5 Summer Holiday Nature Activities For Families

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Summer holidays are upon us and, thanks to social distancing rules, things are a little different this year. However, there are plenty of free, family fun activities that will keep kids entertained without even leaving your garden.

We asked our partners, The Woodland Trust, to share some lovely nature activities which can be done indoors on bad weather days and outdoors when the sun is shining! 

1. Spot signs of summer

It’s the perfect time to see which signs of summer you can spot when out in the garden or when exercising. Can you see certain summer flowers blooming, or spot butterflies fluttering by? Keep your eyes peeled for caterpillars, bees, grasshoppers and trees in full leaf, too.  

2. Have a twig boat race

On your marks, get set, go! Why not have a go at making your very own raft out of twigs, with your kids, and challenge each other to a boat race? Simply gather some twigs from your garden, line them up and fasten them together with string. Slot an upright stick into your raft to make a mast and thread a leaf or two onto it for the sails.

Once you've made them, try your boats out on a puddle, in a paddling pool or even in your bath. Have a race and see who can blow their boat from one side to the other first! For an extra challenge add some cargo, such as small pebbles, nuts or berries.

 3. Make a minibeast mask

If your kids are fans of minibeasts, this is a super fun craft for you to do together, while teaching them all about creepy crawlies. Cut a paper plate in half, or cut out a semi-circle from some card. Make two eye holes and cut out a notch for your child's nose. Now decide which minibeast they'd like to be and get creative with the decorating! You could paint your mask, stick on scraps of paper or fabric, or even use natural materials from your garden.

When you've finished, punch a hole at either side and attach some string so your child can wear it. Afterwards, why not do some research about your child's minibeast and see what you can find out?

 4. Listen to the sounds of summer

You can definitely tell that summer is in the air, even without having to open your eyes! Encourage your children to listen to the sounds of summer with this mindful activity and help them use their senses to connect with nature. 

Head out into your garden or open a window, and listen for sounds of summer. You might find closing your eyes helps you focus. Can you hear chirping grasshoppers, buzzing bees, tweeting birds or leaves being ruffled by the breeze? What else do you hear? 

5. Go butterfly spotting

Butterflies are all around at this time of year - but which ones can you spot? Butterfly spotting is a great way for kids to hone their observational skills, and summer is a great time to do it. Read the Woodland Trust’s butterfly identification blog to learn about some of the UK's butterflies, then keep your eyes peeled in your garden or while out on a walk and see how many you can spot! Once you're back inside, why not research them and have a go at drawing your favourite? 

Photo credits: Jill Jennings/WTML,  Steven Kind/WTML, 

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