Organising a woodland scavenger hunt for your little ones? Whether you’re planning a family camping trip, a school class activity or a scouts/brownies group trip, a nature scavenger hunt for kids is a great way to experience the outdoors and have a little fun whilst doing it! A woodland scavenger hunt provides a wealth of opportunities for outdoor and active fun with families who have an urge to explore. But where do you start? Find out how to plan a scavenger hunt for kids and what to include below.
How to plan a scavenger hunt
Before you get started, you need to know how to plan a scavenger hunt effectively. Start by choosing your location and make sure it’s a public area, or get permission if you’re heading onto private property. Your scavenger hunt can be tailored to a back garden or even the local park – the choice is yours! Wherever you go, you need to scope out the surroundings for potential challenges and activities for your little ones to complete while you’re out and about. And when the time comes, split up the adults in the party to supervise the children and offer guidance.
Print off an activity sheet with tick boxes and comment sections for the young explorers to fill out as they head off on their nature scavenger hunt. For the smaller kids, bring along your kids’ rucksacks for them to carry and store their discovered treasures along the way! And remember, it might be muddy so pick up some kids’ outdoor footwear to prepare for the weather, too.
The hardest part when planning an outdoor scavenger hunt is choosing what to look for, because keeping the kids interested is a high priority. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite ideas, split across two levels of difficulty to make it a little easier.
Fun nature scavenger hunt ideas for your little ones
Taking your little ones out for a mini adventure? Keeping them on the lookout for common outdoor objects that aren’t too difficult or frustrating to find will help keep them interested and will ensure their safety, too. Here are some ideas to add to your scavenger hunt list for toddlers:
• 5 stones of all different sizes
• The biggest leaf
• A red flower
• The biggest rock
• 3 sticks
• A butterfly
• An acorn
• Identify the foods that are eaten by animals – including berries, greenery and more
• Draw a picture of a tree
Top tip: Be sure to carry a camera for those items on the list that can’t be picked up! You can collate them in a photo journal and keep the memories.
Outdoor scavenger hunt list for the budding explorer
These outdoor scavenger hunt ideas are a little more challenging for the older groups, but no less fun! With a little more note taking and a few more specifics to look out for, get the kids learning a bit more about the outdoors with these nature scavenger hunt ideas.
• Identify 3 species of wildflower and make a note of them. Take a look at our children’s guide to wildflowers for help with identifying flowers on your outdoor scavenger hunt.
• Find 2 species of tree and note them down.
• Hike to the top of a hill and draw what you can see.
• Find a y-shaped twig.
• Pick up the most unusual shaped leaf you can find.
• Make a note of all the noises you hear as you go.
Other outdoor games for kids
Looking for something to finish off your outdoor scavenger hunt? Keep your children occupied with some fun outdoor games for kids to spend some extra time in the fresh air.
• Sifting for gold – the children are gold miners who are looking for rocks that you’ve painted gold! The first to find 5 is the winner.
• Forty forty – one child is “It” and a base is chosen, like a tree or a lamppost. The other children must run and hide while “It” counts to a certain number. The players must try to get back to the base without being seen by “It”, shouting “forty forty home” if they make it. If “It” sees someone, they must run back to base, touch it and say “forty forty I see [name]” and where they’ve spotted them.
• Kickin’ croquet – build your own croquet course with halved hula hoops – just make sure that the arches are high enough to kick a ball through! If you don’t want to tally up points for the number of wickets passed, simply call out colours and have them kick the balls through the matching arches!
Preparing for your nature scavenger hunt
Nature scavenger hunts can get a little muddy, so preparing for your outdoor adventure is vital to keeping your little ones safe and protected from the elements. Come rain or shine, our range of kids’ outdoor clothing is the best way to ready them for their next adventure.