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How to go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt with Kids (FREE Printable!)

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)!

nature scavenger hunt for kids, free printable

**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.

Camping scavenger hunt

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.

Supplies Needed


  1. Download the Nature Scavenger Hunt file (available at the end of this post) to your computer.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

16 dry-erase scavenger hunts for kids marker included

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:

  • Ants
  • Sticks
  • Leaves
Nature Scavenger Hunt, Activities, Kids

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:

  • Berries
  • Thorns
  • Butterflies

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.

nature exploration kit, nature explorer badge, nature scavenger hunt

Would you like to download the free printable? Click the button, below, to sign up for our newsletter and gain access to the freebie library. Once subscribed, you will receive an email with instructions to access the library.

If you have any problems signing up, please send an email to, and I will sign you up manually.

nature scavenger hunt for kids, free printable
If you liked this activity for kids, you may also like:

More Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Bridget Burger

Thursday 29th of June 2023

Hello I would love to use this at our outdoor program in Iceland- we will need to translate into Icelandic. Can we get an editable version? Thanks¨Bridget

Lora Green

Monday 3rd of July 2023

Hi Bridget! I'm sorry we don't have an editable version. My apologies!


Friday 24th of June 2022

Please send me downloadable scavenger hunt pages

Lora Green

Friday 1st of July 2022

Hi, Mimi! I sent you an email :)

Nicole Jones

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Thank you for the scavenger hunt!

Lora Green

Friday 3rd of September 2021

You're welcome! Have fun!

Lauren Van Coutren

Monday 17th of May 2021



Monday 26th of April 2021

I’m not seeing the download?

Lora Green

Monday 26th of April 2021

Hi Amanda! Did you subscribe to the newsletter? Once subscribed, you will receive an email with instructions to access the Printable Library.