Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nature scavenger hunt for pre-school children

One of our favourite places to visit as a family is Center Parcs in Elveden Forest.  Every time we go I always feel that we should get off our bikes more often and spend a bit more time exploring the forest and trying to get Maisie, our daughter, more interested in the animals and natural surroundings there.

I thought instead of just going for a walk in the woods, I'd make a simple nature trail or scavenger hunt of things she had to spot along the way.

She loved the idea and wanted to set off with her wellies and fairy wings straight away.

It was lovely to see how her little 3 year old mind worked as she danced her way around the forest.  She would find one thing on the list and set about looking for that one thing before she considered ticking anything else off on the list.  It was at this point, I was glad I'd made it simple!

Having a list for her to tick things off was great for her observational skills - she was starting to 'look' instead of just skipping and dancing as she normally would.  It gave her a focus.

She spotted a bird's nest sitting in the edge of the lake...

... and a pile of logs.

She even found a tiny little flower amongst all the ferns and weeds.

I would thoroughly recommend a little nature trail in the woods like this.  Especially if you want to encourage observation and concentration skills in your little ones.

I've made a little jpeg image of our "Nature Hunt" around Elveden Forest.  If it would work better as a PDF please let me know and I'll sort that out.  Of course, it wouldn't work for every location, but it's a good starting point to adapt your own.

As you can see, some of the objects have a square for you tick them off as you see them and the others you might like to put in a bag and take them home with you to talk about later. You'll be pleased to see you only have to tick off the animal poo!

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