Try a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Explore the outdoors with our printable checklist!
We've gathered great clues for a scavenger hunt to liven up your next walk in the woods. Pack a picnic, lace up your hiking boots, and head outside to explore. When children learn to appreciate and enjoy nature, they are more likely to grow into adults who value and protect our environment.
Enjoy exploring nature as a family, invite friends along, or bring this activity to your scouts meeting, classroom, or community gathering.
What you’ll need
- Our printable Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Pen or pencil
- Bags for items you collect on your hunt
- Modify our list to fit your scene (park, nature center, woods, seashore, backyard, etc.)
For young kids, include easy-to-find items; for older kids, dream up some challenges.
Distribute the list and a bag to each family member. (Be aware, however, that some nature preserves/parks won't let you disturb the wildlife. If so, simply record or draw the items rather than picking them up.)
After each item is found (or your time is up), share the story of your hunt.
Which item was your favorite?
Which was most difficult to find? Which did you find first?
Did you collect anything that wasn't on the list? If so, what made you choose it?
What senses did you use on your hunt? What did you smell in nature? Feel? Hear?
- The Greening Book by Ellen Sabin. Through activities and exercises, The Greening Book teaches children that they can make a difference in the future of our planet.
- Fun with Nature and More Fun with Nature (Take Along Guides) both by Mel Boring, Diane Burns, and Leslie Dendy. Kids will love learning about the most common creatures, tracks, and trees they're likely to encounter in North America. These books will turn every trip to the park into a scavenger hunt!
Take it Further
- Create a family “nature box” to collect objects you find.
- Keep a nature notebook. Include photos, drawings, pressed flowers and notes to record your outdoor observations.
- Gather some nature “tools” to take on your outings: camera, magnifying glass, binoculars, insect net, or jars for (briefly) capturing insects.
- Have your children devise their own scavenger hunts for the family.
- Have everyone decorate a bag or box to collect the items before you head out.
- Laminate the lists so you can reuse them with dry erase markers.
- If your children are preschool age, create a list using pictures instead of words.
- Rather than collecting the items, use your nature notebook to draw pictures of what you find.
Check out collection of other fun printables!
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.