Simple Nature Activities for Children & Families to Explore in Your Churchyard

Looking for creative ideas to encourage children & families to explore your Churchyard? Take a look at this selection of simple nature-based activities for all ages to discover & celebrate the fabulous biodiversity your outdoor space offers.

Churchyards are wonderful spaces to explore creation. Most of them, having been there for hundreds of years, offer rich biodiversity & a safe space for many insects & endangered species. 

Here are 20 simple activities to encourage children, families & the young at heart to discover & celebrate all the nature & wildlife your churchyard offers.

🌳 Shrub Shake

Invite families to discover the wildlife living in the shrubs & hedges around your churchyard with a gentle Shrub Shake. All you need is a white roll of paper, container & insect ID sheets. Here's a little inspo from the Shurb Shake in our garden. If you download the iNaturalist App on your phone, it can help you identify your finds & enable you to record them too. 

🌳 Birdwatching 

Invite families to do a spot of birdwatching around your churchyard. Have some rugs and binoculars available for them to sit outside and observe the birds. To make identification easier, print off several bird ID sheets, like this one from the Woodland Trust.

Why not have a whiteboard in Church for people to record their feathered finds, stating where, when & what they've found. You might even find patterns emerging. 

You might also like this interactive Wild Bird Trail for all ages to explore the amazing birds that frequent your churchyard.

🌳 Bird & Bat Boxes

Bring generations together to make bird, swift, or bat boxes. Pre-made boxes & DIY box kits are available online, but if you have talented craftspeople in your local community, templates like these from the RSPB can be used to create something unique for your churchyard.

🌳 Bug Houses

Whether you're looking for a collaborative project or something that individuals can make & take home, bug houses are always fun to construct. Make mini ones from empty plant pots or create a larger one using unwanted pallets from a local business.

🌳 Journey Sticks

As children enter your churchyard, invite them to make a journey stick to take with them as they explore your outdoor space. Find out more here: How to Make a Journey Stick

🌳 Pop-up Planting Zone

Invite all ages to plant wildflower seeds for pollinators. Have a table set up with eco-friendly pots & peat free compost, along with a selection of wildflower seeds. Pots can be taken home, or you could plant a wildflower area in your churchyard together.

🌳 Wax Nature Rubbings

Explore the textures in your churchyard with wax rubbings. Offer paper, wax crayons & pencils to children to rub over tree bark, leaves, walls, old gravestones etc. 

🌳 Calm Spaces

Create a calm space with rugs, picnic blankets, & cushions. Invite families to rest for a moment & listen to what's around them. These free activity sheets could be added for children to explore.

🌳 Leaf Hunt

Discover just how many different trees there are around your churchyard. You can download free Tree ID Sheets here from the Woodland Trust.

🌳 Pebble Bugs

Make Pebble Bugs inspired by the minibeasts in your churchyard. These bee pebbles were a big hit at one of our outdoor churchyard sessions. All you need are a selection of pebbles, paint pens/Sharpie pens available for children to create their own pebble bugs. These could be left in the churchyard or taken home. 

🌳 Bird Feeders

Make simple bird feeders outdoors in your churchyard for children to take home for the birds in their neighbourhood.

🌳 Clay Nature Prints

Make Clay Nature Prints. Explore the intricate patterns found in leaves & foilage by pressing them into small sections of clay. These can then be taken home & used as decorations. Discover some we made here: Nature Prints with Clay.

🌳 Nature Frames

Create your own Scented Nature Frame to display herbs to take home.

🌳 Hedgehog Shelters

Be a hedgehog hero & make a Hedgehog shelter for any prickly friends visiting the churchyard. Make a pile of sticks & twigs with lots of leaves for them to hide in. You might like to make your own hedgehog like these, or colour in your own hedgehog prayer pledge to take home. 

🌳 Outdoor Stick Prayer Station

Create an outdoor prayer station in your churchyard for all the community to engage with. Here's one we made in our churchyard: Stick Heart - Praying for Creation.

🌳 Sycamore Seeds
Gather fallen sycamore seeds to make this nature craft: Sycamore Seed Dragonflies

🌳 Pop-up Painting Station

 Have a pop-up Painting station in your churchyard. Offer tables (or easels) with plenty of paper, watercolour paints, brushes & fresh water for children (& adults) to paint what they notice around them.

Why not keep some of the artwork & create your own nature art gallery in the church.

🌳 Celebrate Bees

Add this free Bee Trail for children to explore around your Churchyard & discover amazing bees  facts & more with this Free Activity Sheet

🌳 Celebrate Insects 

This Small but Mighty  Children's Nature Trail explores the amazing insects living around your churchyard. Take a look at these Free Activity Sheets which accompany the trail, but can be used independently too.

🌳 Wildflower Wander

Discover the variety wildflowers blooming around the churchyard. Offer child-friendly magnifying glasses like these, so all ages can take a closer look. Download these Free Printable ID sheets from RSPB, or have a couple of wildflower books available as a reference guide. 

If you download the iNaturalist App on your phone you can identify plants & also record when & where you found them. Alternatively, you could offer a large sheet of paper for people to record their finds, & then share them with Caring for God's Acre here.

Have fun exploring & celebrating your fabulous churchyard with the wider community. These green spaces are real treasures for all ages to discover & cherish not only in June, but throughout the year! 💚