Free Activities - By Nature Topic
- Watch a video: "Let's Explore Tadpole Pond," then take a field trip to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to see the creatures for yourself. Best time to go is March through June.
- This handout describes the 5 most common species of frogs and amphibians found in Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.
- Introduce your child to bees - ideas, resources and information for parents
- My Field Guide to Bees - 29 pages of information and activities + blank journal pages. Order a kit to be delivered to your home or download one on your own. (Click here for details about ordering a "Bee Nature Kit".)
- Top 14 Bees of Portland - pocket sized guide to common bees
- Check out this kid-friendly guide to the twelve most common birds in Portland. Learn how to protect them!
Butterflies and Moths
- Check out this kid-friendly guide to the fifteen most common butterflies and moths in Portland. Learn how to protect them!
- Try this scavenger hunt and activity page to discover some special little plants that grow in the grass.
- Take a walk in your neighborhood and connect to nearby nature.
- Type in your address here and learn about the trees you see on your street everyday. Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry has mapped every street tree in Portland!
- Take a tree walk at a school in your neighborhood. School children have planted arboretums (tree museums) all over the city!
- Explore the cones and seeds of a Douglas Fir Tree.
If you are new to being a parent AND teacher, you may be feeling a lot of pressure. Here is a helpful resource that is both inspiring and low-pressure.
Prescribing Nature for Health | Dr. Nooshin Razani | TEDxNashville
Stay and Play video series
Nature-based videos from Portland Parks & Recreation's Stay and Play video series
These short nature videos offer songs, stories, tips, and outdoor explorations in nearby yards, parks, or along city streets. Click on each one to view, or visit the entire Portland Parks & Recreation’s Stay and Play video series on YouTube offering a variety of ways you can stay and play!
- Let's Make Toilet Paper Tube Binoculars
- Tips for Exploring with Children in Nature
- Let's Explore Insects
- Let's Explore Tadpole Pond
- Let's Learn about Chorus Frogs
- Let's Explore Spittlebugs
- Let's Explore Snails
- Let's Make Nature Rubbings
- Teacher Balsam sings The Garden Song
- Teacher Balsam sings Morningtown Ride
Order a Bee Kit to be delivered to your home!
Children can explore nature and develop science skills right outside their front door. From spring through fall, bees are abundant and provide exciting opportunities for scientific discovery.
Here's what comes in each nature kit:
- A magnifying glass
- A pocket-sized bee ID guide
- A 50-page "My Field Guide to Bees"
My field guide to bees - a bee workbook
- Full color with thick paper for artwork
- Spiral bound with a cardboard back cover for easy writing
- Interactive with a variety of activities
- Designed for self-directed learning
- 29 pages of information and activities + blank pages for drawing and writing down discoveries
- Good for many kinds of readers: Non-readers can identify bees by looking at pictures; Early readers will benefit from large text and simple language; Advanced readers will enjoy scientifically correct information
Cost: Choose the option that works for your family
- $12 - pays for the cost of materials and shipping
- $24 - pays for the cost of materials and shipping for your child AND provides a kit for another child who can't afford to pay.
- $5 - reduced cost for families experiencing hardship
- "My Field Guide to Bees” is also available for free download
Order over the phone
Call 503-823-2525 (Portland Parks & Recreation Customer Service Center). Select Option #0 to speak with a customer service representative and pay over the phone with a valid credit card. We will mail your Nature Kit.
Order by mail
Mail a check to:
Attn: Environmental Education/Nature Kit
Portland Parks & Recreation
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 858
Portland, Oregon 97204
Include a note that you are interested in purchasing the Bee Nature Kit with the following information:
- Your name (Adult)
- Child(ren)'s name(s)
- Address where we should mail the kit
- Your email
- Your phone number
- How many kits you would like and the amount you are paying
Contact the Environmental Education team:
- Text: 503-823-6378 or 503-823-1149