With the Kids

Playing Tic-Tac-Toe With Nature


Fall is here, and the weather is still nice. Nature is so beautiful this time of year! Take advantage of it with some playtime during your nature walks. My sons and I bring a small paper sack along with us as we take a walk so we can collect any treasures we come across. I like to bring a couple pieces of sidewalk chalk along just in case. Here’s a fun idea: draw a tic tac toe board on the ground and use found nature objects as game pieces.


What you need:

  • a piece of chalk
  • five “game pieces” of one sort (i.e. pine cones)
  • five “game pieces” of another sort (i.e. acorn caps)

Any object from nature (that fits inside a tic-tac-toe board) will do for game pieces, just make sure the objects are enough alike that players will easily recognize whose pieces are whose. You can use whatever is plentiful in your neighborhood: rocks, leaves, flowers, etc.


You can use your chalk to draw other types of game boards, and use other found objects as game pieces. Try checkers or backgammon!

Heather Mann is a regular contributor at Make and Takes. She’s is the mother of two boys under age 3, and another boy on the way. She publishes Dollar Store Crafts, a daily blog devoted to hip crafting at dollar store prices, CROQ Zine, a print magazine devoted to hip crafting, and also CraftFail, a community blog that encourages crafters to share their not-so-successful craft attempts.


  1. Hi Marie:

    We love this idea and are planning on including it in an upcoming post on our blog ABC & 123 currently slatted for Monday. It’s a fall edition of active activities to do with your family. We’re going to suggest going on a nature walk, collecting, and then doing your activity. I plan to include the top picture, a brief description, direct link back to this post, and credit your blog. Please let us know if that is not permissible. Thank you in advance.

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