Nature play isn’t just for little kids — “big kids” need in on the outdoor action, too! Here are five programs that will help get your elementary schooler explore the great outdoors this fall.

(Have little ones? Check out these nature preschool programs!)

Nature Play for “Big Kids”: 5 Fall Programs in Baltimore

Join the EcoFern After School Club at Irvine Nature Center

Want a fun and interactive club for your elementary age student? Irvine Nature Center is now introducing a new program called Eco FERN Club. This virtual, after-school box program offers students an alternative way to meet up with friends from school and follow along a 10-week themed lesson plan. Any student from any school can join in on either Tuesdays for K-2nd or Thursdays for 3rd-5th at 4:00-4:30 or 4:45-5:15. Prices range from $100-$150, depending on whether you will pick-up your box or need it shipped and whether or not you are a Nature Center member. MORE

Take a Nature Journaling Class at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park

Get going with nature journaling! Learn to observe and record nature through drawing and writing in this 5 week series. Naturalist-guided activities are designed to help you engage with the outdoors in meaningful and memorable ways. Topics include: Getting Started (Session 1), Discovering the Details, Gaining Perspective, Exploring Habitats, and Animal Encounters. No prior journaling skills required—tips on improving your drawing, writing, and journal design are included in every session. Materials list provided upon registration. Single session registrations are welcome but priority given to people registering for series or multiple sessions. This class is for adults and children ages eight and older. The Saturday morning program kicks off on September 19th. $5/person per session. MORE

Go on a “Take a Break” Hike at Lake Roland

Head to Lake Roland for a socially distant, ranger guided hike on Wednesdays in September. Hikes start at 11:15 am and are designed for ages 5 and older. Each week a new trail will be explored. They ask that participants not bring strollers or dogs, and that all participants wear good shoes and a mask.Wednesday Take a Break Hikes begin on September 9th. $2/person. MORE

Kayak at Anita C. Leight Estuary Center

Anita C. Leight Estuary is offering a “Kids ‘n Kayaks” program on September 27th! Kids ages 5 and older can explore that watery world of Otter Point Creek during this program, which includes paddling safety and basic stroke instruction, too. Be sure to register in advance. Fee is $12/person. MORE 

Become a Citizen Scientist at Banneker’s BioBlitz

On September 26th and 27th, head to Benjamin Banneker Historical Park to work with park staff and create a snapshot of the variety of wildlife that can be found in Banneker Park in September! The park uses an app called iNaturalist to take pictures of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in the park on this day. Your big kids can help them collect data and provide information about pollinators. This program is for adults and children 5 years and older. Register in advance by email. MORE