My Nature Connection for families

Nature-based resources for play, wellness, and environmental education

Families, these lesson plans and activities are just for you!

Designed to spark curiosity about the natural world and encourage play, My Nature Connection lessons for families can be done in a variety of indoor/outdoor settings and use materials that are easily accessible.

Activity Downloads

Bones on the Brain

Learn about invertebrates vs. vertebrates, connect animal skeletons in a matching game, and complete a cranium crossword.

Grades: 1-6 | Takes: 30 min

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Where's All the White Pine?

Learn about the history of white pine logging in Minnesota and create your own paintbrush from a pine tree branch.

Grades: 3-8 | Takes: 45 min

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Mysterious Mushrooms

Learn about different types of mushrooms, the science behind their structures, and play a challenging mushroom name game.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 20 min 

My Home, the Biomes

Learn the definition of biomes, discover the different biomes across Minnesota, and brainstorm other biomes around the world.

Grades: 3-8 | Takes: 20 min 

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Nature Yoga

Get your body moving and your mind relaxed with these nature poses inspired by nature.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 20 min 

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Water Cost Whiz Kids

Calculate how much water it takes to produce each of your favorite foods and design different meals that conserve water.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 20 min 

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Animals in the Winter

Learn about how different animals survive extreme cold and snowy climates and play an “I spy” game with animals in the snow.

Grades: K-4 | Takes: 20 min 

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Light Pollution

Learn about how light pollution can affect humans and animals and use your creativity to draw a lighted scene.

Grades: K-8 | Takes: 30 min 

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Soil Layers Snack

Learn about the different layers of soil and create a fun, hands-on snack to demonstrate.

Grades: K-12 | Takes: 30 min 

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Pinecone Experiments

Learn about the different types of pinecones and do a hands-on experiment to understand how they work.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 45min

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Learn about simple ways to be more sustainable in your life, fill out a sustainability pledge, and get ideas for sustainable crafts made from plastic water bottles

Grades: K-5 | Takes: 30min

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The Northern Lights

Learn the science behind this natural phenomenon and create a colorful, nature inspired art project.

Grades: K-12 | Takes: 40-50min

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Symmetry in Nature

Learn about the basics of symmetry and search for balance in nature. Take part in a partner art project to understand the symmetry of a leaf.

Grades: K-6 | Takes: 30 min 

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Mindfulness Activity

To help practice living in the moment, take part in 3 activities: a nature walk, a short breathing exercise, and an art activity. 

Grades: K-12 | Takes: 40-60min

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Writing PoeTree

Foster a creative connection with a local tree by writing a poem or a story about it.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 30-45min

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Scavenger Hunt

Enjoy a scavenger hunt that will get you and your family exploring a natural area near your home. Draw connections with the outdoors and gain more knowledge on species identification. 

Grades: K+ | Takes: 40-90min

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Building a Birds Nest

Discover the different ways in which birds build their nests and then design and create a nest of your own.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 40-60min

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Outdoor Bingo

Gain many understandings of what “nature” can be and complete a Bingo activity.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 30-40 min 

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Postcards From Mars

Put yourself in the shoes of an astronaut and write a letter home from Mars.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 15 min 

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Composting 101

Learn the science behind composting and understand how it can benefit the environment.

Grades: K+ | Takes: 15 min 

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Pollinator Projects

Understand the importance of pollinators in plant reproduction and create a pollen catching flower.

Grades: 2-6 | Takes: 30-40 min 

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Inspiration from Nature

Learn how nature has been inspiring invention and innovation throughout history and create your own invention based on a plant or animal.

Grades: 2-12 | Takes: 30-40 min

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Invisible Ink

Test different substances to create your own invisible ink. Use the ink to write secret messages or a make a hidden treasure map 

Grades: 2+ | Takes: 20 min

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Wild About Turkeys

Learn about wild turkeys, their importance to Indigenous cultures, and create a fun and colorful turkey craft.

Grades: 3+ | Takes: 50-60min

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Learn about hibernation and the many different animals that rely on this survival method throughout winter.

Grades: 3-5 | Takes: 10-15 min 

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Water Experiments

Learn about the properties of water, see how many drops of water fit on a penny, and design a boat that can hold the largest number of pennies.

Grades: 3+ | Takes: 60 min 

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Oil Spill Challenge

Learn about the harmful effects that oil spills have on wildlife and the environment and take on an interactive challenge to see how difficult they are to clean up.

Grades: 3+ | Takes: 50-60min

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Greenhouse Effect

Take part in two interactive activities to learn about greenhouse gases and the important effect they have on our climate.

Grades: 4+ | Takes: 30 min 

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Seed Sculptures

Learn how seeds pollinate and disperse and the difference between native and non-native seeds, then make a seed sculpture to plant in soil.

Grades: 4+ | Takes: 60 min 

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Energy Resource Shuffle

Learn about different types of renewable and non-renewable energy. Play a game while considering the positive and negative outcomes of using different energy resources. 

Grades: 5+ | Takes: 45-60min

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Volcanic Beginnings

Learn about the volcanic beginnings of Lake Superior and complete a crossword puzzle about this geologic gem.

Grades: 7-10 | Takes: 30 min 

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