Paper Bag Nature Walk

Nature walks are a fun way to discover new things in your area. Early elementary aged students can collect treasures in brown paper bags. Give your child a small lunch sack and encourage them to fill it with interesting things. Share a few rules to respect the area and keep yourselves safe:

Nature Walk Collecting Tips

Never pick up something that is alive and moving (bugs, spiders, lizards, etc.)

Never pluck, pick, or remove plants. Do not take blossoms, flowers, or leaves that are intact. Only take things that are already off the plant and on the ground. {children should show parents rather than damage plants}

Never pick up something that you are uncomfortable or uncertain about. Always stress asking an adult before taking a chance.

Never pick up glass or other items that can hurt hands.

Never move bird nests, eggs, beehives, and do not trespass!

paper bag nature walk

Learn From Nature Walk Treasures

Some days, I have to give my son a time limit because he will pack the bag until it rips. Or he’ll want to stay out all afternoon and skip math class.

Come back together to dump your paper bags and chat about the items picked on the nature walk. I always want to ask why he picked something. If it was because of the way it looks, the way it felt, or because he just thought it was pretty. There are no wrong answers just the opportunity for great science discussions.

Related post: Nature Drawing And Journaling

For younger students, you can sort these items into color groups or how they feel. Go ahead and smell them and see which one smells best. You can theme your nature walks to give older students more of a challenge: color, size, texture, smell, etc.

When you’re on vacation take a nature walk. Compare what you find there to back home!

Nature walks are a great hands-on outdoor activity and opportunity to teach children to always be respectful of the environment.

More Nature Posts

Fall Leaves Unit Study Ideas

How To Study Flowers

Hands On Flowers

Hands On Bird Nest Study

Spring Bird Journals


Stef Layton started homeschooling her boys in 2008. She is a hands-on learning advocate and a columnist for Homeschooling Today magazine. You can find hands-on activities at her blog or follow her on Instagram @qualitytimematters


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