Looking for something fun and cheap to do with the kids? Go for a nature walk! Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the excitement on your children’s faces as they see nature at work. Watch squirrels scurrying across a path or a colorful woodpecker with its chisel-like bill chipping frantically to catch its next insect lunch. It is an amazing learning experience!
I am fortunate enough to have walking trails close by and often bring my kids out for a nature walk. This often allows them to be interactive with the birds and wildlife. Here are a few tips for your next family woods adventure to ensure it is safe, fun and memorable.
6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Nature Time
- Don’t Forget the Camera – Always bring a camera with you or at least a phone with a camera. If you plan on capturing nature like beautiful birds in the trees, a mobile cam may not be the best option but certainly is great for capturing images of your kids with the birds eating from their hands.
- Proper Clothing – There is nothing worse than being cold and miserable. Ensure your children are dressed for the weather and keep in mind after a rain, even though it may appear that the ground is dry, in the woods under the canopy of big trees it can take much longer for the ground to dry out.
- Child-Friendly Bug Repellant – There are bug repellents available for children but ensure you know what is in it and any possible dangers. There are homemade bug sprays that can be effective as well or simply cover your children thoroughly to protect their skin and head.
- Water and Snacks – Depending on how long and how far your nature walk is going to be, make sure you have snacks and water with you. Really think about the age of your children, how far you are planning on walking and how long you are expecting to be out. Grumpy children a half mile in on a nature walk looking to be carried back is no fun. Plan thoughtfully!
- Small First Aid Kit – With unleveled ground and children inattentive to their footing, accidents happen. Make sure you have a little Ziplock with some Band-aids, alcohol pads, and antibiotic ointment for peace of mind.
- Zip Locked Bird Feed – Put in a little research into it if this is your first adventure into nature with your children. Determine what kinds of birds or animals are in your area at that particular time of year you will be visiting. Check as to whether there are feeding stations set up, which will attract the birds to specific areas. Your kids will also be impressed if you can provide a few details about the birds or animals they see.
Once you have a good idea as to what species of birds and animals you may encounter, create a little Ziplock baggie of food for each child with nuts and bird seed. Sunflower seed is usually a safe bet for many varieties of birds. Kids love to be their own little feeding station. The birds I have encountered in my area that feed easily from the hand are chickadees and nuthatches. As for animals, we have many squirrels and chipmunks. Although they don’t generally feed from your hand in the wild, unless perhaps you are a very regular visitor, if you toss a few nuts in front of you, they will certainly come close.
Additional Advice for Enjoying Nature with Kids
Even when I am out on my own in the woods to feed the birds, I can’t help but bring an extra couple of Ziplock baggies with seed and nuts. When I see a child on the path without any seed and I ask the parent can I share. The kid lights up at the thought of birds feeding out of their hand.
It is such an inexpensive and educational family activity to enjoy with your family. Do a little planning and surprise your kids with a special walk they won’t soon forget.