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Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned scavenger hunt? Take your party celebrations and energetic kiddos outdoors with this simple and enjoyable nature hunt game, thanks to the folk at Nature Play SA.

Nature scavenger hunts are great way to encourage exploration, discovery and excitement in children, inviting them to uncover wonderful treasures hidden all around them. For birthday celebrations, they can offer a more intriguing and creative activity than a simple search for hidden sweets. Armed with nothing but a list and paper-bag, children will be challenged to find a selection of natural items, which become innately precious through the act of discovery.

Scavenger hunt suggestions to collect

  • A sunset coloured leaf
  • A wand for a fairy
  • A chewed leaf
  • An interesting piece of bark
  • A seedpod or nut
  • 4 different shaped leaves
  • A magical pebble or stone
  • A crown or hat for a small frog
  • 3 different kinds of tiny flowers
  • A feather the colour of your eyes

PREPARATION

  1. Scavenger hunt list: use the list featured, download more designs from Nature Play SA, or create your own based on your party’s setting. Consider the seasons and check out the spot to get a good idea of what the children will find.
  2. Eco-friendly paper bags from the supermarket or online
  3. Print and cut out the lists, then glue to the bags
  4. As an alternative to printing and gluing the lists, have older birthday children write the list on each bag, perhaps even adding some extra ideas of their own.

ON THE DAY

Take children outside and provide some basic instruction before they set out to find their treasures. Children can play individually, pair up with others, or work in small teams. Consider having older children helping younger ones if they need some assistance with reading or hunting.

Alternatively, if you’d like to diffuse any competitive aspects and encourage deeper observation this game can be more informal in presentation – try leaving the bags in a basket, to be discovered in due course. Once a few have started, the others will gradually join in. Take some time to look at what’s been discovered as children finish their scavenger hunts.

Feeling inspired? Sign up for a Nature Play SA Family Membership for more practical ideas and inspiration to make nature play a part of your family’s everyday!

Nature Play SA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the time today’s generation of children spend playing outdoors in nature. Discover their Family Membership, nature play events, and other unique offerings for your tribe at natureplaysa.org.au

Instagram: @natureplaysa

Photography by Jason Tyndall