Nature Walk Prep Work:
This is a very simple activity. There are only two things you need to do ahead of time:
Get some paper paint color swatches: You can get these for free in the paint department at most hardware stores. Pick up the kind of swatches that have light and dark hues of the same color rather than a swatch with only one shade of that color. Pick out several color swatches including red, yellow, blue, grey, brown, orange, and green.
Decide on a Place: The place for your nature walk can be a trail, a park, or even your own yard if it’s large enough. You simply need a place to walk that has a variety of natural elements such as different grass varieties, weeds, a variety of trees, rocks, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t have the perfect nature trail nearby, you’ll be surprised by how many colors you can find in an ordinary park.
What to Do for the Toddler Nature Walk:
After the prep work, it’s time to let the adventure begin.
Gather the color swatches and take your toddler out into nature. Enjoy all the sights and sounds of the area that you’ve chosen. Point out little things to your toddler like birds, squirrels, acorns, flowers, interesting rocks, insects, twigs, trees, and more. While you make your little discoveries, take the paint color swatches and see if they match any of the things you’ve found together. Use this time to go over the names of the colors. Talk about what colors these objects are. Point out green leaves, colorful flowers, blue sky, brown acorns and bark, etc. Try to find an object to match each color you brought, but don’t worry if you can’t. Let your toddler hold some swatches too and encourage your little one to find things those same colors. An activity like this is great because it turns ordinary objects into exciting finds. Watch as your toddler beams with joy after discovering that grass matches the green swatch, or that a dandelion is yellow.
When it’s all over, your toddler will go home with a sense of pride and a feeling of accomplishment remembering all that has been explored. And you’ll go home knowing your child is much more familiar with and excited about colors than he/she was before! This activity for toddlers can be fun time and time again, so explore in a new location or when the seasons change and see what you discover next!