Scavenger Hunts are an ideal way to get kids looking closer at their surroundings and are an excellent boredom-buster for all ages. If you’re looking for a nature scavenger hunt for kids in your life, here are some ideas for how to make your own, or try one (or more!) of the printable outdoor scavenger hunts listed later in this post.
Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas
If you’re new to making an outdoor scavenger hunt list for kids, there are a few things you should consider. Frustration and danger isn’t fun for anyone.
- What plants or animals can be seen in the current season/location?
- Are there possible dangers nearby (treacherous land, wild animals, poison ivy, etc.)?
- Is your list age appropriate?
- If hunting in teams rather than a simple nature walk, what are the rules?
Once you’ve covered those basics, you can choose your list items. Choose a few options from each category, or make a whole list from one.
- Things to see. These are the typical “I Spy” items to find during a scavenger hunt. Bugs, leaves, seeds, and animals all make great options, and you can add more details (spotted bug, pointed leaf) for older kids. Be sure to have them look up, down, and under.
- Seasonal items. Add pumpkins and hay bales for fall, or icy branches and snowman for winter.
- Sensory ideas. Things to see, touch, smell, or hear (Skip the tasting!). Look for fuzzy moss, hear running water, or smell a flower.
- Tasks to complete. Jump over a puddle, climb a tree, catch a bug, or stand on a rock.
- Alphabet. Find nature items that start with a letter or look like a letter.
- Colors. Something of every color of the rainbow or several items of only one color.
- Nighttime. Great for a multi-day scavenger hunt, or a full list of its own. Grab a flashlight or a headlamp and find some fun in the dark!
Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable
The best thing about printable lists is you only need a few minutes, a pen or pencil, and maybe a clipboard as a writing surface and you’re ready to play. I designed this nature scavenger hunt printable list as a companion to my nature scavenger hunt for teens and tweens so the whole family can play together. It makes an easy, entertaining activity while camping or hiking, or an afternoon walk around the neighborhood. Use the orange button below to download my nature scavenger hunt for kids, then print as many as you need. (Personal use only.)
More Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
I’ve linked a variety of printable outdoor scavenger hunts here for you visit and download for your next nature adventure. Use for travel, neighborhood walks, camping, backyard, and more.
Road Trip Travel Bingo for Kids
This cute travel bingo printable is perfect for the ride to wherever you're going. The game is interesting enough for adults and teenagers, and the adorable illustrations make it easy for little ones to follow too.
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