Nature Study Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Jun 12, 2013

Today is Day 3 of my 5-day series on Summertime Nature Studies. This series is a part of the iHomeschool Network Summer Hopscotch 2013

Summer offers a perfect opportunity for Nature Scavenger Hunts. The weather is warm and there are plenty of daylight hours to make a great game of hunting items. Your scavenger hunt can be planned for only your children, the neighborhood kids or your homeschool group. 

You can make a nature scavenger hunt as elaborate or simple as you'd like but the process is the same either way.
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Planning a Scavenger Hunt

Participants: Decide who will be participating and build your scavenger hunt around that. You'll want to consider the ages of the children, for instance. While older children may enjoy difficult-to-find items, this may frustrate younger children. If you're working with a large group of children, perhaps they could form teams, grouping younger children with older ones.

Location: Do a little research on your location to create your list of items to be hunted. (While they may be able to hunt for a "rose petal" in your yard, they're not likely to find that if they're hunting in a sand pine scrub!) 

Duration and prizes: How long will the hunt last? Will there be prizes for all participants? Will it be a contest? Be sure to think through these things while planning.

Collection Scavenger Hunt

This is a more traditional way of conducting scavenger hunt. The children go out and collect things on a list. Some ideas are:

  • Grasshoppers and beetles
  • Leaves from trees
  • Wildflowers
  • Mushrooms
  • Frogs, toads, and lizards
  • Feathers
  • Pinecones
  • Rocks
  • Seashells and seaweed
  • Berries (no eating them unless identified as safe!)

Photography Scavenger Hunt

I like these because they don't disturb the natural eco-system. The goal here is to photograph rather than collect. In addition to taking photos the things you could collect, you can photograph larger things such as ..

  • Animal tracks
  • Squirrels (or other small animals)
  • Birds at a bird bath or birdfeeder
  • Sunsets and sunrises
  • Mountains
  • Waterfalls
  • The ocean

Bucket List Scavenger Hunt

This is a rather neat concept. The idea isn't to gather but to do, much like a bucket list. Some ideas might be...

  • Swim in a lake
  • Climb a tree
  • Go hiking
  • Use a compass to find your way around an area.
  • Look at pond water under a microscope
  • Draw a flower 
  • Make a leaf rubbing
  • Watch a sunrise and describe it in writing

Be sure you keep a nature journal and use your notebooking pages for writing descriptions of activities and drawing pictures.

Summer Nature Study Bundle from Shining Dawn Books

You can find a variety of Charlotte Mason style nature unit studies at Shining Dawn Books. The summer bundles (3 unit study ebooks) are only $21.00!

This post is a part of iHomeschool Network's Summer Hopscotch 2013.
Go see what the other bloggers are writing about this week!

Birdbath photo credit: Joanie49

Happy Homeschooling!

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