Nature scavenger hunts are really fun and can be very educational as well!
Check out these nature scavenger hunt invitations you can print out and send to each guest:
When starting with the scavenger hunt, divide everyone into teams and give each team a list full of things the kids need to find in nature. For younger kids you'll need an adult with each team.
On the list you can write things that the kids need to actually collect, and other things that can't be collected and can be photographed with a digital camera or even on video. Here's an example of a list of things the kids need to collect during the beach scavenger hunt:
- A pinecone
- A flower
- Leaves from 3 different trees
- An acorn or nut
- A seed
- Something that is red
- A piece of wood
- Something shiny
- 3 different colored stones
- Something made out of plastic
- A feather
- Something that begins with the first letter of the birthday kid's name
- A Y-shaped twig
- A blade of grass
- A leaf with insect holes in it
- Some mud
- A clover
- Sap from a tree or plant
- A bag full of as much trash you can pick up
If you want to make things a bit harder for older kids, you can add things to the list that have a specific color, touch, smell, sound, or any other characteristic; for example "a flower with a strong smell", "something that has a soft texture", etc.
To spice things up, you can add things to the list the kids will need to either photograph or video-tape. Here are a few examples of photographs and/or video scenes the kids need to come back with:
- A bird
- Deer tracks (or any other animal tracks)
- A butterfly
- A snail
- An ant hill
- A worm from closeup
- A field of flowers
- A pine tree (or any other specific tree)
- A person's footprint in the mud
- The whole team needs to smear mud on their faces and all be photographed together smiling
- Teammate/s hugging a tree
- A teammate doing a handstand with their back to a tree
- As many teammates as possible on a tree
- A closeup of all the kids with a flower in their hair or in their mouth
- All kids holding a bug and making a funny face
- A teammate standing next to a bird
- Teammate/s swinging on a branch of a tree
The following examples are only for video-taping:
- The whole team singing a song that has to do with nature
- Entire team needs to act out like monkeys while running after each other and around trees
- All teammates howling like wolves/roaring like lions/neighing like horses (etc.) while on four
Another nice nature scavenger hunt idea is to put tasks on the list that are creative, like making a rock or tree rubbing (when you put a piece of paper on a surface and with a crayon rub on it to capture the texture of the surface). A nature hunt can be a very educational activity. On the list add things the kids might not know, like specific trees, birds, leaves, etc.
With each list you give out, hand out a pamphlet or a few pages with pictures of each specific tree/bird/etc. with a small explanation so that the kids can learn about each specific tree/bird/etc. and that way learn new things about nature throughout the scavenger hunt.
Here's a blank nature printable to make your own nature scavenger hunt list as well as a worded one:
You can also create your own list, one that might be closer to the outdoor area you are in. "Nature" is a very broad word, there are so many different kinds of outdoor settings in nature, different kinds of trees, plants, wild animals, etc.
When the hunt is over, a great keepsake is to make a scrapbook full of pictures that were taken on each of the nature scavenger hunts or a small video showing a few fun scenes that were filmed during the scavenger hunt.
You can also send out a picture to each guest with thank-you cards. Here are some great nature scavenger hunts thank-you cards you can print and send out:
You'll also find more scavenger hunt for kids ideas on the Main Scavenger Hunt Ideas Page.
Nature scavenger hunts are only one of many cool scavenger hunt themes. Don't forget to check out all of our other scavenger hunts:
- Neighborhood & Park Scavenger Hunt
- Beach Scavenger Hunt
- Mall Scavenger Hunt
- Photo Scavenger Hunt
- Video Camera Scavenger Hunt
Your Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Lots of visitors from around the world have contributed to this site their ideas for planning a scavenger hunt! Click here to see another page full with lots more visitor-submitted Scavenger Hunt ideas.