With spring upon us and Easter holidays on the way, there’s never been a better time to get out and explore nature, in line with the latest lockdown guidelines of course.
We’ve put together some of our top eco-friendly activities, resources, gifts and ideas from small businesses, events and more, to help you get outdoors and learn about nature with the family this season.
We’re also strong believers that learning about nature and the environment from a young age, can help children grow up to have a natural and stronger understanding about how to protect our planet, so we’re sharing some of our favourite small businesses who Lily is really enjoying learning from too.
Whether you’re looking to make your lockdown walks a bit more interesting, an eco-friendly gift for an outdoor-loving child, or for something to do in the Easter holidays outdoors, we hope these ideas can help you and your family to explore and learn about nature.
Please note, this post contains some gifted items or brands, highlighted with a *, however these are all small businesses we love and support.
Wild Things Forest School*
After joining in their lockdown virtual forest school event, we are huge fans of Wild Things. Based in York, Wild Things have put together some fantastic resources as well as activity packs to download or purchase to help your adventures at home.
If you check out their Wild Things at Home page, you can find some brilliant short videos for families to enjoy nature at home, including foraging ideas, nature based craft, bird spotting & bird song.
They also have Activity Boxes available in their shop, that can be delivered to your home, and contain over 11 nature-based activity ideas aimed at 3-8 year olds, but can be enjoyed by everyone.
Having enjoyed their virtual forest school box (click here to check out what was inside) as well as their Mother’s Day box* (click here to find out what was inside!), we know these activity boxes will be packed with fantastic high-quality resources.
Find out more about Wild Things, their activity boxes and free downloadable resources here.
The Nurture Collective*
We’ve featured the Nurture Collective before and are really excited to feature this beautiful eco-friendly store again, this time with their stunning activities for children to help learn and enjoy the outdoors.
If you’re looking for activities to do with the kids, they have a beautiful eco-friendly Gardening Adventure Activity Pack which is plastic-free and contains activities for 4-8 year olds to do together with an adult.
If your little ones love the garden, then you can also get some wildflower seed paper, a beautiful way to encourage bees, butterflies and more to your garden – and we think it would make a beautiful gift to send in a card to someone you may not be able to see right now too.
If you’re looking for Easter activities in the holidays, their sustainable Easter Activity Booklet is also a fantastic idea. Aimed at 3-7 year olds, it is eco-friendly, printed on recycled paper, and packed with Easter-themed games and activities for children.
Now a staple item in our backpacks, Spotty Dawdlers are a great way to get out and explore nature with their beautiful, kid-friendly nature spotting books.
Spotty Dawdlers nature spotting books are the perfect size for backpacks and little hands, making them great for every adventure. They have little stickers to add to the child-friendly cards for when they spot whatever is on the card, and the pictures are clear for little learners to develop their knowledge about nature.
They come in Flora Finder, Pavement Explorer, Minibeast Seeker, Garden Bird Spotter and Water Bird Explorer, and they would make wonderful gifts too. We bought the Garden Bird Spotter then went and bought another two in time for spring – we think they’re fantastic and can’t wait to check out more from this lovely small business.
Find out more here about the Spotty Dawdlers nature spotting books.
We are huge fans of Little Trekkers, and having been an ambassador for over a year now, we are proud to have tried and tested some amazing outdoor clothing which we now can’t adventure without!
Last summer, Lily tried out their Nature Trail in our local park, a simple and easy scavenger hunt that you can do anywhere, and it is free to download, or save to your phone for a fun way to explore your local area. Find out more and download here.
They also have just launched some fun free spring downloads including a spring scavenger hunt and spring bucket list – including options to colour in too! Find out more here.
In May you can also get involved with the Little Trekkers challenge, which aims to get families together walk 11,027 miles – the length of the British Coastline for charity!
Find out more here
Catkin and Co
Having followed Catkin and Co for a while, we were super excited to have won a competition for one of their Animal Track Kits.
They have so many educational resources for kids to enjoy the outdoors, while learning about nature in a fun and different way.
The handmade kits come with everything you need as well as all the tools, instructions and beautiful packaging too, making it a lovely gift for any kid who loves the outdoors, or you can buy the flashcards separately.
We have already had great fun with the animal tracking kit, and the cards and tools will be with her to use again and again for years to come. Alongside the informative cards in a beautiful cotton drawstring bag, the kit comes with instructions, tools and ingredients to make your own animal tracks, even with a ruler to make sure they’re the right size!
There are so many kits on the Catkin and co website, from the popular Poo Activity Kit, Bee Activity Kit, to Wildflower, Butterfly activity Kits and more. They even have a forest-school inspired Spring Activity kit to raise money for charity too.
Find out more about their beautiful hand-made nature activity kits here as well as their discovery flash cards too.
Eco-friendly herb garden, Love Rustic Grow Jar*
Something very different and an incredible gift or activity idea is this beautiful eco-friendly herb garden from Love Rustic.
Arriving beautifully packaged, the herb garden pack contains everything you need to grow herbs from a jar on your windowsill. The seeds are UK-sourced and every set is hand-made from home with 100% eco-friendly packaging too.
