Nature Scavenger Hunt

The Great Outdoors. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but there is nothing more fun to do than play outside together as a family. One of our favorite things to do outside, no matter the weather? Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt!

With a little bit of prep work, you can create your very own personalized Nature Scavenger Hunt to focus on certain learning concepts and vocabulary that your kiddos are working on. All you need to do is think about 10 things that you predict you will come across while out on your adventure. Just keep in mind the differences that would occur between walking around the neighborhood compared to a forest preserve.

I make copies of this cute little card to keep track of our nature adventures. It is really simple to do. Just draw or attach an image of an eye on a piece of paper and then write down some “I Spy with My Little Eye” ideas!


In the neighborhood…



Yellow flowers

White clouds

Brown fence

Blue car

Red stop sign

In the forest preserve…


Furry animals (squirrels, rabbits, even elk in our area!)

Running water

Tree stumps

Path markers


Animal tracks

To make our nature scavenger hunts a little bit more fun, we include as many props as possible, from nets to binoculars. They might just be from the Dollar Store, but they work surprisingly well and my boys love them!

Take a hike in Chicagoland and go on your own unique scavenger hunt! Here are our favorite hiking trails!

Enjoy scavenging!
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    • amandasimkin says

      Or you could just be like me and use images from the Internet. My drawing is not so great.

  1. Sage says

    What a fun and whimsical idea! This is a perfect spring activity and I can imagine kids find it to be a lot of fun. I love these sorts of simple ideas that show with a little creativity, you don’t need to spend money to have fun. I almost wish my stepson was 5 years younger ; -)

  2. Kerri says

    This is such a great idea and you can adapt it to where ever you are going for the day. With the weather finally warming up I will be taking my girls for walks and we will be going to the park often. This will be something to keep them entertained and keep their eyes peeled for new items.

    • amandasimkin says

      It’s a fun way to work on vocabulary, too, no matter where you are. Can’t you tell I am a teacher?

  3. jared's mum says

    sure is a very wonderful way to spend time outdoors! wow, am sure everyone enjoys your fun i spy activity. apart from getting your dose of sunshine, this will not only educate + entertain the kiddos, but will also help raise them to love and appreciate nature!

  4. Christi from says

    This is such a great idea. I will have to try this when we go out on our weekend hikes with the kids. Also, I use to live in Chicagoland and I would like to recommend trying some of the western suburbs like Naperville and beyond for adventures.

    • amandasimkin says

      Naperville is a bit of a hike for us but we LOVE the DuPage Children’s Museum. They had an awful flood and I hope they can reopen soon. Luckily we visited the week before their accident!

      Do you have any favorite places in that area?

  5. Terri Ramsey Beavers says

    I’ve been trying to find things to do next week while the kids are out of school and I’ve just added a nature scavenger hunt to my list. The kids will LOVE this as they would rather be outdoors than indoors. I’m just praying this storm moves along soon.

  6. Michelle Hwee says

    You know what. I used to have these little scavenger hunts so often when I was younger. Now that kids have social media and all these devices, I don’t think they do it as much as they should anymore just because they don’t get to go outdoors or prefer not to. I have younger cousins that would love this idea! They are definitely nature lovers! I will be doing this with them when it gets a little warmer 🙂

    • amandasimkin says

      I notice the same thing with older family members…thankfully my boys find being outside to be the most fun of all!

  7. Fi Ní Neachtáin says

    This is such a lovely idea for an outdoor activity. I’d love to have a nature scavenger hunt with my little one when he’s older and can identify things better. It’d be a lot of fun and a great way to teach him about the great outdoors around him 🙂

  8. Myrabev says

    I used to do a lot of nature scavenger hunt when I was a kid with my siblings now I am an adult I miss it but can not wait to do it more when I have kids.

  9. Krystal says

    My toddler would just LOVE this activity. It is getting warmer in my area, so I know that this would be a worthy activity. I wonder if I could do this at the beach and substitute some of the items. We could even go bird or dolphin watching!

  10. Yona Williams says

    Nature scavenger hunts are so much fun! For one of my nephew’s class projects, he had to go on a scavenger hunt and it was to mostly find different types of leaves, seeds, pods etc. I went with him, and it was a lot of fun. I learned about the various types of trees we had in our neck of the woods that I had never stopped to think about or know what they were called.

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