Spring is quickly approaching, and that means warmer weather and more time outside. I love getting out for long walks with my kids, and encouraging them to really take in the world around them.

One of our very favorite ways to get outside and have some family fun is to do a scavenger hunt. It requires almost no effort on your part (always my favorite kind of activity) and is sure to keep the kids busy for a while! This simple nature scavenger hunt will be something they’ll ask to do again and again!

What is a Nature Scavenger Hunt?

Simple – it’s just a little piece of paper with a list of things for your kids to find out in nature. It can be really easy (like trees, clouds, and grass) or harder for the big kids (like specific flowers or bugs!). I have a four year old and a nine year old, so I like to make our scavenger hunts somewhere in the middle. Easy enough that the four year old doesn’t get frustrated, but challenging enough that my older son still has fun!

I put together this little nature scavenger hunt printable to celebrate the beginning of March (and the impending arrival of spring!) with my kids. I thought I’d share it here with you, too!

All you need to do is click this link and you’ll be shown the PDF download of the scavenger hunt. Print out as many as you need and let the kids go to town!

What’s On the Nature Scavenger Hunt?

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on the (free!) printable nature scavenger hunt:

  • Leaf
  • Stick
  • Butterfly
  • Ant pile
  • Acorn
  • Snail
  • Pill bug
  • Bird
  • Ladybug
  • Flower
  • Spider web
  • Squirrel

I included things I knew our kids would be able to track down easily enough in our neighborhood. You may want to create your own list, if this one doesn’t fit. Here are some ideas…

For Toddlers

For littler ones, I’d include things like…

  • Cloud
  • The sun
  • Grass
  • Trees
  • A dog on a leash
  • A house
  • Car
  • A round rock
  • Smooth rock
  • Bumpy rock
  • Brown leaf
  • Green leaf

…you get the idea! Focus on textures, colors, and things you know they’ll be able to find easily!

For Older Kids

If you want to challenge your kiddos, here are some ideas for you…

  • Specific types of cars
  • Specific types of bugs
    • Beetle
    • Ant
    • Fly
    • Spider
    • Moth
  • Animal tracks
  • Berries
  • Mushrooms
  • Specific trees

Alternatively, you could do a list of descriptors and let your kids interpret it! Things like…

  • Something red
  • Something that you think is a treasure
  • A big rock
  • A tiny rock
  • Something smooth
  • Something rough
  • A piece of litter
  • A treasure

…and on and on!

A simple nature scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage your kids to get outside and move their bodies. Click here to download my printable version! And you don’t even have to print it out if you don’t want to – just grab a piece of paper and write (or draw) the items they need to find!

I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. What other ways do you like to get the kids outside and engaged in the spring?

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