We can’t wait to start making these with Lily, as they are a beautiful way to plant and watch things grow together at home.
Eugy 3D models*
We’ve been building these beautiful 3D models from Eugy and they’re AMAZING fun.
They’re environmentally friendly, made with biodegradable card with natural eco-friendly ink and non-toxic glue too, making them not only a fantastic fun activity for all the family, but also won’t damage the environment.
They’re so easy to build, even for Lily’s little fingers (age 5!), with simple instructions and everything you need in the box too.
You can get all kinds of animals and even a whole range of dinosaurs – Lily has already picked out the many other ones she would like from the catalogue too! They’d make a great gift this spring for kids of all ages – why not add a bunny or sheep to the Easter basket?
Mud & Bloom
I don’t know how we’ve only just come across Mud & Bloom, but we think they are fantastic!
With the aim to connect children with nature, Mud & Bloom boxes are monthly subscription boxes for 3-8 year olds and delivered through your letter box at the beginning of each month.
Each box includes everything you need for four seasonal gardening and nature craft activities along with nature news, spotting activities and games to teach children about animals, plants, insects, birds and the seasons.
Find out more about Mud and Bloom here.
Little Wood Walkers
Little Wood Walkers is a family-run business with the aim of getting kids out into nature.
We’re loving the look of all their beautiful nature items in their shop but for Easter, their Easter Nature Pack looks beautiful!
Packed with nature activities for children of all ages, the pack includes sunflower seeds, a wood slice with birdseed, instructions, scavenger sheets, and Challenge Cards or Story Cards too, as well as much more!
Visit their shop and find out more here
Button & Squirt
The beautiful Button & Squirt have so many beautiful gift and activity ideas including Colouring & Activity books and fact cards, all hand-drawn by the amazing Ria.
This spring, why not treat the kids to one of their Amazing British Garden Birds Fact and Activity Books or the Amazing British Bugs Fact & Activity Books, with 40 pages of hand-drawn birds or bugs to learn about and colour in too, alongside facts and activities for hours of fun.
What’s more, 5% from every sale goes to wildlife charities, and all the beautiful packaging is eco-friendly too.
Shop Pom Pom
PomPom is a beautiful little eco-friendly shop, packed with hundreds of plastic-free toys, games and activities for children.
They have a whole host of Outdoor Toys and Games on their website to help you get outdoors this season, from personalised gardening tools to wildlife seed boxes.
They also have some beautiful books including Let’s Play Outdoors, packed with ideas for outdoor adventures, from star gazing to campfire building to animal tracking. Every page has colourful child-friendly pictures and easy to follow instructions.
My Busy Bots – activity packs & free Easter downloads
We are huge fans of the beautiful My Busy Bots – we’ve bought several activity packs, activity books and their fantastic fun folder too.
They’re such high quality fun, brightly-coloured activities, tailored to different ages, and all stored in beautiful zip pouches to be kept tidy and handy for any adventure.
This Easter, sign up to their newsletter and you’ll also get some beautiful free Easter downloads to enjoy with the family too.
You can also head over to the website and check out the range of activities for children of all ages, including Kindness Booklet, packs for starting school, and their fun folders too.
What’s more, they are eco-friendly – the ink is vegetable ink and lamination is biodegradable too!
Find out more here.
Learning Resources UK
Anyone who follows us will know that we are huge fans of Learning Resources UK, and in particular, the Kidnoculars – child-friendly binoculars, that come on every adventure with us!
We’ve recently bought some Bugnoculars too – a great way for kids to investigate nature, bugs, flowers, leaves and more in a fun and easy way.
What’s more, their blog has some fantastic ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors with the family, including tips, activity sheets, downloads, resources and more!
Elderflower Fields at Home
Elderflower Fields is a beautiful, family-friendly festival, packed full of music, sports, nature and the arts, all set in the heart of the Sussex countryside.
Despite Covid meaning the 2021 Midlands side of the festival has to wait until 2022, we are so excited for the team that they can still run the 2021 South festival – you can find out more about it here.
The reason I’m including them on here is because of their fantastic links to online educational talks and resources with topics of nature and exploring the outdoors with children, both on their Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Through them I have found so many fantastic ideas, virtual events and inspiration, so I really do recommend following their social media pages.
However, last spring, we also got involved with their Elderflower Fields at Home events, with great activities and ideas to celebrate the festival at home as well as ways to get outdoors and explore nature with the family. Find out more here.
During Lockdown 1, we fell in love with all the resources from the Woodland Trust, with plenty of free downloadable nature activities for kids to do at home.
For all the Woodland Trust nature activities and ideas at home, click here to find out more.
We’ve recently come across the Pawprint Family challenges and think they’re brilliant! The Pawprint Family believe in #AdventureForAll, and have so many fantastic resources and ideas on their website to help parents, teachers and more to provide children with everyday adventures and skills for life.
What’s more, you can buy affordable challenge badges if you would like a collectible reward for the challenges, with prices around just £1.50/£2!
However, we’re all about their themed challenges, which are free to download, with accompanying badges if you wish!