FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt {with printable!}

Get out to explore with this FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt with printable checklist!

We love to get out and explore new places as a family -- whether it's hiking a new trail, going on a scavenger or finding a new playground!

Print off this outdoor scavenger hunt and learn about some awesome park activities near you too!


 

Nature Scavenger Hunt printable checklist for outdoor hunt!

Nature Scavenger Hunt List {w/free printable}

Today's highlight is an Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt that's perfect for your next park visit, hiking adventure or walk in the woods!

Scavenger hunts are such a great activity -- either as a group or even a friendly competition.

We also enjoy taking this Playground Scavenger Hunt with us during the summer when we scout out new places to play.

Outdoor scavenger hunts add that extra plus of allowing the whole family to relax in nature for a while.

 printable outdoor nature scavenger hunt for kids and teens

Tips for your Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt:

Here are a few lessons we've learned from our many scavenger hunt adventures along with affiliate links for items we like to have with us:

  • Bring along a clipboard so it's easy to check off items as you see them.
  • Try to practice the 'leave no trace' policy -- meaning check off the items as you find them instead of collecting them to take with you.  Or better yet, use your phone and take a picture of each of the items on the list as you find them.
  • Notice our pencil choice?  We like to have bright colored pencils so when someone drops it, it's easy to find on the forest floor :) 
  • Have more than one person doing the hunt?  You can just bring along a different color pencil for each person so it's easy to track who found which item.
  • Remember, you'll be outside to dress accordingly (reminder for the kids) and bring along water & some snacks (these outdoor scavenger hunts always make us hungry!)

 

              

We also have a few favorite nature books -- always a great idea for story time before heading out on the hunt!

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature (this one is lovely year-round but especially in the Spring!)

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World -- perfect for kids of all ages (adults too!) this gorgeous book is a wonderful field guide to nature.

 

Spring Scavenger Hunt for Kids

 

I really wanted to offer some challenges for the hunt and also wanted to include some terms & items that would give an element of learning to the activity too. 

So you'll find terms like 'coniferous' tree -- which is any type of evergreen tree that has cones for their seeds.

And your kids will need to scout out moss on a tree -- they might just call it 'fuzzy green stuff' like our kids did until we told them it had an actually name :)

I also included some interesting challenges that require a good eye -- like "find animal tracks in the mud or dirt"!

 

Oh my gosh you guys!  Shoes!!

How did I forget to mention that in our tips list {smacks head!}

I'm going to go off on a tangent for a second because last month, we headed to a new trail to do some hiking but guess what we forgot to pack -- a pair of good outdoor shoes like these affordable Northside sports shoes for the whole family!

It was one of those mix-ups -- we had our hiking shoes in a bag and I thought my daughter grabbed the bag, she thought I grabbed the bag, we were trying to get our crazy dog into the car too and the next thing we knew, we were hiking in ....

... flip flops :(

Flip flops are NOT good hiking shoes!

We had to cut the hike short and both of us had blisters between our toes the next day. 

So be sure to wear a comfy pair of shoes.

 

We love having the hiking/water type shoes (also called sports shoes) because

1) they let your feet breathe so they don't get too hot and

2) you never know when you're going to come across a creek or pond and want to wade in :)

Plus, they dry out quickly too!

Northside Shoes was so great to send our family some of their amazing shoes so we could try them out.  They are super comfy, very versatile and fit really well.  I love the adjustable toggle strap on the front (and my daughter LOVES the pink camo colors :)

They're perfect if you're visiting an area with a creek or pond (psst... try these 20 Activities for a Day at the Pond or Lake if you do!)

 

Be sure to get in some outdoor exploring on your scavenger hunt --it's not all about checking off the boxes and going home. 

Enjoy some time together outdoors too.

That's why I included challenges like "a rock big enough to stand on" and "find a path into the woods"

If you're at the park, spend some time relaxing with these 30 Games to Play at the Park.

And I LOVE the last item on the list -- "something you didn't expect to see"!

