science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists

Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt

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Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt

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  • bag for collecting
  • treasure list

1. Walk with your kids in an area that has some forest. If you can include crossing a stream, walking near a wetland or adding a leg through an open meadow that’s even better.

2. Give them each a list of things to collect (you can tape/staple it on the outside of the their bag). Some suggestions of things that it won’t hurt collecting: pine cone (a couple of different sizes), pine needle, pebble, leaf, blade of grass, piece of root, different color field flowers (i.e. white flower, yellow flower, etc.), an acorn or other tree seed, etc.

3. Point out the interesting features of your trail. Show them:

  • How to stop and listen to the sounds of the forest - birds, insects, wind, water, etc. and ask them what The different between deciduous leaves and conifer needles (and how they are different)
  • Lichens on rocks and talk about how they help break rocks down (and are the favorite food of caribou and reindeer).
  • Mushrooms and how they are important decomposers.
  • Fallen logs and how they help nurse along seeds, provide home for animals and return vital nutrients to the forest floor.
  • Woodpecker holes in trees and how they excavate for insects.
  • Ferns and how they give off spores instead of seeds.
  • Nests and feathers of birds, scats and tracks of mammals, webs of spiders, stumps from beavers.
  • Anmals you might see: newt, toad, frog, crayfish, snail, slug, butterfly, etc. Show how to observe without touching.

4. When you get back to home base have them empty out their collection bags and talk about the things they each collected. Use them later in one of the nature art activities.


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