It’s February half term and after a rather miserable start, today is dry and much brighter. A perfect opportunity for you to get the kids outside, running around, and wearing down some of their energy. To help you with a bit of inspiration we thought we’d share an activity from Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities.
This activity is a very flexible one. Whether you live in the centre of a town or out in the country you’ll be able to design a scavenger hunt that suits your environment. It’s also perfect for just one child, or for a whole group of them.
Find out more about what is around you.
■ Play individually, in pairs or in small groups.
■ Each group is given a pre-prepared list of objects to find at the site (see example left).
■ Send the groups out to see what they can find in a set period of time.
■ Celebrate and share what they have found.
■ Send different groups out in different directions to get to know the lie of the land, introducing the concept of north, south, east and west.
■ Rather than gathering the objects, ask them to draw them, e.g. a blue flower, a deer track.
■ Set up the game as a series of challenges – the adult has the list, but the players are only told the next item when they have found the one before.
■ Use artistic licence to create a magical, imaginative scavenger hunt that can lead to storytelling activities and free play. For example, find something which could be an elf’s hat, a gnome’s beard, a giant’s ear or a fairy’s wing.
This is an effective game to familiarise players with their environment. It gets everyone exploring while engaged on a mission, cultivating curiosity about nature and the story of a place. It introduces such themes as identification, sensory awareness and ecology. It opens up inquisitive minds and sharpens observation skills.
■ What other creatures live here?
■ What signs would they leave behind them?
■ Where would we find them?
■ What do they eat and who or what eats them?
Learning with Nature is written by Marina Robb, Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson. They are highly experienced Forest School instructors who have tried and tested these games and activities with a wide range of children and adults.