The sound of the wind rustling through branches, the sight of moss crawling over tree stumps, the sweet smell of fallen leaves after a fresh rain: There’s magic in the woods… but you’ve got to go find it.
Make this Move it Monday an afternoon of exploration with a family nature walk and scavenger hunt through the forest, public park, or even your backyard. Children of all ages are drawn to the adventure and endless intrigue of the outdoors, but incorporating a scavenger hunt will keep them moving and engaged (and well behaved).
Don’t know where to start? No problem, check out our tips below for some natural inspiration for your outdoor excursion.
Gather some Goodies
There are so many treasures strewn throughout the forest, all you’ve got to do is keep an eye out for them. Make a list of items: pinecones, pine needles, foliage, ferns, acorns, seeds, flowers, stones, shrubs, colorful leaves, and anything else you can imagine; arm the kids with a small basket and have them collect them all.
Engage the Senses
Sure, there’s a ton of goodies to grab off the forest floor, but tapping into your other senses —sight, smell, touch — can draw you deeper into the surroundings. Encourage your treasure hunters to find items that have a specific look, color, scent, shape, or texture. Think a heart-shaped rock, something red, a scented flower, or a certain texture of bark.
Take an Alphabet Hike
When roaming through the woods try to find an item that starts with each letter of the alphabet. You can have your kids either point them out or collect the treasures to bring back home. Acorns, bark, clovers… let your creativity run wild.
Incorporate Activity Challenges
A walk through the forest is therapeutic and grounding, but if you want to heighten the excitement, add some physical activity challenges into the mix. Use the woods as your playground: Hang from some low branches, skip stones, try to point out critters as they scurry about, cross a stream without getting wet.