Fun and Educational Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids
An outdoor scavenger hunt is a great way to get your kids excited about protecting the earth and exploring nature.
Here are five fun scavenger hunt ideas for your youngest adventurers from searching for wildlife to exploring local vegetation.
1. Nature hunt:
This is a great way to get everyone in the family away from their tablets and smartphones.
Visit a hiking trail or park and have your kids search for specific items, like pine cones, birds’ nests, squirrels, oak trees, acorns, flowers, pine saplings and any other treasure you might find in the natural world. Don’t forget to follow Leave No Trace principles, and put everything back where it was found.
Award points for each item found and offer small rewards. In addition to getting some fresh air, your kids will have an opportunity to learn about the beautiful and fascinating natural world.
2. Road-trip hunt:
Before a long road trip, create a list of things to find, and your kids can mark each one off as they spot them.
Your list can include everything from water towers and windmills to wildlife and specific state license plates. A road trip scavenger hunt isn’t just a clever way to keep kids from asking ‘Are we there yet?’ — it’s also a great way to build memories before and after your outdoor adventure or family vacation.
3. Wildlife hunt:
Research local wildlife in your area and see how many animals your kids can spot.
Can’t get away for a hike or camping trip? Head to your local park or explore your neighborhood in search of birds and insects. A quick internet search should yield plenty of ideas.
Have your kids view pictures online to prepare for their hunt. Then, make a list and have them check off each insect, bird or animal they see as they explore the natural world.
4. Sandbox hunt:
You can do this fun scavenger hunt at a nearby reservoir, the beach or local playground. Simply bury a few toys, trinkets or other "treasures” and let your kids sift through the sand in search of each item.
You can set them loose in free-for-all fashion or make a map that offers directions and clues that will lead them to the best places to dig. Just be sure to keep track of where you buried each item, so you can recover anything they aren’t able to find at the end of your hunt.
5. Zoo hunt:
Spice up an ordinary trip to the zoo with an animal-based scavenger hunt. Make a list of the different continents and have your kids read through all the signs to find animals from North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.
It’s a great way for your children to learn about different wild animals, where they come from and why it’s so important to protect them.
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