And into the forest we go.... A how to guide on creating your family nature trail
- Posted on
- By Josephine Walbank
- Posted in childrens play area, eco-consciousness, ecofriendly, environment, explore, Garden, green world, independent, nature, outdoor, outdoor play, play area, sustainable
Creating a family nature trail is far easier than it sounds. All it takes is a few good ideas. Your children will absolutely love this activity. They’ll be blown away by your imagination, and will be absolutely thrilled to get the chance to explore this DIY trail with you.
The great outdoors is the source of countless entertainment possibilities. Without exaggeration, there is almost no end to the garden games that you could play with your kids.
All too often, however, we forget this. We’re all about advocating creativity in our children, but that same principle doesn’t seem to necessarily apply to ourselves.
We’re here to turn the tables a little - in this blog, we’ll be using nature to light a spark of imagination in you.
Creating a family nature trail is far easier than it sounds. All it takes is a few good ideas.
And the biggest perk is the fact that your children will absolutely love this activity. They’ll be blown away by your imagination, and will be absolutely thrilled to get the chance to explore this DIY trail with you.
Some may feel a little daunted by the prospect, but we encourage you to get stuck in, and relish in the chance to think on your feet a bit.
Why a nature trail?
There’s a lot of great benefits to a nature trail, which can’t be achieved through many other forms of outdoor play.
Firstly, it’s a great shared game. It gets the whole family out and having fun together. Plus, it does this without the parents and older children dominating the activity. The little ones can take the lead, and head up the exploration.
It also promotes the sense of nature as something to discover. A trail helps children to learn about the natural world, and have fun while they’re doing it.
This process of discovery is far more likely to help their love of nature remain with them in later life, too. If you’re interested in learning more about how spending more time in nature can bring benefits to your child, we’d recommend reading our blog post about the roles of nature and play in childhood development.
In terms of personal development, nature trails can boost your child’s sense of independence, their confidence, their ability to process information, and the way that they apply their lessons. It’s also a great way to get some exercise.
How can I create a garden nature trail?
So, first things first, you will want to create a tour around your garden (much like you would an Easter egg hunt).
You will need a start point and a finish point. You can bring some fun to the finish with a little prize, or a special thing for your children to see.
Then, for the rest of the points along the way, what you include is totally up to you!
For example, if you have a bit of extra time on your hands, you could also buy some climbing wall holds online, and fix them onto a tree stump. This is a great DIY natural climbing wall to include in your nature trail.
Other ideas of games, activities and tasks to include in your trail could be:
- A mud pie-making station
- A bird spotting point
- A flower naming point - for example, ‘your next clue is by the Foxgloves’
- A tree naming point - for example, ‘your next clue is by the Birch tree’
- A rope swing
- An obstacle course
- A stone painting station
- A water feature - this is a great place to include, as it often has lots of wildlife living in and around it. Challenge your children to spot as many creatures as they can.
- Play conkers
- A ‘bug bingo’ checklist
- Build a den
These are just some ideas of different stations that you could include on the trail. You can have as few or as many as you’d like - and they can be as wacky as you want!
The key to the trail is that it includes lots of different, quick activities. Many of them will also have an educational element, where your child has to solve a problem, or test their knowledge of nature.
We’ve spoken a lot about children’s love of building tents and dens on our blog. In terms of the last idea on our list, we can certainly give you an extra helping hand with this point on your nature trail.
If you want to include a piece of engaging and stimulating outdoor furniture - which makes the perfect foundation for a den - in your nature trail, check out the Mini beee online shop. Click the link to find out more about our full range of childrens’ garden furnishings.
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