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The weather is getting nicer and we have all been inside way too often in the last year. Well, it’s time to get outside already – have fun, get some fresh air, and play an exciting outdoor game! You don’t need to haul the kids to the park, or even take a walk around the block with this backyard scavenger hunt! Because sometimes that’s just way too exhausting for a tired Mom or Dad. This scavenger hunt can take place in your very own yard.
Your brain is hard at work when on a scavenger hunt as you discover and explore the space around you. Exploring all those fine details of the world can be exhausting, but great for those learning minds! Not only do scavenger hunts teach kids how to pick a topic and focus (kids have the hardest time doing that, don’t they?) but they are required to solve tiny predicaments to finish the hunt. In a nutshell, scavenger hunts are awesome and teach kids a lot!
Let’s take a look at how kids learn…
Practice problem-solving skills
Scavenger hunts promote thinking! If the goal is to find 2 sticks, and your kid can only find one, will they break it in half to make 2 sticks or will they keep looking? Sometimes kids need to get a little creative with finding objects and they do! I’m surprised with what they come up with sometimes.
These outdoor hunts can get a bit challenging when there are multiple teams playing. Who can find all 20 items the fastest? There’s nothing wrong with a little competitive play. Competition teaches kids to go after what they want in life, and I’m all about that. You need to be more than a dreamer, you need to be a do-er too.
To make it a bit more exciting, I usually give the winner a prize at the end. If it’s an outdoor scavenger hunt they are partaking in, I usually like to make the prizes outdoor-themed. So, bubble wands or sidewalk chalk are usually good prize ideas for kids. You can also find great deals on little containers of slime. And there is no kid on this planet that has turned away slime.
Learning a new environment
Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt, you are studying an environment in great detail. If you’re outside, you’re looking at the plants, animals and other surroundings. If you’re inside, you’re looking at the details of your own home. Studying that fine detail, no matter where you are, teaches kids to tune-in and focus. Heck, your child may be the person who finds your keys later because they saw them during an indoor scavenger hunt!
Promotes physical activity
This is a biggie. The whole reason our parents told us to go play outside when we were kids was, of course, to give them a break but the other reason was for us to run around and get rid of that never-ending energy kids seem to have. Scavenger hunts are great for this. They get kids both mentally and physically moving.
This particular hunt is also a bit more convenient for parents. Not only does it get kids outside and moving, but it’s an outdoor scavenger hunt AND it’s in your backyard. So, not only does it get the kids outside but it’s easy for parents because this outdoor scavenger hunt is a backyard scavenger hunt. Double whammy! That means there’s no packing and loading the car up to go to the park, or making sure everyone uses the bathroom before you go. The scavenger hunt is right in your own space and home. It really couldn’t get any easier.
So, grab something to write with and go enjoy the outdoors on your backyard scavenger hunt.
About the Backyard Scavenger Hunt
Like most of our printables our backyard scavenger hunt is in PDF format. It prints perfectly on a 8.5”x11” piece of paper. It’s available in 2 versions:
Available in black & white. Not only can you go on a hunt for these treasures but you can color them along the way! As you find each item on your scavenger hunt printable, color it in! It’s an additional layer of fun with this printable.
Available in a colored version. Maybe your kids aren’t fans of coloring and just want to see the vibrant pretty pictures? That’s fine too! Print out the colored version and get outside and go on your backyard scavenger hunt.
The goal: Find the 20 backyard items outside. It can be any item you see in your yard (front yard or backyard).
Flower with two colors
Tree with needles
Leaf with points
Acord, seed or nut
Laminate it to make our backyard scavenger hunt last. Use an expo/dry-erase marker so you can cross off the items on the hunt to then do it all over again. Doing this is a great set-up for toddlers. Not only do they enjoy doing outdoor games like these again and again, but keep this backyard scavenger hunt in your back pocket for a rainy day.
Below is what is included in your backyard scavenger hunt printable download (see the bottom of the page for actual download instructions):
Download the Backyard Scavenger Hunt
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Here are some books on scavenger hunts and outdoor exploring:
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