Ready to let your children explore the outdoors? Learn how to go on a nature scavenger hunt with the whole family. Download this free printable scavenger hunt for kids and set up a fun outdoor experience in minutes.
Our cottage-style home backs up to a winding creek and my kids love exploring along the creek banks. Whether searching for critters or collecting oddly-shaped rocks, our backyard is an opportunity to learn, discover, and explore. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to integrate activities that enrich nature exploration, such as a printable Nature Scavenger Hunt for kids.
Are you a scavenger hunt fan? Check out our new site, Scavenger Hunt Ideas (click here)!
**Note: This post was originally written as a guest post for Beauty in the Mess.
Don’t have a winding creek in your backyard? No worries! This Nature Scavenger Hunt for kids is designed for a variety of outdoor experiences (whether exploring a fenced backyard, playing at the park, or hiking in the mountains).
Scavenger Hunts Entertain Kids while Camping and Hiking
Does your family love to camp or hike? One of our favorite weekend activities is trying a new trail at a local park. When we vacation, we love to include hikes at National Parks in our itinerary (we’re trying to check off each park on these National Park posters).
At 10 and 6, my kids sometimes need a little encouragement to keep them engaged on long hikes. We’ll pull out our Nature Scavenger Hunt set and present them with a challenge (ex: let’s see how quickly we can complete the entire card!).
When camping, you might need to entertain the kids for a bit – whether it is while you’re setting up the tent, cooking over the fire, or just trying to relax. Give them a Camping Scavenger Hunt and tell them to search the campgrounds for backpacks, picnic tables, roasting sticks and more.
Did you know? All of our Scavenger Hunt Games include the picture and the word so that any kid can play, even if they haven’t learned to read.
Unlike larger games and toys, it’s easy to pack scavenger hunts in travel bags. Print out your favorite scavenger hunts before you leave (or order our dry-erase versions) and pack them in your backpack with some pens and pencils.
While you’re at it, fill that backpack with a few other family-friendly activities. Try this camping journal, a hiking planner, a DIY flower press, or a nature exploration kit… you’ll be prepared for all kinds of family fun!
How to make a Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services.
- Grab the FREE Printable (available at the end of this post)
- White Cardstock
- Printer and Ink
- Branch and Twig Colored Pencils (totally optional, but totally fun!)
- Download the Nature Scavenger Hunt file (available at the end of this post) to your computer.
- Print the Nature Scavenger Hunt onto white cardstock, creating as many copies as you’d like. After all, this nature exploration activity can be enjoyed over and over, through the spring, summer, and fall months!
- Hand your child(ren) a bark-covered color pencil, the Nature Scavenger Hunt, and let them start exploring.
Don’t want to make your own? No problem! Grab a dry-erase nature scavenger hunt from my Amazon shop. The set ships free and includes a total of 16 scavenger hunt games.
How to take a Nature Scavenger Hunt with Kids
First, go outside! And, yes, just about anywhere will do. This nature scavenger hunt includes backyard-friendly items, such as:
However, if you’re heading on a hike through the mountains, this Nature Scavenger Hunt is a great take-along activity, too! Find nature items, such as:
Each time your child finds an item, they can mark an X over the picture. I love to use a set of twig color pencils to complement the nature theme. Encourage the kids to find as many items as possible, or to complete a full row of nature pictures (think five-in-a-row or BINGO style).
Your kids will have a blast (and you might just enjoy it, too) as they mark off each item found in nature.
Would you like to download the free printable? Enter your email in the form below to subscribe and gain access to the freebie library. Once subscribed, you will receive an email with instructions to access the library.
If you liked this activity for kids, you may also like:
- Learn how to make a DIY Flower Press, it’s a simple nature craft for kids (or adults!).
- Take the kids on a Nature Adventure! Click over to this post for 6 nature adventure ideas, including a nature explorer kit.
- Learn how to make a DIY Kids Nature Kit. This simple project makes a perfect birthday gift, encouraging nature exploration, and creative play.
- Take scavenger hunt games on the road, with a FREE Travel Scavenger Hunt. (P.S. Going to New York? I also have a Travel Scavenger Hunt specifically for New York City).
- Looking for activities for kids? Don’t miss this gigantic list of 50+ Boredom Buster Templates and Printables.
More Scavenger Hunt Ideas