Posted by: Jacquie Fisher   

Winter Scavenger Hunt printable list

Use this free printable Winter Scavenger Hunt list to explore seasonal changes in nature!

My kids will be the first to tell you that no matter the weather, we get some outdoor time every day.

It's definately more of a challenge during Winter -- the colder weather and being all bundled up puts a little kink in tree climbing and some of our animal observations but there's still a LOT you can explore.

Challenge your kids to get outside this week with this free Winter Scavenger Hunt list and learn how much happens during the cold weather!

 

Winter Scavenger Hunt {with printable list!}

One of the things I LOVE most about this scavenger hunt is that so many kids thinks that there's "not much to see" in the Winter.

Actually, you can see SO much more during the Winter months!

Without leaves on many of the trees, you can easily see who's scurring about for food. You can also hear quite a bit more without the leaves rustling.

And if you're lucky to have snow on the ground, you can also scout out animal tracks.  We're including links to some of our favorite winter activities, science terms you can introduce to your kids and affiliate links to books and items we love to have on our scavenger hunts too.

 

         

Before you head out, we'd like to recommend a few awesome books about fun things you can find in the Winter:

Winter Walk -- enjoy an outdoor adventure as a Grandmother takes her grandkids out to explore the hidden gems of winter.  I love the Winter Trivia & additional activities section included in this book!

Over and Under the Snow -- is a favorite of ours and part of the amazing Over & Under nature series!  See how various animals spend the winter months whether it's surviving over the snow and spying on those that live under it.

It's Winter -- perfect for younger children (toddlers and preschoolers) with colorful illustrations and details about how animal life, weather and clothing change with the season.

 

You can use this scavenger hunt in a few ways --

  • bring along a pencil and a clipboard and check off the items as you find them.  If you have more than one child going with your, just grab a set of colored pencils and have them each claim a color as their check off the items!
  • or take along your phone and use this as a guide for a Winter photo scavenger hunt!  This is a little more challenging -- taking photos of the various items -- so it's a great fit if you have older kids.  See our Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt for kids' photography skills and lessons.

 

We included a few 'easy' items on the list that you can check off right as you walk out the door -- boots, mittens, a hat -- a way to encourage everyone to dress for the weather ;)

These first few items should also remind kids they need to look up, down and all around to find the scavenger hunt items.

 

In winter, there's not as many colorful nature items to see as there are during other seasons.

Even most of the animals seem to blend in -- which makes it a great time to introduce the term "camouflauge" to your kids.

But everyone once in a while, you can spot a glimpse of color like these red berries.  Many bushes will still have berries on them after their leaves have fallen so be sure to crouch down and peek in forest and wooded areas.

 

And while you're looking down, try to find some brown leaves, pinecones and even animal tracks!

Animal tracks are easy to see if you have snow, mud or sand (here's a guide on How to Find Animal Tracks in Winter).  You're likely to find them near water or treed areas where they look for food and take shelter during the colder nights.

 

And be sure to impress that you can find more than one item at a time -- use those observation skills to the max!

For example, we found snow, bare trees and a bird all in one spot :)

If you are able to spy a cardinal or other bird that stays in your area year-round, introduce the idea of 'migration' vs 'adaptation' to your kids.

Animals such as songbirds and geese will migrate - travel to a warmer climate during the colder months.  Other animals like deer and cardinals will adapt to their current location by growing a warmer coat or feather layer.

And if you have kids who love those feathered creatures, try some of the 15 Bird Activities & Crafts for Kids.

 

I think one of the most challenging things to find on the scavenger hunt is the sun! 

And then there are items your kids may be surprised at -- things they might not have noticed before like smoke coming from a house's chimney. 

Plus the one challenge box on the scavenger hunt:  Something you ONLY see in Winter -- and don't let them use 'snow', it's too easy ;)

Push your kids to use their observation skills to go deeper --

maybe ice or icicles? 

Or the scarf they are wearing? 

Even something like "my breath" since chances are the temps are cold enough that they can see the condensation (water vapor) that's formed when they exhale.

 

 

Download your own Winter Scavenger Hunt and enjoy an outdoor adventure together!

 

More Winter Activities & Scavenger Hunt Ideas:

33 Fun Things to do this Winter

50 Free Scavenger Hunts for Kids

 

 

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