Play in all forms teaches a child some sort of scientific principle whether they are aware of it or not. Naturally, they cannot express what scientific principle they have learned. They only know that it was fun!
Here are a couple of great activities that encourage learning about science and nature.
Gardening – A child can learn so much from participating in growing plants. In addition to learning about science and nature, gardening also teaches a child to work towards a goal and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Scavenger Hunt – This well loved game can provide you the opportunity to explain things in nature to your child as you play. Create a list items from nature such as a smooth rock, a dead leaf, a piece of bark, etc. Accompany your child as they try to find each of the items and cross them off the list. As an item is found you can discuss the item; why the leaf is dead, why the rock is smooth.