things like seashells, sand dollars, crabs, and more.
A nature hunt is a fun, creative way to encourage kids to explore the world around them. Not only will they get some exercise, but it’s also good for their cognitive development and encourages creativity! They’ll look for and find items common to forest areas like birds, puddles, grasses, logs, and more.
Nature is fun, and children need to explore it with all their senses. We’ve shared a few easy ways to enjoy natural materials while focusing on how they affect your senses! This is great for kids of all ages so get outside today!
Gather some fresh veggies from the garden or your local farmer’s market to make delicious garden veggie pizzas. Not only is learning to cook an essential skill for kids but encouraging them to try new foods—especially healthy ones—is important for well-rounded nutrition.
Fun Nature Crafts for Summer Camp
Here are loads more nature camp crafts that kids are sure to love. From simple leaf people to building survival skills and creating intricate nature art, you’ll find something for kids of every skill and age level.
Build a Nest Scavenger Hunt by thecrazyoutdoormama.com: Combine an outdoor scavenger hunt with a fun nest-building craft to get the kids moving. This nest-building activity is based on how the American robin builds a nest, but you can easily adapt it to birds that are native to your region.
Seashell Flower Garden Craft by artsycraftsymom.com: Spend the morning collecting seashells and the afternoon turning them into a gorgeous piece of flower garden wall art. If you’re not in an area where you can find seashells, they’re available in many crafts stores.
Exploring Natural Clay by theresjustonemommy.com: Ready to get your hands dirty? If you have natural clay in your area, this is a fantastic activity to explore how it works when exposed to water, how it feels squished between your fingers, and how you can shape it to make things.
Nature Summer Camp Activities
Flower Tinker Trays by team-cartwright.com: Tinker trays are so easy to put together and are fun for learning, especially with groups of kids. Here are three different flower tinker tray ideas for kids using various materials. Get creative and see what sorts of flower designs you can come up with!
Fairy Wish Bottles by rufflesandrainboots.com: Have you heard of wish bottles? It’s such a cute idea! Fill the small vials with beautiful items from nature, and add a wish or dream of yours as well. Keep it for yourself as a reminder of your dreams or gift one to a friend. A little glitter never hurts, either. They’re beautiful!
Stick and Leaf Butterfly Craft by artsycraftsymom.com: Look for the perfect leaves to make these beautiful butterflies. The key to a great butterfly is finding two larger leaves of similar size and shape and two smaller ones that match each other. Symmetry is important for butterfly wings!
Soda Bottle Terrarium by team-cartwright.com: With a 2-liter bottle, some dirt, and seeds, you can start a terrarium to study how plants grow. Use fertilizer to help the plants grow faster.
Trail Marking by theresjustonemommy.com: Teach kids to make trail signs with sticks and rocks using this trail marking printable. The kids are divided into groups to find the hidden toy. While it’s a fun game to play, it’s also an important survival skill should anyone ever get lost in the woods.
Bug Barns by momjunky.com: Make a bug barn or bug hotel to observe the insects in your area. The mesh top allows them plenty of air, while the canisters are nice and roomy for them to move around in. Don’t forget to set them free after you’ve finished studying them!
Nature Activities for Kids
Insect Scavenger Hunt by barleyandbirch.com: This is a great activity to go along with the bug barn above! Take along this insect scavenger hunt to help you identify the different types of insects you find. It’s kind of an identification guide and bug wishlist in one!
Nature Fairy House by glitteronadime.com: Build a home fit for a fairy using only items from nature. Use sticks, leaves, flowers, pine cones, rocks, and other natural materials to construct a sturdy little home in the woods.
Building a Shelter Survival Skills by theresjustonemommy.com: Kids will have hours of fun working together and learning how to construct a survival shelter. Experiment with different materials to determine the strongest and best shelter options with the things you have to work with. A tarp, some rope, and plenty of tries to tie to are good places to start.
Stick Owl by iheartcraftythings.com: Go for a walk to collect lots of sticks, a couple of leaves, and a couple of rocks to construct this rustic-looking owl craft. The chalk markers are great for adding a little pop of color to the owl’s belly.
