Spring Themed Nature Games

Keep your students active this spring with these fun spring themed games.

Robin’s Egg

Select one student to be the robin. Have the robin sit with his/her back to the other students, at least ten feet away. Place a plastic egg behind the robin. The robin needs to protect the egg. The remaining students take turns sneaking up behind the robin and try to steal the egg. If the robin hears the person sneaking up, he/she will “call” and then turn around. If the robin catches a student, that student becomes the new robin. If there is no student when the robin “calls,” the robin remains the robin and the game starts again.

Flower Power

Students pretend to be pollinators traveling from flower to flower. Scatter hula hoops across the play area (fewer hula hoops than students). Place a card with a shape inside each hula hoop (flower). Give each student a card with a shape. Students must travel around the play area, matching their card to one inside a flower. When they find a match, they stand inside the flower. Only one student can be inside each flower. If a student doesn’t “pollinate” a flower, they are out. Remove a flower (hula hoop) after each round.

Metamorphosis Relay

Students are butterflies racing through their various life stages. Divide students into two teams. Students begin the race in a curled up position to represent an egg.

  •         Station 1 – the caterpillar: students wiggle through a maze, searching for food
  •         Station 2 – the chrysalis: students climb into a burlap sack and race to the next station
  •         Station 3 – the adult caterpillar: students grab a colorful scarf and “flies” to the finish line

Plant a Tree Relay

Students race to complete the task of planting a tree.

  •         Station 1 – dig the hole: students put on a straw hat and perform 5 squats
  •         Station 2 – plant the tree: students put on a pair of work gloves and perform 5 jumping jacks
  •         Station 3 – move mulch: students put a small trash can on a scooter and push it to the next station; if the trash can falls off, they must go back and try again
  •         Station 4 – water the tree: students pick up a jumping rope (represents water hose) and must jump rope to the finish line

Watch it Grow!

Plant flowers, a tree, or a garden. There are plenty of jobs to keep everyone active: digging holes, planting the tree/flowers, moving mulch, carrying water pails. Encourage parents and local community members to join in on the fun. Students will have fun watching their plants/trees change through the seasons.

Gardening Obstacle Course

You need a large outside play area. For older kids, have two teams race against each other.

  •         Obstacle 1 – carry 3 (numbers can be adjusted to age of students) bags of dirt to 3 marked planting sites
  •         Obstacle 2 – load 3 (numbers can be adjusted to age of students) bags of mulch into a wheelbarrow
  •         Obstacle 3 – push loaded wheelbarrow through curvy path (for added challenge, include a hill)
  •         Obstacle 4 – unload the bags of mulch
  •         Obstacle 5 – load wagon with produce
  •         Obstacle 6 – push wagon to produce stand
  •         Obstacle 7 – unload produce
  •         Obstacle 8 – climb the fence (stack of hay bales) – finish line

Build a Nest

Students are robins building their nests. Divide the students into two relay teams. Each team stands single file behind the starting line. Place 2 buckets of wet mud (1 for each team) and the end of the course. Place 2 small containers (1 for each team) at the starting line. Give each student a plastic spoon.

The first student “flies” to the bucket of mud, scoops up a spoonful of mud, flies back to the starting line, and empties their spoon of mud into the container (nest). Continue until all students have helped build the nest.

Dig a Hole

Divide students into teams. Place a bucket of soil and 10 plastic cups in front of each line. Place an empty bucket at the end of the line. The first student in each line fills a cup with soil and passes it to the student behind them. Students continue passing the cup until it reaches the last student. The last student empties the cup into the bucket. Continue until all the dirt has been transferred.

Project WILD and Aquatic WILD are great resources for games that teach too!

Here are a few to check out from Project WILD:

  • Quick Frozen Critters- describe adaptations related to predator and prey relationships, explain the importance of adaptations in these relationships and describe how they limit wildlife populations
  • Oh Deer- students will identify the components of habitat; describe factors that influence carrying capacity; define “limiting factors” and give examples; and recognize that some fluctuations in wildlife populations are natural as ecological systems undergo change.
  • Thicket Game- identify examples of adaptation in animals and describe the importance of adaptations

Aquatic WILD:

  • Hooks & Ladders- simulate the migration of and the hazards faced by Pacific salmon to illustrate their lifecycle
  • Marsh Munchers- identify components of a food web in a salt marsh and identify their interconnectedness in the food web
  • Migration Headache- list limiting factors affecting habitats and populations of migrating waterbirds, predict the effects of these limiting factors and describe the effects of habitat loss and degradation of populations of migrating waterbirds


Cross-reference to these units:

WILD – Wildlife Management

Aquatic WILD – Iowa’s Waters, Aquatic Life, The World in a Pond, and People, Land, and Water