Recently, Rachel moved in with family while she built our new home, where she found 5 super simple activities you can do even when there are no supplies at hand!
While we lived with my husband’s parents, the vast majority of our belongings were packed away in storage until our new home was ready. So I had to get creative and come up with things to do with my kids without any of our usual supplies!
Here are five activities that don’t require craft supplies. These activities all involve nature in some way. Full disclosure, a couple of them do require extremely basic household supplies.
If you have a few basic supplies on hand, check out these fun fall crafts!
1. Nature Soup
I recently shared this simple nature soup activity and it was so much fun! It would be even more fun as a water play activity on a hot summer day.
First, have your kids collect items from nature. Flowers, grass, and pinecones all work great.
Then give them a container of water. We used a small storage tub, but if it’s super hot outside, fill up a baby pool and they can stay cool while they play!
Finally, I gave my girls some small bowls and mixing spoons to play with.
To make it a true no-supplies-needed activity, let your kids mix with their hands or with long sticks and they can “serve” their soup in clean containers from your recycling bin.
My girls could do this one for HOURS!
2. Nature Identification
I saved this one for a day my three year old actually naps, because the big girls love using the computer!
Head outside to collect a handful of nature items. Then bring them inside to research the items online. Even with familiar items, your kids may be surprised at what they can still learn.
There are some easy ways to extend this activity if you have some supplies and an enthusiastic kid. They could make a nature book with all their discoveries, pick their favorite item/new fact and write an article for a pretend science magazine or do a little presentation for mom or dad when they get home from work.
3. Shadow Tracing
There’s no way around it – this one requires a couple of super basic items. You will either need sidewalk chalk (in a pinch, you can a rock on the pavement!), or paper and some sort of drawing utensil.
Go outside on a sunny day and show your kids all about shadows! Have them stand while you trace their shadow on the driveway in sidewalk chalk. If you don’t have sidewalk chalk, lay down a piece of paper first and trace their shadow on it.
You can do this over and over with a variety of objects, or they can decorate their shadow tracing to make a self-portrait.
4. Rock Art
I think all kids have a collection of some sort. My middle one is obsessed with her rock collection. She picks them up everywhere we go.
She is also into building, so I think it would be fun to build with her rocks. (We haven’t tried this one yet, but it’s on our list because I think she will love it!)
Use your rocks to build towers or walls, or lay them out to make shapes or a picture. If you have some colorful rocks, you can even make some fun mosaics!
5. Backyard Yoga
We love yoga in our house. It is so good for little bodies and brains, and it’s just a fun way to get their bodies moving. I bet it will be fun for you too!
We went out barefoot in the grass (something we hardly ever do but it’s good for the soul and stress levels). I led my girls through some of their favorite simple poses, including King Cobra in the picture.
You can find a ton of information online about kids yoga with pictures and descriptions of some fun beginner’s poses. Or make up your own!