With the warmth of spring, it’s time to move activities outdoors. The kids and I spend hours on our deck when it’s warm (playing in the DIY portable sandbox, for example), so I’m always excited to mix learning with outdoor play. This week we’ve been using a Nature Scavenger Hunt to explore the natural surroundings of our home.
Stuck inside? Look out your window and see what you can find!
Explore your backyard if you can’t get to a local park.
Take a walk early in the morning when there are fewer people out and about that you might come into contact with.
Explore Your World
Grab a few pencils, print out copies of the Nature Scavenger Hunt, and head outside.
The Nature Scavenger Hunt includes both words and images. Even if your child isn’t reading yet, they can still feel independent as they work on the scavenger hunt. They’ll be able to easily identify the pictures instead of reading the words.
If your child is learning to read, use the word and picture combinations to help teach reading skills. Many of the words are simple, and the picture clues will help the child identify the words.
How to Use Your Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable
Each time an object is found in nature, have the child mark an X over its spot on the grid.
They’ll get to see their progress as they mark items off the page.
If you’ve got older children, let them compete to see who finds all the items quickly. Take a copy of the Nature Scavenger Hunt on a hiking trip to keep the kids engaged.
You can even keep a few copies in the car for road trips and spontaneous trips to the park!
When my son was in preschool, the teacher would take the class on daily nature walks. The kids would head out after lunch, collecting items that they found in nature. Sometimes my son would choose a few blades of grass. Other times, he would pick small flowers or grab a handful of mulch.
There isn’t any reason this Nature Scavenger Hunt couldn’t include collecting items either. Of course, don’t bring the butterfly home, but let the kids collect items like rocks, sticks, and flowers while on the hunt.
This activity is great for learning about nature, but it’s also a good tool for creating family time. Whether it’s a special activity, or simply during an evening walk, the Nature Scavenger Hunt allows you to work together as a family.
Observe nature. Talk about the objects. Challenge each other to search your surroundings.
During our scavenger hunts, we talk about how God created the items shown on the list and how they work together as part of the ecosystem. It’s an opportunity to teach them about God’s creation and how it impacts our lives.
Do you want to take your children on a Nature Scavenger Hunt?
How will your family enjoy the great outdoors this spring and summer?
My name is Lora Green and I blog at Craftivity Designs, where I document how we are creating our home. I believe that a home is about much more than design and decor – it should tell the story of a family. Our home must fit the needs of two small kids, a work-at-home mom, and a youth pastor dad. I want it to be a beautiful space, but it should be functional and meaningful, too. If you are trying to meld function and beauty, join me over at Craftivity Designs to share in this journey of creating a home.
How to Get Your Nature Scavenger Hunt Free Printable
Grab your free nature scavenger hunt printable, print the sheet, and go for a walk today!
Benefits of Scavenger Hunts For Families
Engaging families in outdoor activities is not only a wonderful way to promote physical health but also an excellent opportunity for holistic child development.
Nature Scavenger Hunts promote the development of observational skills in children and adults alike. Encouraging participants to pay attention to their natural surroundings helps children become more aware of their environment.
Engaging in a scavenger hunt encourages curiosity about the natural world. Children are naturally curious, and this activity provides an opportunity for them to ask questions and seek answers about the things they discover.
Scavenger hunts are inherently cooperative activities. Family members must work together, communicate, and collaborate to find all the items on their list. This fosters a sense of unity and teamwork within the family.
Spending time outdoors engages the whole family in physical activity. Whether it’s hiking in the woods, walking in a park, or exploring your backyard, these experiences promote physical health and well-being.
Nature Scavenger Hunts can be an educational experience. As you find items on your list, you can discuss their features, functions, and ecological roles, helping children learn about the natural world.
Being in nature has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in both children and adults. It provides a peaceful and calming environment, allowing family members to unwind and connect with each other.
Nature Scavenger Hunts are not only a fantastic tool for learning about nature but also a wonderful way to create lasting family memories. They provide opportunities for physical activity, teamwork, and educational growth, all while fostering a deep appreciation for the natural world. So, grab your list and head outdoors for a memorable adventure with your loved ones!