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Nature Scavenger Hunt: A Simple & Fun Preschool Math Activity
On the lookout for easy, fun, and educational activities that I can do with your little ones? This nature scavenger hunt is a super fun way to explore the outdoors and practice counting.
With just a few household items and just a couple minutes prep time, you are ready to go! You can have a fun little learning adventure with your kids where they will be encouraged to think out of the box and use their math skills to add up what they find.
There are so many variations of how you can do this activity! If you want, after your hunt your kids can make a nature collage with what they found during the scavenger hunt. Get creative!
WHAT YOU NEED
For Scavenger Hunt
- List of items to look for on the scavenger hunt
- Basket/bag to collect items
For Nature Collage
1) First, write a list of objects to look for on the scavenger hunt.
Your list will depend on the area you live in and the season. For example, you can write a list as follows: Five rocks of any color, 5 flowers of any color, 10 leaves, 8 small sticks.
Create your list with your child in mind. Since we had a variety of ages on our hunt–6, 4, 2–I was flexible in my expectations for each child.
The 4 and 6 year old could easily count to 20 (and well beyond), while my 2 year old can count to about 5 right now. My goal was to just get each child to practice at their level.
For most kids, you’ll definitely want to keep the quantity of objects higher than three, that way there will be more items for your child to count and add.
2) It’s Adventure Time!
Go for a walk and have your child use the list as the guide of what he needs to find.
You can walk around your backyard or neighborhood. We chose to go to a local reserve because there was simply more nature to explore. Plus, there were fun things like ducks and bunnies to count!
3) Use Your List
As your child finds the items on the list, have him write down what he has found and the amount. If you think it might be helpful, you can have him tally as he finds the objects on the list.
Or you can collect them in your basket/bag and count afterwards. It’s versatile!
By the way, the baskets we used (pictured) are part of some play food sets we have. They just happened to be perfect for this activity.
Every time your child finds an item from the list, have him add the amount of items he has. This will give him lots of opportunities to practice adding, but will also help him to keep track of the amount he has.
4) Add the total.
At the end of the walk, have your little one add the totals from all that he found. So many opportunities for counting!
5) Make a collage
Now for the really fun part! After finding everything on the list and adding it up, your child can make a collage of the items by gluing the items on cardboard or making a display tray. By placing the items on a tray, he can have many opportunities to rearrange his collage in different ways.
Nature + Counting = Simple & Easy Educational Fun!
Educational activities don’t have to take a lot of time or effort. You don’t have to plan some complicated activity that involves a lot of prep time and organization. This scavenger hunt is super easy and super fun for kids. And you can modify it however you need to meet your needs. Really, you’re just out exploring in nature and counting! Plus, you can add a collage project at the end.
Try this one and let me know how it goes.
Have fun, mama!