If you and the children in your life are going a little stir crazy why not embark on a nature scavenger hunt. They are easy to create, and can be used with various ages and abilities. You can create a hunt for any season and any location. I am attaching two examples.
I took our seven-year-old granddaughter to the TJ Dolan Nature Area along with the attached worksheet and a pencil. Before we left I helped her read the sheet so she would know what she was looking for. We had a lot of fun and found 11 out of 17 items before the mosquitoes invited us to dinner. I was surprised that she remembered the next day the names of the mayapple, the trillium, and jack in the pulpit. Even the French explanation of “dent de lion’ stuck in her mind. She had a more detailed look at plants than she had previously. I had put the description of the rose-breasted grosbeak on the list. When she read it she asked, “Is there even such a bird?” That gave me the opportunity to pull out the bird book. “Wow! I didn’t know they existed.” was her reaction. Great to see such eagerness to learn.
The next day I created a scavenger hunt for leaves in our backyard. She found everything in under half an hour and then we took turns creating challenges for each other. She would ask me,”Grandpa, can you find a leaf that is furry?” I would ask her, “Can you find a leaf that has all the veins starting in the same place?” “Can you find a leaf that hides a flower?” Can you find the biggest leaf in the vegetable garden?” It was fun for both of us and a good learning and bonding time for us.
With a bit of imagination, we can teach the young people in our lives to love the things we do.
Submitted by Don Farwell