Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Big City

Today was absolutely beautiful. Warm sunshine, gentle breeze, clean air, perfect fall weather.  As any Chicagoan knows, its a good idea to take full advantage of weather like this.  Next week it could very easily freeze!

I was determined to spend the entire afternoon outdoors, but without a traditional backyard I need to get creative.  We’ve spent so much time at our neighborhood parks this summer, so I wanted to do something different.  I figured a nature-themed scavenger hunt would keep the kids and me busy.  A few minutes on Google Images is all it took to create a simple form that would be easy for the kids to follow.

I attached the forms to a couple paper bags so Evie and Mack each had their own. Mack called it his “treasure bag.”

From the moment we set out, Evie and Mack were beyond enthusiastic.  They scoured the neighborhood with such excitement and curiosity. Familiar routes emerged anew as we uncovered hidden treasures we normally quickly pass en route to the park or grocery store or bus stop.

They were beyond thrilled to find the red berries I put on the hunt.  Every time we found a tree with them, they had to stop and collect a few more.

Sweet little Vivian enjoyed the afternoon perched in her Moby Wrap.  She’s picked up her brother’s cough, so I know she appreciated the  extra warmth and snuggles with mama.

This simple (and free!) family activity kept us busy for nearly two hours.  We returned home cheerful and exhausted and ready to start our evening routine.  I’m so glad we ventured out and tried something new.

I also created a city-themed scavenger hunt for our next quiet afternoon.  In our busy neighborhood, it will probably only take us a few minutes to find everything!

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3 Comments for this entry

  1. Mary says:

    Fantastic!! What a great idea.

  2. Hannah says:

    Terrific idea, Maureen!

  3. Donna R. says:

    This looks like so much fun! Watch for a package in the mail….

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