Plant lessons for a child
Image: Nicole Porter | ©


Five easy activities for you and your whānau to do outside this spring. Take a moment to hunt for critters, race leaf boats, get outside whatever the weather, get crafty in nature or discover somewhere new.

Time in nature is good for you and your family’s well-being. Going outdoors can increase enthusiasm and focus as well as enhance creativity, problem solving and critical thinking.

Do the activities

Download the activity sheet or find them below.

Fun things to do outside in Spring (PDF 5,985K)

Hunt for critters

A child climbing a tree.
Climbing a tree
Image: Liz Carlson | ©

Hunt for ngārara/insects:

  • in the leaf litter
  • underneath bark
  • among plants (check under leaves)
  • in a worm farm or compost
  • rockpools at the beach
  • under rocks in the river.

Be sure to replace rocks gently!

You could try to:

Race leaf boats

Float a leaf boat on your local awa/river or a nearby stream. You could even do this in a bucket or your sink. There are so many fun 'boats' to try. You could:

Get outside whatever the weather

Feel the wind with Tāwhiri-mātea. You could:

  • fly a kite
  • use an old sheet, t-shirt or cloth to catch the wind – hold the corners and let it billow out.

Experience the exhilaration of rain. You could:

  • go for a gumboot walk
  • splash in puddles
  • open your mouth to the sky for a refreshing drink
  • cup your hands to catch the rain.

There are also plenty of other ways you can get moving in nature.

Two children wear crowns made from flowers and leaves.
Nature crowns
Image: Pearl Freemantle | DOC

Get crafty in nature

Create a posy, crown, ‘ei Katu, tīpare/flax headband or wreath.

Which one will you make? You could make:

  • a harakeke tīpare/flax headband
  • an ‘ei Katu or lei po’o
  • a daisy chain
  • a mini bunch of flowers to gift or keep
  • a cardboard crown – cut out a length of card from a cereal box to fit around your head and stick the ends together, decorate it with ferns, leaves or flowers.

Discover somewhere new

Hunt out a new place to discover nature. This could be:

  • a park around the corner
  • your local ngahere/forest
  • an awa/river you haven’t been to for a while
  • under a tree in your garden
  • different streets you haven't walked down before
  • a space in your backyard or on your balcony with plants
  • a track you've never walked.

What did you enjoy most about your new special place?

Who would you like to take next time to explore with you?

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