Enjoying Nature with Kids, Virtually

Sheltering at home while we protect ourselves and our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for all of us. Because access to nature is part of our mission, we understand that the inability to spend time in parks and open, green spaces is difficult, especially for families with children. To help, here are some ways you can enjoy nature with children while home or close to home.


Watch nature cams, from California State Parks website, which has a poppy cam on the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve; live wildlife cams from Explorewebcams from the National Park Service; and #ParksFromHome videos from LA County Parks

Take virtual tours of national parks from Google Arts & Culture; California State Parks from the PORTS webinar series; or from the National Park Service.

Star-gaze with tips from the California State Parks website, which has activities for kids.

Watch nature videos from NatGeo Kids, BBC Earth, the PBS Nature series, among others.


PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) is a K-12 program from the California State Parks.

Kids Path from the Los Angeles Public Library offers online books and videos, including the ScienceFlix program from Scholastic.

The “Learn at Home” materials from Scholastic include science and nature videos.

“Knowledge Drops” Interactive Science Education Series is a webinar series from Heal the Bay, with scientists and experts sharing insights and lessons about the marine environment.

NatGeo Kids has quizzes.

PBS Nature has educational materials and activities.


Nature for All Member organization Audubon Center at Deb’s Park has a video on creating nature journals.

The California State Parks website has a children’s activity sheet on writing nature-inspired poems.

Videos from BBC Earth Kids include drawing lessons with “Earth Sketchpad.”

Wildflower coloring books from the Forest Service

Bird and other nature-themed coloring books courtesy of the Sierra Club

The Seussville website has Lorax projects.


The City Nature Challenge from the Natural History Museum is an international effort to document nature in cities that has been modified to adapt to present circumstances.

Share photos of ways you’re enjoying nature at home or close to home with our #LANatureAtHome Challenge.

Enjoying Nature During the COVID-19 Crisis

During this difficult and uncertain time, while we practice physical distancing to protect the public health, we’ve had community members ask: Is it okay to go outside and enjoy nature?

We know that nature helps protect the public health, by providing mental and physical health benefits. It’s one of the reasons we do what we do here at Nature for All!

Right now, public health officials are encouraging exercise outdoors and time in the nature for those who are well, as long as guidelines for physical distancing are maintained. “Biking and running are great as long as not in a group where there is close contact,” said a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. The County of LA’s “Safer at Home” order urges Angelenos to stay at home; they add you can “take a walk, ride your bike, and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community.” Consult the CDC guidelines for visiting parks and recreational locations and find out if parks, beaches and bike paths are open before you venture out. (LA City Parks, Los Angeles County Parks; Forest Service; Angeles National Forest; California State Parks)

If you are fortunate enough to live near an area that is in close proximity to open parks, trees, and green spaces, we hope you can safely enjoy nature while maintaining a safe distance from others and following orders by the county and state. We also know that many of our community members live in park-poor communities and lack access to open green spaces. While our collective focus is on protecting the public health, we remain committed to our work to connect people and public lands through more trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities.

More ways to appreciate nature during this time:

Have kids? Find more ways to enjoy nature at home with children

More on the subject:

LA County Park Closures

“Remember this Feeling” (Modern Hiker)

10 Nature Activities to Help Get Your Family Through the Coronavirus Pandemic (Children and Nature)

“Is it Safe to Hike, Run and Bike Outside Now?” (Los Angeles Times)

“I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share” (New York Times)