Connecting with nature is a really powerful grounding tool. It brings us back to the present moment and can calm an anxious mind
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or access to an outdoor space this sensory nature hunt is a fantastic activity to enjoy in those places. If you do not have a garden it can still be enjoyed from the comfort of your home by altering the steps a little bit. A sensory nature hunt brings together the worlds of nature and play-time. This is a fun experience which also leads to tonnes of learning.
A sensory nature hunt is a wonderful way to educate your children about nature as well as building team work skills. It is great to have access to a fun activity that is not screen-related. Our children tend to sleep better when they have enjoyed some outdoor play and it has a profound affect on their mood.
Connecting with nature is a really powerful grounding tool. It brings us back to the present moment and can calm an anxious mind. Instilling a love of nature from a young age is a total gift to our children and creating a sensory nature hunt is a great way to do this.
The idea behind a sensory nature hunt is connecting with different elements of nature. You can also do this in conjunction with some kind of chart, list or quiz that has a beginning and an end. There may be an element of competition which could entice older children to get involved. By the end of the sensory nature hunt children will have felt leaves crunching in their hands, the fibrous bark of a tree or plant, refreshing water and even the sensation of grass on their bare feet.
What You Will Need
Very little, and that is the beauty of this activity. It can be as simple as a handwritten check-list or you can download a printable version like this if that is easier for you.
This simple activity is a way to encourage your child to experience, notice and explore different elements of nature in their garden or outdoor space. However, you can make the rules around how they do that. You could take a colour angle and choose a number of colours that they must match with something they have found in the garden similar to the image below.
Alternatively you could break the activity in to two components. On one of the days why not go for a nature walk and collect a variety of different bits and pieces such as pine cones, flowers, branches, feathers and grass. Part two can be about naming those items, matching them with a photograph, writing the name of each item or simply arranging them in a particular way. This style may work better in homes that do not have access to a garden because you can bring nature indoors.