Nature play activity recipes

Whether you’re a parent, playworker or teacher, use these nature play activity recipes to explore nature and help children experience the benefits of connecting with the natural environment through play.  

The activity recipes have been developed by Play England’s Nature Play team as part of the Exploring Nature Play project. They are all tried and tested activities with children on the three adventure playgrounds the team has worked with in North Tyneside, Haringey and Torbay. They can just as easily be done in a park, in your garden or any open space.

Download the recipes below and get out and explore nature play today!


Nature Play recipesActive recipes

Bows and arrows [1.24MB PDF]

Drip drip drop [1.76MB PDF]

Lions and gazelles [2.31MB PDF]

Meeting the trees [1.80MB PDF]

Mudslide [1.22MB PDF]

Parachute leaves [2.11MB PDF]

Potato peeler whittling [MB PDF]

Torchlight tig [2.32MB PDF]

Water slides [2.39 MB PDF]


Building recipes

Den building water challenge [1.23MB PDF]

Drainpipe challenge [1.77MB PDF]

Making a den [2.54MB PDF]

Making a fire [2.56MB PDF]

Building a swimming pool [2.15MB PDF]

Miniature gardens [2.31MB PDF]

Natural mini dens [2.58MB PDF]


Cooking recipes

Dampers [1.34MB PDF]

Honey coated carrots [1.23MB PDF]

Making cakes in oranges [1.99MB PDF]

Making flatbreads [2.07MB PDF]

Making very veggie pasta [2.13MB PDF]

Pizza pasties [1.32MB PDF]

Popping popcorn [2.34MB PDF]


Creative recipes

Bog its [1.23MB PDF]

Butterfly paint pressing [2.29MB PDF]

Cloud pictures [2.34MB PDF]

Hapa Zome [1.23MB PDF]

Natural paints [1.26MB PDF]

Nature crowns [1.72MB PDF]

Nature palettes [1.23MB PDF]

Nature’s collage [1.34MB PDF]

Nature’s photographs [1.23MB PDF]

Pasta pictures [2.15MB PDF]

Pebble poetry [1.34MB PDF]

Recycled music [1.24MB PDF]

Tree cookies [2.23MB PDF]

Wood carving [1.23MB PDF]


Messy recipes

Bird feeders [2.07MB PDF]

Bird nests [2.57MB PDF]

Concrete memories [1.23MB PDF]

Grass heads [1.76MB PDF]

Felting stones [1.24MB PDF]

Leaf piles [2.28MB PDF]

Mudmen [2.33MB PDF]

Mud pile [2.62MB PDF]