Youth & Outreach

Indoor Nature Activities for Kids

Leave No Trace - March 18, 2020
Indoor nature activities

Kids at home? Stuck indoors but dreaming of the outdoors? Here are seven indoor nature activities you can do with your kids to get them pumped about Leave No Trace, nature, and outdoor adventures to come!

1.     Know the Leave No Trace Seven Principles for Kids? We use hand motions to help us remember them, but we bet your kids have better moves than we do. Have them come up with a different movement for each principle. Add music and this will potentially lead to a Leave No Trace dance party. Seriously. It could happen.

2.     Set up an indoor campsite with whatever supplies you have on hand. (Chairs and sheets make great tents, which we’re guessing your kids already know.) Play Camp Oh No by showing “less than Leave No Trace” behaviors, such as food in the tent, trash in the “campfire,” etc. (Older kids can also set up this part.) Have the rest of the family improve the campsite to make it more Leave No Trace. Check out this video for inspiration!

3.     No campfire? No problem! Make some campfire alternatives. Blocks or balls make great “campfire rings.” Kids can make paper campfires, paper bag luminaries or a water bottle lantern. Turn off the lights, tell some stories, and, if you happen to have the supplies, make some microwave/stovetop s’mores.

4.     Make kits so you’ll be ready to go for your next adventure. Fill your backpack with the 10 Outdoor Essentials. Make a backcountry poop kit. Put together supplies for your campsite kitchen. If you don’t have all the supplies you need, tape a note to the kit  about what’s missing so you can finish it later.


5.     Do your kids have more stuffed animals than they know what to do with? Use them to teach kids how to respectfully watch wildlife with the thumb trick. (You can also use this trick if you need a little bit of distance from your kids. We won’t judge.)


6.     Bandanas: the real multi-tool? Challenge kids to demonstrate at least five different ways to use a bandana in the outdoors. (No bandana? Use a dish towel, rag, fabric scrap, etc.) For example, bandanas can be used as a napkin, headband, hair tie, bandage, dishwater strainer, washcloth, tissue, etc. Challenge them to get to 10 different uses. Let them get silly with it!

7.     Check out our book recommendations for your kid’s first (or second, third, 20th, etc.) camping trip. Many libraries have digital versions you can download and some books have readaloud versions online.

Have other indoor nature activities for kids? Share them with us in the comments and on social media!

Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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