Kids love hunting for treasures. Whether you’re exploring new trails, visiting a botanical garden, relaxing at the beach or enjoying a family walk around the neighborhood, a nature scavenger hunt is a simple way to add some fun to your adventure.
One of the best things about nature scavenger hunts is that you can create one for pretty much any setting in just a few minutes. Here are a few pointers to help you make your own nature scavenger hunt:
Choose a theme.
Themed nature scavenger hunts are often determined by location or season. A theme could also be as simple as colors or shapes.
Create a list.
Once you have a theme for your nature scavenger hunt, think of items you might be able to discover.
- Include items that require kids to use multiple senses. That means you’ll want to by search for things to see, hear, smell and touch.
- Include items that have kids looking both down on the ground as well as high up in the sky.
- Provide a mix of easy-to-find and more challenging items.
- Adapt as needed to keep the hunts age appropriate. Young kids can use cards with pictures instead of words – or even numbers or shapes.
- Stick to 20 items or less.
Don’t forget to bring along your scavenger hunt list and something to write with. Depending on where you go, a clipboard could also come in handy.
Then decide on a time limit and start the treasure hunt. If you have large groups or very young kids, consider creating teams.
Our only rule is that you don’t remove items from nature to collect as part of the hunt. The goal is simply to find as many items on your list in the time provided. (You can always snap a picture or create a sketch instead.)
Enjoy a prize, together.
Our nature scavenger hunts are never about who finds the most items, but more about sharing our discoveries together. We like to compare notes to see who found what for each item on our list.
If you want to end the hunt with a “prize,” consider a cup of hot chocolate if it’s cold out, or a glass of lemonade if it’s warm.
Nature scavenger hunt lists
Nature scavenger hunts are especially popular around here, so I thought I’d gather together those we’ve created, plus a few more just for fun. You can find even more on my scavenger hunts & nature walks Pinterest board.
Feel free to use these as a starting point for your own, adapting as needed for your family.
Themed scavenger hunts