Summer is in full swing now, which means it’s time to seriously figure out what to do with a house full of kids before they resort to video games all day. Our house rule in the summer is that the kids have to spend at least one hour outdoors before they can pick up an ipad. I don’t want them to spend time outside just because they have to, though. I want them to be really excited about the time they spend outside, so that someday those positive childhood memories will instill a love of nature and outdoor activity in their teenage and adult selves. This summer scavenger hunt printable is something I love to keep handy for nice summer days!
Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to get the kids interested in the world right outside our door. It makes them look at everything more closely and discover things they would normally look right past. I love seeing children completely engrossed in the world around them, taking in the simple wonders of nature!
The most important part of a nature scavenger hunt is the exploring, so don’t rush kids to the finish line! Let them examine stones and play with sticks and twigs. Give them time to poke around in the dirt and answer all the questions that you can. Preserving our local landscapes and wildlife will someday be up to them, and what better way to make sure the future generation takes care of our planet than to help them realize what a wonderful place it is! An outdoor scavenger hunt is all about discovery! This campfire one is especially great for local hikes, parks or camping. Just click the image below to download and print your Campfire Scavenger Hunt Printable!
The items on this campfire scavenger hunt printable are easy enough to find on a walk around the neighborhood, and can add a more challenging aspect to a nature hike. I normally laminate these sheets so that we can use them over and over again. Once laminated you can write on them with a dry erase marker and erase it later on.
Want to make it even more fun? Try these scavenger hunt tricks:
- Bring a paper bag along to collect scavenger hunt items. You can use them later on to make a memory jar or craft.
- Back at home challenge kids to recreate an animal habitat (birds nest, rabbit burrow, fox den) to learn more about how local wildlife lives.
- Take pictures of the plants and wildlife you see to identify later on at home.
- Don’t have a real campfire? Make a pretend fire indoors, and swap roasting marshmallows for a s’mores dip made in the oven!
Have a great scavenger hunt suggestion? Leave it in the comments below!