School is out and the days are getting longer. Summer is here and the season of playing outside is upon us! While events, play dates, and recreational opportunities are abundant this time of year, kids have an innate desire to investigate, explore, and discover the unknown. If you have an Animal Detective in your life, here is a fun idea to spend some quality time in nature with kids.
This outdoor scavenger hunt can be done along a hiking trail, at a local park, or even in your own backyard. Simply print or cut out this article, grab a pencil, scratch paper for drawing, and a camera, put on your detective cap, and head out to begin your adventure!
Leave No Trace
As always, it’s important to Leave No Trace when recreating in the outdoors. Here are a few guidelines that adults can help instill in their kids:
● Take only photos and leave only footprints. Avoid picking flowers, please! Take a photo or draw a picture to remember the beautiful thing you found.
● Stay on the trail. This helps plants grow big and strong.
● Pick up trash. Be sure to pack out what you pick in. Bonus points for picking up trash you find!
● Respect wildlife. If you’re lucky enough to see a wild animal, give it plenty of space. Take a photo or draw a picture to remember the experience!
● Respect other visitors. Remember other people are outside to enjoy nature, too. Share the space and be respectful of your sound levels.
Animal Detective Scavenger Hunt
Animal Detectives, we need YOUR help to look for signs of animals in your area.
Put a check mark in the box when you find that clue. If you know what animal they are from, write it next to the clue! Bonus points if you draw a picture or take a photo. Remember to respect nature and leave what you find behind!
Good luck, Animal Detectives!
Anna Kiewra is an Educator and Graduate Fellow at Walking Mountains Science Center. This summer you can find her out in the field exploring, playing games, and teaching science to children as part of Walking Mountains’ Summer Science Camps!