Nature-based Summer Camp
Flower Crowns by thecrafttrain.com: Have the kids collect flowers and leaves to make gorgeous flower crowns to wear. Then, they can engage in some imaginary play, pretending to be princes, princesses, emperors, etc. Attaching the flowers and leaves to a paper headband makes this craft simple enough for all ages.
Hapa Zome by thimbleandtwig.com: Have you tried hapa zome before? It’s a Japanese art technique of hammering flowers and leaves to imprint their natural pigments into cloth. It’s a terrific summer project when leaves and flowers are at their most colorful.
Painting with Nature by glitteronadime.com: Gather items from nature and use them to create different “brush strokes” in your paintings. Roll pine cones, brush pine needles or stamp rocks across the page or canvas. You’ll be surprised at the unique art you create.
Leaf Faces by picklebums.com: See how many silly faces you can make using leaves, acorns, pinecones, and twigs. If you have lots of wildflowers in your area, you could use some of those, too. You can use even small pebbles to make eyes and smiley mouths.
Garden Nature Art by thecrafttrain.com: Create gorgeous art using flower petals, leaves, seedpods, and rocks. Our favorite project here is the fish, but the butterfly is stunning, too. What sorts of animals do you think you could make using only items from nature?
Summer Nature Activities
Leaf Threading by kidscraftroom.com: Work on those fine motor skills with this all-natural leaf threading activity. As long as you have some twine, this is a low-prep activity you can do anytime. Just go out and grab some sticks to serve as the needles and leaves to thread. Easy peasy.
Salt Dough Snakes by survivingateacherssalary.com: Snakes are often misunderstood because they’re mistaken for venomous species. These salt dough snakes are an excellent way to learn about the different types of snakes and how to recognize their patterns when you spot them in the woods or your backyard.
Magic Wands Nature Craft by myboredtoddler.com: Waving around a magic wand and pretending to have powers is a lot of fun for kids. Make beautiful magic wands using sticks and leaves. Your little one will feel like a magical forest fairy!
Nature Art Bugs by thecrafttrain.com: Recycle cardboard to serve as the backdrops for these nature art bugs made with leaves and twigs. Make a firefly, a beetle, or even a spider!
Nature Pocket Art by 5minutesformom.com: Turn your nature walk into a treasure hunt! Take along a baggie to gather cool rocks, pretty flowers, or interesting leaves, and other fascinating bits and bobs you find. Then, display your finds in a beautiful pocket frame.
Giant Yarn-Wrapped Stick Letters by hellowonderful.co: Pick bright, bold colors of yarn to wrap giant sticks in. Use them to form letters to make cool signs. Kids can make their initials or combine their letters for entire words.
Tree Nature Craft by craftsonsea.co.uk: Use the printable template as an easy backdrop for your best, most beautiful leaves and flowers that you’ve collected on your nature walks. You’ll be able to create stunning tree art in no time!
Amazing Nature Summer Camp Crafts
Flower Suncatcher Craft by teaching2and3yearolds.com: This flower suncatcher is a terrific way to incorporate nature into art if you’re working with preschoolers. The suncatchers will look beautiful hanging in the window.
Flower Animal Nature Craft by hellowonderful.co: Cut the cardboard into cute animal shapes like foxes, squirrels, and bunnies, and fill those shapes in with flowers and leaves. The bright colors of the flowers really pop against the brown cardboard, creating beautiful pieces of nature art.
Nature Dragonfly by iheartcraftythings.com: Dragonflies are some of the most beautiful insects. Recreate their slender bodies and delicate wings using maple tree seeds and painted twigs.
Leaf People Nature Craft by sixthbloom.com: Grab some leaves of different shapes and sizes to make leaf people! This is a great activity for the toddlers and preschoolers in the group. It’s easy to put together… assemble the leaves into a “person,” add googly eyes, and you’re done!
Whether you are involved in a forest school, enjoy learning about nature, working on a nature theme, or just want a few fun outdoor activities, your kids will love these.
Outdoor Activities for Kids
We hope you enjoyed this list full of easy, nature-inspired crafts for kids. If your children’s summer plans don’t include a camp experience or if they’re itching to get outside and be creative, these projects are perfect!
All of these activities are doable right in your own backyard. Let us know how it goes by sharing this blog post on social media so we can cheer each other on!
By creating a special outdoor play area, your backyard can be more adventurous and exciting than heading to a playground.