We are so lucky to live in an area that is absolutely gorgeous this time of year. We are surrounded by woods, and the land is filled with hills and valleys, and riddled with tiny creeks. The neighborhood kids all spend a great deal of time playing in these woods, but this is the first year that I have truly felt comfortable enough to let my son go adventuring with them.
The idea of a nature scavenger hunt came to me for 2 reasons. 1. Obviously to get outside and enjoy nature, but also 2. to take time establishing rules and limits for when they are out there without grownups. (please note that even when I am not out there I can see them from the house, it's not quite as secluded as it looks in these pictures.)
Anyhow, no matter where you live, you can easily tailor this scavenger hunt idea to your surroundings, or head out to a nearby park.
We simply came up with a list of things that we were likely to find out there.
I was not looking to end up with a new collection of leaves, sticks, and bugs, so instead of gathering the things we found, we simply took pictures of each item.
The kids loved that they got to play with the camera on my phone (it's the easiest camera to use).
We turned it into a bit of a game, and whoever spotted the item first, got to take the pictures.
We were able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings,
and teach the kids about some of the things we found.
They loved hearing about what animal may have made the hole in the ground,
looking for the hidden Mayapple flowers,
and trying to figure out which types of trees were Maples.
The kids had a great time, learned their boundaries, and discovered so many new things.
**Pay no attention to the black barrel, we also use these woods to play paintball :-)
Need help creating a list for your own scavenger hunt? Here are some ideas to get you started:
* pine cone
* pine needles
* birch tree
* maple leaf
* oak leaf
* fallen tree
* fallen tree that didn't make it to the ground
* green leaf
* brown leaf
* lady bug
* spider web
* animal tracks
* wild onion
* bird nest
* frog or toad
* animal hole
* someplace to sit (park bench etc)
* hole in a tree
For more fun things to do with the kids: