Connections: Guided nature explorations

Focusing your time outside helps provide practice in looking and seeing, and increases the fun!  Several examples of nature journaling and scavenger hunts have been offered here, on our Connections pages. They are a great way to share the wonders of the outdoors with others. Here are a few more ideas to guide your explorations. 

Squirrel with apple
Is this squirrel flying? Running? Eating?

Adjective and verb hunts: Brainstorm your own list or download these cards. For example, look for things in nature that are rough, smooth, small, and flexible (adjectives) or are flying, swaying, eating, and running (verbs).  

Alphabet hunt: Finding things that correspond to the letters of the alphabet is always a fun activity.  For some of the harder ones, you can use the shape of the letter. 

Barred Owl
See any shapes?

Shape hunts: You can use the cards or find things in your house to use as examples. Finding different colors by using crayons, color squares, or paint cards is another option. 

Exploration cards: These take your outdoor time a step further by guiding you to do things like: find at least four signs of animals (acorns with bites in them, tracks etc.); find five different shades of green; find two different evergreens; count how many bird calls you hear; identify smells; and more. 

Do not be limited by these examples! Challenge yourself or your children and students to come up with your own ideas. After making these cards, grab a few to use as you head outdoors to explore. It will not only provide a fun way of observing things in nature but maybe provide some additional learning in other areas.  

Our educators, scientists, advocates, and naturalists are committed to keeping you connected to the natural world as we deal with the coronavirus situation together. Check in every weekday on our Connections page for family activities, parent/teacher tips, backyard birding, nature exploration at our sanctuaries, and more.