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/ Source: TODAY
By Gina Vivinetto

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, loves to play in nature!

The former Kate Middleton, 37, showed how much she enjoys the outdoors when she made a surprise appearance on the British kids show "Blue Peter," in which she joined a group of children as they embarked on several fun activities.

The royal mom of three, who's long advocated the benefits of time spent in nature, showed off her skills at catching tadpoles in a pond, planting flowers in the dirt and building forest dens made of found branches.

She also revealed she encourages her own children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 — to play outside, "rain or shine."

The Duchess of Cambridge said pond-dipping was "massively up my street" during her surprise cameo on "Blue Peter."YouTube

"It encourages creativity, confidence and even a short amount of time — 10-15 minutes outside — makes a huge difference to both physical well-being but also to our mental well-being," she told the show's presenter Lindsey Russell.

Kate and her new friends showed off their green fingers when they planted flowers in makeshift pots made of boots and other items.YouTube

Kate's cameo was part of her ongoing campaign to help encourage kids to enjoy gardens. She even teamed up with the show to launch a competition for viewers to design a decorative garden sculpture to go in her "Back to Nature" garden when it’s installed at a new venue, the Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley, in September.

The duchess helped build a forest den made out of branches and logs.YouTube

As she wrapped up her day with her fellow nature lovers, the green-fingered duchess was presented with a special "Blue Peter" badge for her outdoor acumen.

"Yes, it's a real honor, thanks," she said proudly.

The whole gang celebrates the completion of the den by sitting together beneath it.YouTube

The duchess's new sculpture competition is open from Thursday, June 13, until Tuesday, June 25. For more details, visit www.bbc.co.uk/BluePeter.