These free nature scavenger hunt printables for kids will get you outside! Turn everyday kids into incredible explorers!
What are some good outdoor nature scavenger hunts?
Scavenger hunts are a fun, easy, and totally FREE activity you can do with your kids.
And you can get scavenger hunts here for all ages. You’ll find:
- A picture nature scavenger hunt for toddlers and preschoolers
- A nature scavenger hunt for elementary age kids
- A selfie nature scavenger hunt for teenagers
Keep reading below for more great ideas to make the most of your nature scavenger hunt.
Instructions for Your Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
1. Print out your free nature scavenger hunt from the download at the bottom of the post. Choose the one that’s right for your kids.
2. Be clear on the rules, especially if you have older kids.
- Discuss where they can find items outdoors and set boundaries for how far kids can search on their own.
- Decide on how much time they will have.
- Remind kids not to destroy nature or pick flowers from yards.
- Set clear expectations with their picture-taking device.
3. To play:
- Enjoy helping your younger child find each item and mark it off.
- Divide up your family and have fun seeing who can find all the items first.
- Older kids can hunt for items in a race against one another.
4. If you think there is an item your child won’t be able to find, give them the option to cross that item off the scavenger hunt list.
5. Complete one of the fun bonus extension activities explained below to go along with your scavenger hunt.
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Benefits of Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Activities for Kids
Our kids need to spend time outdoors. In fact, playing outside can improve your child’s chance of future health and success. (source) Here’s why:
1. Sunshine is good for us!
We need exposure to the sun to make Vitamin D. This helps our immune system, bone development, improves our mood, and helps us sleep better.
2. Playing outside increases exercise.
The CDC states that kids ages 6-17 should be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Younger children should also be active. (source)
In addition, jumping, running, and climbing are all motor skills that our kids need to learn. And more physical play equals healthier kids. Time spent outdoors on activities can help accomplish this.
3. Kids practice and learn valuable skills.
When kids have unstructured play time outside, they use their imaginations to entertain themselves. They problem-solve. And they also play with other kids and learn how to share and cooperate with others.
4. They learn to appreciate nature.
Digging in soil, climbing rocks, and watching ants march across the sidewalk help kids learn about nature and appreciate the changes that take place in a year. This outdoor scavenger hunt is perfect for learning about the nature around us.
Bonus: Extension Activities (To Do With The Nature Scavenger Hunt)
Create a Collage
If your child gathered leaves, sticks, acorns, feathers, and other nature finds, have them create a collage. Simply make a picture with their nature scavenger hunt collection and glue!
Write A 5 Senses Poem
Have your child write and illustrate a non-rhyming poem about their nature scavenger hunt using their senses.
I see _________________
I smell _______________
I taste ________________
I hear _________________
I touch ________________
Write a Haiku
Have your child create a haiku poem. A haiku is a Japanese poem traditionally about nature. Your child can pick to write about anything they saw or experienced on their nature scavenger hunt.
In a haiku, there are three lines.
Line 1 contains 5 syllables.
Line 2 contains 7 syllables.
Line 3 contains 5 syllables.
Make a bird feeder
If your child collected a pine cone, make a bird feeder.
- Tie a piece of yarn or string around the pine cone.
- Cover the pine cone with peanut butter.
- Roll the peanut butter covered pine cone on a plate filled with bird seeds.
- Hang in a tree for birds to enjoy!
Decorate rocks found on the nature scavenger hunt
Use paint, chalk, or markers to decorate rocks that your child collected.
Take these decorated rocks and leave them in nature along a trail or sidewalk where others will find them to enjoy.
Collect items in a fun way
Use an egg carton to collect small items on your nature scavenger hunt. Each egg holder can hold different items like rocks, dandelions, dirt, twigs, and leaves. Or have your child use a small treasure box to collect their ‘treasures’.
Create a digital video, collage, or scrapbook
Older kids can use their scavenger hunt photographs to create a video or collage. Let them be creative!
Read Books About Nature or Seasons
Read books about your current season or about the plants and creatures you saw during your scavenger hunt.
Check out 50 Best Picture Books About Spring here! And keep reading for more book ideas below.
Fun Nature Scavenger Hunt Supplies & Books
These items and books will make a scavenger hunt even more fun for your kids.
Outdoor Exploration Kit
This kit comes with binoculars, a flashlight, a compass, a whistle, magnifying glass, and a backpack to make exploring nature even more fun!
Related Post: Great Outdoor Kids Gifts
Insect lovers will love being able to watch and inspect their favorite bugs with this bug bungalow!
The Secret Signs of Nature: How To Uncover Hidden Clues in the Sky, Water, Plants, Animals, and Weather by Craig Caudill
Wilderness trainer Craig Caudill shares tips about the nature around us and where to look to see what the world has to offer.
Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors by Kim Andrews
This book will encourage kids to get outside, explore, and use their imaginations to create.
Nature Journal For Little Explorers
With over 100 pages, your child will have the space they need to journal, draw, and record their nature findings whenever they are out exploring.
3 Free Printable Nature Scavenger Hunts
Grab your free printable scavenger hunt here!
Don’t miss the Free Camping Checklist For Kids too!
To Consider With Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Enjoy time outdoors with your kids with these free printable scavenger nature hunts for all ages!
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