Easy Nature Scavenger Hunts

Love this idea for spring homeschooling: Nature scavenger hunts! #homeschool

The weather in fall is pretty much perfect, so why not add a little nature study to your routine with one of these fun outdoor scavenger hunt ideas?


Children love treasure. Consider the whole outdoors your treasure chest, and turn them into little naturalists for the afternoon. Maybe they’ll even find something more interesting than what’s on the list.

  • Try this: Make a list of ten things you know your child can find around the house and yard. Give her the list and a little bag or container, and let her go on a hunt. Your list might be: a little seed, a flower, pinecone, big seed, red crayon, string, little ball, something purple, something blue, and a bug... a bug? Well, it depends on what kind of child you have.


The Number Game

Have lots of leaves and rocks in the yard? Use them to teach math. This game is great for kids who are learning their numbers.

  • Try this: Write the numbers 1 to 10 in chalk on the sidewalk. Put dots under the numbers to represent each amount—one dot under the number one, two dots under number two, and so forth. Now look for things around the yardand house to put on top of the dots: one toy car, two flowers, three leaves, four twigs, etc.


Venn Diagram

Sneak in more math with a Venn diagram. A Venn diagram is a visual way of sorting and comparing a group of things. Draw two or more circles and overlap them. Label each circle with one characteristic. If an object has that characteristic, it will go into the labeled circle. If it has two characteristics, it goes in the area where those two circles overlap. If it doesn’t have any of the characteristics, it goes outside the Venn diagram.

  • Try this: Draw three or four big, overlapping circles with chalk on the pavement and label them things like “brown,” “hard,” “curved,” etc. Let children search the yard for items with those characteristics, such as rocks, acorns, leaves, flowers, and twigs, and show them how they can be sorted. Bring a few small toys and items from inside the house to add even more fun.


This article was originally published in the summer 2014 issue of home/school/life.