Simple Nature Scavenger Hunt

This Scavenger Hunt will take you less than five minutes to organize and you can do it almost anywhere which makes it a great game to play if you're trying to pass the time. It's also a great way to get kids active and connected with nature!

I like to play it with the kids I watch after-school in our driveway as they wait for their parents to pick them up. Playgrounds with a basketball court near the woods are great for this too; or, if you can find a section of the woods with lots of boulders in it, you can write directly on the rock.

What you'll need:

  • Sidewalk Chalk (and sidewalk, pavement or large boulders to write on)
  • Optional: Bags, buckets or something to carry the items in

Write numbers in chalk on the pavement. We did 1-10 but you can do as many or as little as you wish. Make the numbers big and bold so they're easy to see.

Add an item beside the number that you feel is reasonable for them to find in the area. For example, one flower petal, two pine cones, three rocks, four leaves...and so on. Draw a little picture cue of it if that will help younger children remember what they need to find.

Then go through each number and the item with the kids. They can either play it individually, or they can work together as teams of two, or the whole group, to find a total of that number of items. If they find more, that's okay too, but they need at least that many of the item listed.

Then send them off to track down the treasures! The only rule I gave them was that they had to find items already on the ground - i.e items that are not alive (for example, don't pick flowers or break branches or leaves off trees).

They can fill a bag with items, then bring them all back at once and set them out on the numbers, or they can run back to the number each time they find an item to add. 

If you want to take it further, you can add some magnifying glasses to examine the items more closely, set up an art area with paper, markers and glue to make creations out of the nature items they find when they finish; or get more specific with the findings (such as red flower petals, maple leaves, rocks bigger than your hands).

Do you have a favourite scavenger hunt that you like to play with your kids? We love doing them and are always keen to hear new ideas!