Summer is a great time to be outdoors more than usual. You might be taking long walks at your local forest preserve, going on a camping trip, or simply enjoying some backyard time. However you choose to take in this great big world, why not give your kids a challenge along the way?
These printable nature bingo cards will encourage the kiddos to be on the lookout for the things around them. They also will give you the opportunity to talk with them about what is safe (and not-so-safe!) to touch while they are out exploring!
To get started, print as many cards as you want. You can use colored paper or card stock, or use white so that your little ones can color in the designs.
Attach the cards onto clip boards to make it easier to fill in the game card as you go.
This is also a good time to establish family rules for your game. You might play that only the person who spots something from the card gets to mark it off. Or you could make a rule that something can apply to more than one game space (for example, finding a long skinny purple leaf would cover two places).
Laminate the cards or slide them into dry-erase pockets to make your cards reusable and more earth-friendly. Then you can mark off items with a wipe-off marker. Since nature changes (even in your backyard!), it’s handy to have these to play with again and again.
Exploring unfamiliar areas is a great opportunity to talk about what is safe to touch, as well as the idea of “leave no trace.”
Explain that if your child finds some berries, they should never taste them without your permission. Remind them that disrupting or even touching a bird’s nest is harmful for the birds. And of course, point out how thorns can hurt fingers!
Unfortunately, sometimes in nature, litter is also found. Talk with your kids about what to do if they find trash on the ground. Is it safe to pick it up?
Keep your nature bingo cards with you in your summer adventures and enjoy finding the beautiful things around you!