A family outside in a wooded area. Two young children are examining the specimens they can see in jars full of pond water.

© oliveromg/Shutterstock.com

30 nature activities for summer

If, like many of us, you have been stuck inside and feel like you need an adventure, then the summer is a great time to get outside and explore nature. The weather is warmer and your local area will be literally abuzz with activity and interesting things to see.

Noticing and reconnecting with the natural world we are all part of can be a great mood booster.

We have 30 fun activities for you to try, either on your own, with friends, or with your family. These range from walks and animal observation to craft projects and photography. We even have some ideas for when the great British summer forces you to retreat inside.

 #RediscoverSummer with your kids

a teddy bear with two homemade nature journals

1. Family activity of the week - sharing your adventure

You’ll be surprised how quickly nature can take over, if it is left undisturbed. What can you find on fallen logs, old stone walls or even pavement corners? Make your own journal to share your stories.

Get creative with flowers and leaves

hands pressing flowers into a book

2. Press flowers and leaves

Once you've mastered this simple technique, why not embark on a craft project and decorate special cards for family and friends?

hands holding flowers and leaves backed onto paper up against a window

3. Make an easy Sun print

Making Sun prints is a fun activity that can turn leaves and flowers into simple but distinctive artworks.

Give garden wildlife a hand

 a simple bird bath being filled with water from a watering can

4. Build a bird bath

It's important for birds to have access to a reliable water source for bathing and drinking all year round. Help them out by building a quick and simple bird bath in your garden.

a pot full of bamboo rods, and a flag with a bee on it

5. Make a bee hotel

This simple bee hotel will provide a home for a variety of solitary bees, including red mason bees and leafcutter bees.

a striped fly on a white flower

6. Create a wildlife-friendly garden

Making small changes to your garden can help support your local wildlife. Here are seven easy ways to make a difference.

the equipment needed to make a wormery, including boxes, bricks and compost

7. Turn food scraps into plant fertiliser

A worm composter, or wormery, can turn your kitchen food scraps into fantastic fertiliser for your house plants and garden.

A person putting a wooden lid on a little brick hedgehog house

8. Make a hedgehog house

Hedgehogs won't start hibernating until winter, but why not get a shelter ready for them now? They may even nest in it next summer and raise baby hoglets.

Explore fascinating animal life

A person setting up on their garden fence a plate hung up as a feeder

9. Feed the butterflies

Attract beautiful butterflies with our easy-to-make fruit feeder. Ideal for observing butterflies, this feeder will help you enjoy these enchanting insects even if you don't have a big garden.

Hands burying a clear plastic cup up to its rim in soil

10. Use a pitfall trap to catch minibeasts

Discover what small creatures are crawling around your garden by setting up a simple pitfall trap.

A person in the dark looking at a glowing year they are holding

11. Spot insects in the dark

A huge variety of animals are active after sunset. By making a light trap, you can find out what nocturnal insects call your area home.

A triangular cardboard tunnel placed in a garden

12. Make a footprint tunnel to reveal what wildlife visits your garden

Footprint tunnels are a great way to discover which small animals, such as hedgehogs, are out and about, and it's easy to make your own at home.

A person at a rocky beach, crouched over a pool

13. Go rockpooling

Going rockpooling is a great way to see a wide range of creatures that live on the seashore. Our guide gives you tips on the equipment you need and what you might find.

Watch, reflect and connect with the nature you see

A person taking a photograph of a blossoming tree on her phone

14. Record your wildlife thoughts and observations digitally

Our Digital Nature Journal gives you a free and easy way to keep track of all the nature you see.

Two pages from a journal, showing drawings of bees and notes

15. Craft a nature journal

If you'd prefer to use a paper-based journal that you can draw and stick things in, then we have some simple craft instructions so you can make your own, with tips on what you could record.

a sunny day in the highands, with a path leading onwards to mountains, water and greenery

16. Experience the healing power of a walk

Taking time to notice nature can boost your mood and general wellbeing.

Illustrations explainig what you can do on your mystery nature tour

17. Go on a magical mystery nature tour

Rejuvenate your body and mind and discover the magic and wonder of nature. This self-led walk can be used in any park or green space for a wellbeing boost.

An iridescent beetle on a purple flower

© Lisa Hendry

18. Look out for colourful beetles

How many of these 17 beautiful beetles can you spot? Many of them are quite small, so you'll need to look closely at your environment. What others can you find in your area? 

A bat flying in the dark

19. Go bat hunting

Bats are one of the most overlooked and misunderstood of our fellow mammals, but they help keep flying insect populations under control and even pollinate plants in some parts of the world. Explore how to spot bats in your local area.

A close up of some green oakleaves

20. Identify common urban trees

Find out about five of the UK's most popular street trees, including distinctive features to look out for when identifying them and how they support wildlife.

Screenshots of the app, over a picture of the Jurassic coast

21. Search for fossils

Our Fossil Explorer app can help you to identify fossils based on where you find them in Britain.

A long exposure of the night sky, showing stars and streaks from meteors

© Jasmine_K/ Shutterstock.com

22. Watch for meteors

You can watch amazing meteor showers throughout the year, including the Perseids in August.

Help scientists look after nature

A mother and child survey a rockpool on a sunny day

23. Search for seaweeds along the shore

Did you know that seaweed creates habitat where fish, invertebrates, birds and marine mammals can find food and shelter? Survey your shore with the Big Seaweed Search to help protect our marine environment. 

A man stands in tall grass, inspecting flowers

24. Join a biodiversity recording scheme

If you enjoy taking an interest in your local wildlife, why not contribute your observations to one of the many UK monitoring schemes? They cover everything from ladybirds and butterflies to ancient trees and fungi.

Try your hand at photography

A close-up of an urban fox peering over a wall into the camera

Nosy neighbour © Sam Hobson

25. Get into wildlife photography

These nine tips from Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists and winners will help you boost your photography game.

A gibbous moon in the night sky

© Seth Passfield/Shutterstock.com

26. Shoot the Moon

If you'd like to capture the Moon in its magnificence, this guide has useful suggestions for budding astrophotographers.

Family indoor activities for rainy days

A row of eggsheels painted to look like a caterpillar, with cress growing from their tops

27. Grow a cress caterpillar

Create this colourful caterpillar from cress seeds, then eat the tasty results!

Salt dough ammonites being brushed out of the soil, as if uncovering real fossils

28. Make a salt dough ammonite

Craft these replica fossil shells and read our suggestions on the different ammonite forms you could make.

An illustration of a flamingo and a line drawing copy of it to colour in

29. Chill out with some colouring in

Download a range of animal-based drawings that you can print out and colour in.

A young girl wearing a paper moth headdress

30. Make a moth headdress

Younger kids can have fun making this moth head piece, complete with proboscis and feathery antennae.