It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner! I know we’ll be repeating these 11 awesome nature activities for summer. From mud pies to herb bouquets, arts and crafts, and in between, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Mud Pies

I found these cute little muffin tins and pie pans at the thrift store for $1 each!! Paired with a few thrifted metal spoons and the plastic toys we already had, they are perfect for mud pies, cupcakes, and all kinds of muddy fun.

Garden herbs, flowers, and grass from our yard make the mud play even more creative and pretty.

Land Art

My kids love going to the park. But sometimes I need a break from pushing swings or monitoring my toddler on the climbing structures.

Creating land art together is one way to keep the creative juices flowing and still have fun with the kids.

Making a piece of art is also a fun way to explore the different natural elements in the park environment. And hopefully, it brightens someone’s day for a moment once we leave too.

These are fun to make at the beach too!

Butterfly Gardening

We recently became more aware of how critical it is to support the habitats of Monarch butterflies.

In our own garden, we have planted more pollinator-friendly plants and several milkweed plants to host the magnificent Monarchs!

Hopefully as the weather warms up, we’ll see more caterpillar and butterfly friends emerge.

It’s easy to start. Just plant milkweed and other butterfly-friendly plants, and watch the magic unfold.

We also got a small mesh enclosure to protect our monarch chrysalids from predators so we can hopefully hatch more butterflies.

If you plan to start butterfly gardening, be sure and use organic farming methods and don’t spray plants with insecticidal soap or oils as it will kill the caterpillars.

And if you live in the San Diego area, check out Butterfly Farms in Encinitas. They have a wonderful butterfly vivarium and also sell pollinator plants.

Herb Bouquets

We love to grow herbs and flowers in our garden. If you do too, then you’ll definitely want to make these beautiful herb bouquets!

I got the idea to wrap herbs and flowers in string from Carrie at Art Wanderers. It was fun to make the fragrant bundles and they will dry beautifully hanging upside down.

As new things continue to bloom in the garden, it will be fun to make more summer bouquets!

Flower Collages

A nature walk, some cardboard, and craft glue are the only ingredients needed for these beautiful flower collages. Check out this blog post with more fun nature collage ideas too.

Nature Chalk Art

We do a lot of chalk art in the summer months. And using items found in nature is one way to keep our chalk sessions exciting and fresh.

Check out all of these wonderful nature chalk art ideas for more inspiration.

And if your kids love chalk, I have another blog post with fun and unexpected ways to play with chalk.

Flower Soup

And all time summer favorite. Combining water play, flowers, leaves, and imagination! Whether you call it flower soup, fairy stew, nature tea, wizards brew, or witches potion, it is always a hit.

I did a full blog post with ideas and variations on flower soup if you want to learn more about this perfect summer activity.

Rainbow Match

This Rainbow Match nature hunt is a fun idea to beat boredom or shake up a low key summer afternoon. And it’s so easy to make using items you probably already have on hand.

Fairy Gardens

Creating a special fairy garden is another of our favorite ways to play in nature during warmer months. And there are so many different variations on fairy gardens that can enliven your outdoor time.

Nature Hikes

There’s something extra special about finding a fun new trail to explore or revisiting our favorites.

This year we found a super fun Solar System hike in Carlsbad, hiked around a dormant volcano, and visited many of the nearby lagoon trails.

It will be fun to do more hiking, snacking, and outdoor exploring come summer.

Outdoor Reading

Even though we usually explore, play, and burn energy outdoors, reading outside is so much fun too!

We love to make beach towel forts, eat popsicles, and read stories outside during the summer months.

Even just throwing a few books into the beach bag or a small book into the hiking backpack can be a fun way to enjoy stories along with the outdoor scenery .

And if you’re looking for some additional strategies to help kids love reading this summer, check out this blog post!

How Will You Explore?

If you try any of these nature activities for summer, please let us know what you think. Hope you enjoy!

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