A nature scavenger hunt for little ones
With all this lovely weather we are having, I am desperate to make the most of it. So last week I decided to do a nature scavenger hunt with Pinky and Boo. I thought it would be nice doing something special with my three yr olds on their own.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make my own scavenger hunt, as the children, being only three, would need pictures rather than words, which would take time. So I searched my favourite place for ideas…Pinterest! There I found a great scavenger hunt from thebirdfeedernyc.com. I printed off a copy for each of them, then found a cutting board each and some clips, to make them both a clip board.
I am very lucky to have Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre just round the corner from us. It is a great place for walking and discovering nature. So we packed up a picnic, got our clipboards ready and off we went.
Pinky and Boo were loving walking around the beautiful lake with their clipboards tucked under their arms, ready to tick off their findings. They were so excited to have their first sighting of something from their list, they squealed with delight! They got their pencil and ticked off ‘bird’. Being a lake, there were many different types, from ducks to geese to small birds. I think birds got ticked off many times over!
We found ants, flying bugs, green leaves, brown leaves, flowers, sticks in the shape of a Y and many more things. We found a log to walk along and jump from, as well as tree roots to balance on. We all had a fantastic time hunting for nature and really looking at what goes on in our real natural world, that we often don’t notice.
We can all take nature for granted sometimes. Doing this activity, made me realise how little I teach my children about nature. We are often going for walks in the forest, on a beach etc, but it hadn’t occurred to me, I don’t always explain what we see, to them. I just took it for granted, they would know what a tree root was, but they didn’t. So we had lots of fun discovering the many tree roots around the lake.
Our nature scavenger hunt was a very basic one, which I felt was appropriate for their age, but as they get older, I will do more complex hunts for them, finding specific birds, flowers etc. But in the mean time, we had great fun looking for basic stuff, as well as looking for ‘trolls’ under the bridge.
We didn’t manage to find all of the things on our list, even the one thing I thought, would have been a given, ‘cloud’. There was not a cloud in the sky. Never mind, it just shows how changeable nature is and gives us the incentive to go and do another hunt later in the summer. I would also like to do a scavenger hunt in each of the seasons, as there are so many different things to see in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
We enjoyed our picnic by the lake, followed by a play in the playground. It was so nice to spend some special time with my three-year olds alone, whilst getting out in the gorgeous sunshine at such a beautiful, natural, quiet location. We all loved it!