Scavenger hunts can be enjoyed at any time of year and offer a fantastic way to teach children about the natural world, as you tailor the activity to the season and your surroundings. Perfect for those with a curious mind and a sense of adventure!
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Take backpacks if you plan to collect items from your scavenger hunt, but remember to only take things that have already fallen, such as sticks, fallen leaves and acorns. Children can even make a collage with their collected items when you get home. For items that can’t be collected, why not take photos instead?
About the activity
Start by asking the children to create a scavenger hunt tick list. Provide pens and paper as you talk about the list together: What time of year is it? Where are you going to go and what are you likely to find? If it’s summer, you could look for buttercups, daisies, butterflies, bees and leaves…. In the winter, you could look for sticks, pine cones, acorns and squirrels. The children might like to draw pictures as you come up with ideas.
Scavenger hunts can have all sorts of different themes. You could look out for the nearest bus stop, lamp post, bench and road signs, or make a list of different types of transport to spot. Another example could be a list of ‘people who help us’, where children could set out to find the local fire station, police station and GP surgery – a great way to teach children about your local community and have an adventure at the same time!
Ask the children which theme they’d like for their scavenger hunt and where they’d prefer to go. You could even make a map together before you set off!