Today’s tip includes a nature scavenger hunt customized for the mountains of southern CA that should, maybe with minor tweaks, work elsewhere as well. While I generally prefer more sustained tasks like gardening and building as a context for nature connection and nature science, scavenger hunts are also fun ways to learn.

Please remember that you are a key part of the context for your child(ren)’s learning. One of the reasons that home schooling can be more effective and fun than public school is the small learner/facilitator ratio. This allows you to do a lot of customized scaffolding. Scaffolding can include both:

(1) support to help your child(ren) complete the task (e.g., reading the items, helping them remember what they’re looking for, helping them find things on the list), and

(2) pulling them beyond the task based on their abilities (e.g., what does the rock you found feel like? how can lichen grow on a rock?).

Nature Scavenger Hunt

  • A stick on the ground the bends
  • A stick on the ground that breaks (fuel)
  • A stick on the ground with lichen growing on it
  • A rough rock
  • A smooth rock
  • A hard rock
  • A rock you can crumble in your hands
  • A rock with lichen on it
  • A pretty flower and learn its name
  • A pine tree that smells like vanilla
  • A live tree
  • A dead tree
  • A sick tree
  • Something turning into dirt
  • A spiral
  • Something that branches that isn’t a tree
  • A bug, count its legs if you can
  • A shadow
  • As much trash as you can
  • As many different kinds of leaves as you can
  • As many different kinds of seeds as you can

As always, please post questions, suggestions or other comments below.

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