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Looking for an easy low-prep outdoor activity and a simple science experiment? This 5 senses nature walk is an excellent activity for children of all ages, including preschoolers! Encourage children to write or draw what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch while exploring outside.
*Note: Since this nature walk worksheet asks kids to touch and taste things they find outside, this 5 senses nature walk worksheet must be supervised!
You can either download this free five senses nature walk worksheet directly from the PDF or by heading over to my TpT store here.
It’s just as simple as it sounds! Nature walks are just that – Walking in nature. I like to keep nature walks relatively unplanned so that it’s up to the kids to explore their natural environment. Not worrying about what the teacher or the parent “wants” them to learn lets them practice their observation skills and critical thinking.
A senses walk gives children the chance to deeply immerse themselves in nature. With this resource (or you could do it without the worksheet!), little ones can more deeply explore the world outside than if they were looking at the world from inside a classroom or in the house.
Prep the kids by telling them that they are young scientists on a mission to discover the most fascinating parts of the outside world… Or whatever silly build-up you want to create! Then, give them the tools they will need to deeply explore nature.
If you’re going to do outdoor activities often, I would suggest putting together an ‘adventure bag.’ In it, you could include:
Simple, right? But with these resources, students can practice their observation skills outside (or be ready for whatever nature activity you have planned!).
Not all children explain what they experience through writing. Some might use words, but some might prefer to draw. That’s why I left the boxes in the worksheet big and open – So that students can express their observations in whichever way they want.
I once did an “inspiration walk” outside as a prep activity to a poetry unit. In hindsight, this activity would have been better! Inviting students to engage their different senses in the world around them brings heightened awareness to what’s going on while deepening their ability to express themselves.
To prepare kids for this fun activity, have them sit in a circle. Prepare a grab bag or sensory bin with mixed objects from nature. Try to find things with fun textures and smells, and things that can be heard (like a stick breaking or leaves rustling). Unless you prepare something you know is safe to eat, I’d leave this sense out for now! Let each child have a turn describing an object of their choice while encouraging them to go deeper than surface-level observations like color and shape.
These are fun ways to develop a child’s five senses as they try to describe and observe the world around them. Plus, as students complete the worksheet, it lets them express their personal connection with nature!
There are a lot of safety considerations to thin kabout when heading outdoors for learning, but here’s two strategies you’ll need to consider as a teacher (or parent).
Make sure the boundaries for where the children can find objects is clear. They should be able to hear and see you at all times (and you should too). Identify the boundaries – “You can explore any objects within the area between that white post to that blue building.” Review the area with them, then encourage them to go explore!
It’s important to work with all five senses, but it’s more important to make sure your children are safe during this activity. The best way to ensure this (that I can think of), is to pre-forage something that you are absolutely certain is safe for the students to taste. Be positive that you are aware of any allergies prior to offering this.
Or, you could ask them to leave that box blank and have a later lesson centered around just that sense! Either way, don’t let them put anything in their mouth without you okaying it first! As for touch, you’ll want to prep them for that too by reviewing what is safe and what isn’t!
If you surf my Teachers Pay Teachers storefront, you will find lots of free printables for preschool and Kindergarten aged students. But, you could also check out these posts to see how we use them: