Outdoor Explorers: 5 Wildlife Discovery Activities for Kids

By Published On: 10 May 2023Last Updated: 16 May 2023

Embark on an adventure with your kids! Discover the wonders of local wildlife through these five engaging outdoor activities.

What's in this post

Kids love to learn

Exploring the great outdoors is the perfect way to learn about the incredible variety of wildlife that calls our planet home. For kids, the natural world is a treasure trove of adventure and possibility, with something new and fascinating to discover around every bend.

Here are five outdoor activities parents can enjoy with their children as they explore and learn about the local wildlife.

Child using cell phone to watch and photograph birds / Source


Birdwatching is a fun and exciting activity that children can enjoy with their parents. It’s a great way to spend time together while exploring nature and learning about different types of birds. You only need a pair of binoculars, a bird guide, and a sense of adventure to get started!

The first step is to choose a location to observe birds in their natural habitat. A local park, nature reserve, or backyard can be great places to start. Once you arrive, take a few moments to look and listen for birds. You may hear their songs or calls before you see them.

You can get a closer look at the birds and observe their behavior using binoculars. Look for unique features such as their colors, size, and shape. You can also take note of their movements, such as how they fly, hop, or walk.

With the help of a bird guide, you can identify the different types of birds you see. The guide will provide information about the bird’s habitat, diet, and behavior. It can also help you distinguish between similar-looking birds.

As you continue to birdwatch, record the birds you see. You can create a journal or checklist to document the different species you observe. This can be a fun way to track your progress and learn more about the birds in your area.

With a bit of patience and curiosity, birdwatching can be a rewarding and educational activity for children and their parents. Remember to always respect the birds and their environment. Keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing their natural habitat.

Butterflies drinking from a bath / Source

Butterfly gardening

Butterfly gardening is an excellent way for children to learn about the importance of pollinators and the lifecycle of butterflies. Parents can help their kids plant a butterfly garden with flowers that attract butterflies and caterpillars. Kids can learn how to identify different types of butterflies, track their migrations, and observe their lifecycles, from egg to larva to chrysalis to adult.

Butterfly gardening can also help kids learn about the importance of biodiversity and how different plant and animal species rely on each other for survival. By planting native plants, children can help support local ecosystems and ensure that butterflies have the resources they need to thrive.

To start a butterfly garden, choose a sunny spot in your yard and plant various nectar-rich flowers such as coneflowers, zinnias, and butterfly bushes. You can also add host plants like milkweed, attracting butterflies to lay their eggs and providing food for the caterpillars.

As you tend to your garden, you can observe and learn about the different types of butterflies that visit, such as the monarch, swallowtail, and painted lady. Children can keep a journal to track the other species they see and learn about their unique characteristics and life cycles.

Butterfly gardening also provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability. By creating a habitat for butterflies, you’re helping to support local populations and protect their natural habitats.

In addition to being a fun and educational activity, butterfly gardening is a great way to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Spending time in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on children and adults, making it a perfect activity for families to enjoy together.

Bee house / Source

Build a bee house

Making a bee house is a fun and easy activity to do with your children. Not only will it provide a safe space for bees to nest, but it also gives children the opportunity to learn about the importance of pollinators in our ecosystem. To make a bee house, you will need materials such as a wooden block, a drill, and some bamboo or reed stalks.

First, select a wooden block at least 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. Drill several holes into the block about 3-4 inches deep. Make sure the holes are spaced out and not too close together. Next, cut some bamboo or reed stalks into small pieces that fit into the drilled holes.

Hang the bee house in a sunny spot protected from wind and rain. Carefully place the bamboo or reed pieces into the holes, ensuring they are snug and won’t fall out. Bees will love their new home and help pollinate your garden.

It’s important to remind your children never to touch or disturb the bees and always give them space. By making a bee house, you are helping protect our pollinators and teaching your children about the importance of conservation and environmental awareness.

Children learning about nature / Source

Citizen science 

Citizen science is an exciting way for families to come together and contribute to scientific research. By participating in citizen science projects, families can learn about the environment and animals and how to collect data like scientists. Citizen science projects can be done anywhere, from the backyard to a nearby park or even on vacation.

Some popular citizen science projects for families include birdwatching, counting butterflies, and identifying different types of plants. Families can also participate in projects that involve monitoring water quality or tracking the migration patterns of birds. By participating in these projects, families can learn about the world around them and contribute to necessary scientific research.

Parents can help their kids get involved in these programs by providing the necessary tools and resources, such as field guides and observation journals.

Citizen science is an excellent way for families to bond and spend time together while learning about the environment and scientific research. It’s also an opportunity for parents to model a love of learning and curiosity for their children. By participating in citizen science projects, families can create memories that will last a lifetime while making a meaningful impact on the scientific community.

Family cleaning up trash on a beach / Source

Participate in a clean-up event

There are many different types of events, including beach cleanups, park cleanups, and other community events. Getting involved in local cleanup events can be a fun and educational activity for families. It’s a great way to teach children about the harmful effects of litter and pollution while also helping to protect wildlife and their habitats.

By participating in these events, children can learn about the importance of reducing waste and how they can make a difference in their local environment. Parents can talk to their kids about the impact of litter on wildlife and help them understand the importance of keeping their community clean and safe.

One of the best things about volunteering for cleanup events is that it’s a hands-on learning experience. Kids can see firsthand the impact that litter and pollution have on their environment, and they can play an active role in making a positive change. Children can help keep their local environment clean and safe for wildlife by picking up trash and recycling.

In addition to teaching kids about the importance of environmental stewardship, volunteering for cleanup events is also a great way to spend quality time together as a family. It’s a fun and rewarding activity that can bring families closer together while positively impacting the world around them.

So if you’re looking for a meaningful and educational activity with your family, consider participating in a local cleanup event. It’s a great way to make a difference while creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Children doing nature activities / Canva
Child using cell phone to watch and photograph birds / Kelly Sikkema
Butterfly garden / K. Adams
Bee house / Meg G.
Children learning about nature / Canva
Family cleaning up trash on a beach / Canva

Leave A Comment

HELLO! I'm KD Angle-Traegner.

Writer, activist, and founder of Four Urban Paws Sanctuary. I’m on a mission to help people live a vegan life. Read more about KD…