School is out. It’s finally summer. And the weather is finally acting like it. The best part of summer is playing outside and doing the things you don’t get to do the rest of the year: play basketball, jump rope, play four-square, hide and seek, take a bike ride, visit the park, plan a picnic, etc. Eventually, though, these activities get old. And after day three, you start hearing, “There’s nothing to do outside. I’m so bored.”
The best way to fix this is to be proactive. Plan activities that can be done throughout the summer. And just because it is summer, doesn’t mean you can’t practice colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. Here are some Nature Scavenger Hunt ideas from around the Internet that will make being outside much more enjoyable after the novelty of summer has worn off.
The Backyard Alphabet Hunt from TeachMama.com
Using either a giant roll of paper or several sheets of construction paper, write out the alphabet in big letters. Place it on a flat surface outside: driveway, sidewalk (away from the road), grass, porch, etc. Secure it with something heavy on each end (buckets, rocks, planters, etc.). Then let your children have fun exploring the yard as they look for items that begin with each letter of the alphabet. When they find something, tell them to put it under that letter on the large paper. See how many letters you can fill.
Nature Scavenger Hunt from HowtoNestforLess.com
Print out the scavenger hunt from HowtoNestforLess.com and give your child a paper bag, bucket, or other item that can be filled with all of the items she finds. As you walk around your yard, look for the items on the list. This list includes more than just specific items; it asks children to find shapes, colors, and different textures.
Color Spy from Parents.com
Stop by your local home improvement or paint store and collect a few paint chips in various colors. (Usually it’s not a problem–just don’t take hundreds at a time!!) Punch out large holes on each color. As you walk around the yard or park with your child, place different objects in the hole to see if they match the colors. How many matches can you find?