Ah, Saturday morning. You’re relaxing over a steaming cup of joe (or tea) and looking forward to the day ahead: a hike with the whole family. You’re excited to share the outdoor plans you’ve made for the crew but as the rest of the family begins to rise after a long week at school or camp you find your idea is met with hesitation and objections.
“It’s too hot!”
“It’s too cold!”
“Hiking is boring!”
“I’d rather watch TV!”
Sound familiar? If so, the good news is, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t stuck wondering how you can help your kids develop the same love for exploring the outdoors as you have.
The trick is in the phrasing. No, I am not suggesting you lie to your kids, but what if you took your hiking to the next level? What if you turned it into a game? Or better yet, a nature scavenger hunt? Sure, they may not want to go on a hike, but do they want to go on a scavenger hunt with you?
I know what you’re thinking, a scavenger hunt sounds like a great idea, but it also sounds like a lot of work. Well you’re in luck! We’ve got you covered for a family friendly scavenger hunt to take on your hikes in any season. All you need to do is sit back, download the scavenger hunt and enjoy that cup of joe.
Want to take the adventure one step further? A scavenger hunt pairs best with a costume. Dig into your costume closet or use your Friday night for arts and crafts for the whole family to prepare your best scavenger hunt outfits. A surefire way to get everyone excited the night before the big adventure.
- Print out a copy of the scavenger hunt for each participant or download it to your phone.
- If you print a copy, bring along a pen, pencil or crayon for the kids to mark what they find.
- Decide how you will identify the list items. A few ideas include pointing at the object, snapping a picture or drawing a picture of what they found. You can always get more creative with it on your own!
- Before you start, remind your kids about the basic Leave No Trace guidelines including stay on the trail, and to not disturb the wildlife or their homes.
- When you complete the scavenger hunt, it’s time to celebrate. Do your favorite dance and bask in the glory of a successful hike! You might even offer a prize to the person who found the most items.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Check off everything you were able to find or do!
- Animal tracks (bonus: can you guess the animal?)
- 3 different colored leaves
- A rock shaped like a triangle
- A tree the same height as you
- 3 different birds (bonus: can you guess what kind of birds they are?)
- A pinecone
- A good hiking stick (don’t forget to leave it behind after your hike)
- A carin (man-made pile of stones marking the trail)
- A butterfly
- Flowing water
- A smooth rock
- A fallen branch
- A yellow flower
- A flying bug
- Scat (don’t forget to hold your nose)
- Build an animal shelter
- A red rock
- An animal hole
- A mammal
- Bonus: Find a four (4) leaf clover
We hope you have fun with this nature trail scavenger hunt and find everything on the list! Tell us about your adventure in the comments below!