Table of Contents
Why this recipe matters
Ingredients
Recipe
Nutritional Information
Submit a Recipe
Share how you’ve made a difference in your community to inspire others.
A photograph of several kids part of a nature group playing in a forest.
Image: Sarah R/Run Wild My Child

A community outing to foster curiosity and excitement about the natural world.

Why this recipe matters

Children today spend less time outside than ever before, which means they may be missing out on the physical, mental, and social-emotional benefits of playing outdoors.

Ingredients

Recipe

1. Form your group with kids from school or the neighborhood.

  • Set clear guidelines for what parents and kids should expect from the nature group, such as how often you will meet and whether parents are expected to attend excursions with their children.
  • Recruit parents to participate by helping with carpooling, lending their home as a meet-up point, or brainstorming outings.

2. Brainstorm activities and potential outings.

  • Make a list of local parks, recreation centers, nature preserves, or green areas that can serve as exciting places for kids to interact with the outside world. Check with your local parks department for kid-friendly activities, such as trails and installations.

3. Schedule activities in advance and gather supplies.

  • Contact your local parks department or find information online about free or low-cost seminars, nature talks, and worksheets about native plants, insects, or wildlife.
  • You may consider picking up trash at the park, identifying insects, or photographing plants during some of your outings.

4. Explore nature with your group.

  • Set up an email or text thread with parents to coordinate date, time, and location for each meet-up. It’s also helpful to have a back-up plan or rain date in mind in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with your activity.
  • If parents and kids are comfortable with it (and complete the photo release included in the ingredients), be sure to take and share photos of your nature group in action on social using #Idealist.

Nutritional Information

How this recipe has nurtured a community

"Growing a group takes some courage, but it’s so worth it. The friendships that develop (both at the mom and kid-level) are just incredible. Starting a forest group for kids was one of the best things I could do for myself as a mom."

Sarah R., Georgia

Finishing Touch

Looking for an activity to engage your nature group? Set up a scavenger hunt for kids to search for and identify different items and animals found outside. Use our worksheet so kids can identify and color items as they find them.