We've run across a LOT of unexpected things on our park adventures --  we saw a coyote this week in the park near our school (I know, kinda scary but it was close to dusk and we know they live nearby)

And we've also encountered deer, snakes, a snapping turtle and a wild turkey!

Life can get really interesting near the woods :)

But the latest unexpected item was actually man-made --

 

A local Eagle Scout created a bee house and installed it in the park as part of his Eagle project.

How cool is that!!

With the recent plight of the honeybees, we're hoping that a colony might take up residence here this summer. 

Use these Honeybee Books & Activities with your kids to learn more about how to support these insects.

See, you never know what you'll find on a park visit.

 

 

Print off your FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt & get out to explore a park or trail near you!

 

More Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas:

Go on a Bug Hunt {free printable adventure}

20 Summer Scavenger Hunts

DIY Nature Journal with 50+ printable activities

 

 
5 Awesome Activities at Nature Centers Near Me
9 Favorite Children's Books about Summer Time

Comments

Guest - mami2jcn on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 14:54

We like to hike.

We like to hike.
Jacquie Fisher on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:05

We do too!

We do too!
Guest - Marilyn on Friday, 05 May 2017 03:14

We like to hike, play in streams, and have picnics!

We like to hike, play in streams, and have picnics!
Jacquie Fisher on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:07

Creek walks are the best!

Creek walks are the best!
Jenny on Friday, 05 May 2017 06:27

We love to find creatures. Our latest trip included frogs, ducks, fish and a few snakes!

We love to find creatures. Our latest trip included frogs, ducks, fish and a few snakes!
Jacquie Fisher on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:07

You are braver than I am Jenny! Snakes are not my favorite but we love feeding the ducks.

You are braver than I am Jenny! Snakes are not my favorite ;) but we love feeding the ducks.
Kathryn Roark on Friday, 05 May 2017 15:12

We live in Arizona, and my son is younger... so mostly at this point it's still just playing and trying to eat dirt and his favorite is slides and swings.

We live in Arizona, and my son is younger... so mostly at this point it's still just playing and trying to eat dirt and his favorite is slides and swings.
Jacquie Fisher on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:08

Eating dirt (lol!) The good news is he'll outgrow that and still want to visit the park

Eating dirt (lol!) The good news is he'll outgrow that and still want to visit the park ;)
Ruthie Mayers on Friday, 05 May 2017 17:04

Thank You for this printable, I will be able to use this for our family camping trip , with my 4-H group, and the YMCA program i do .

Thank You agian..

Thank You for this printable, I will be able to use this for our family camping trip , with my 4-H group, and the YMCA program i do . Thank You agian..
Jacquie Fisher on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:08

I'm so glad it's helpful Ruthie -- have an awesome time camping!

I'm so glad it's helpful Ruthie -- have an awesome time camping!
Guest - Heather on Saturday, 06 May 2017 02:22

We love to hike, play catch, throw the frisbee and baseballs with our lab and ride bikes!

We love to hike, play catch, throw the frisbee and baseballs with our lab and ride bikes!
soneile on Saturday, 06 May 2017 14:46

We like to check out the pond on one particular trail. ITs fun to see how it changes though the seasons.

We like to check out the pond on one particular trail. ITs fun to see how it changes though the seasons.
Tasha on Saturday, 06 May 2017 19:55

We love hiking and really taking our time to observe everything down to the smallest ant.

We love hiking and really taking our time to observe everything down to the smallest ant.
Guest - Jessica Medina on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 02:25

My family & I go on a Nature Walk every Thursday. It is a lot of fun and a great time to enjoy together!

My family & I go on a Nature Walk every Thursday. It is a lot of fun and a great time to enjoy together!
Guest - Laurajj on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 03:01

Oh we love exploring for wildlife! We love to hike and bike ride through one of our forest areas. We see tons of deer and turkeys...and we saw a coyote a couple months ago for the first time! I love the Bee house! I would love a couple like that in my yard!

Oh we love exploring for wildlife! We love to hike and bike ride through one of our forest areas. We see tons of deer and turkeys...and we saw a coyote a couple months ago for the first time! I love the Bee house! I would love a couple like that in my yard! :)
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