Spring is the perfect season for a scavenger hunt outdoors, as new life returns to the natural world. Buds appear, bees return, green shoots burst through the earth. And who doesn’t coo over the sight of a newborn lamb tottering around its mum?
Family walks aren’t always easy, we know. But you can pop a gap in the grumbling with some fun activities along the way, such as free spring nature hunts (promises of hot chocolate and marshmallows also work). You can even do springtime scavenger hunts in your back garden or a local park: you don’t have to trek for miles to spot these first few signs of spring.
To make it easy and save you trawling around the internet (though Pinterest is a good place to start if you want to search for more), Ever Wild Outdoors has found five brilliant spring nature scavenger hunts.
Ever Wild in 5: free spring nature hunts for children
1. The RSPB, Britain’s largest nature conservation charity, has a scavenger hunt based around the signs of spring. It encourages children to look for natural items such as catkins, to spot bees, to mimic bird calls, and to count flower petals – we like a little sneaky maths. Visit to download the RSPB signs of spring hunt.
2. The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, Woodland Trust, has a few ideas for a nature hunt in the woods. It’s not a downloadable file, of course, but you can easily pop the springtime treasure suggestions in your own notepad, maybe even get the kids to draw or sketch what they find. Click for the Woodland Trust’s nature hunt ideas; they also have fun suggestions for other seasonal hunts, plus hunts based on texture and colour.
3. Arts and crafts supplier Hobbycraft has a free downloadable spring walk scavenger hunt. Illustrated and left blank for children to colour in, this nature hunt should keep the little ones pleased even when they get home. Younger members of the family will appreciate the pretty and simple layout. Download the Hobbycraft nature hunt.
4. Wildlife Watch, a branch of The Wildlife Trusts, is a brilliant resource for families, with heaps of ideas, activities, news and facts for nature-loving youngsters. Free downloads from this site include instructions for building a bug hotel, how to go rock pooling, and nature-based colouring sheets. There are loads of scavenger hunts too; scroll down to find the spring flower spotter sheet, which helps children to identify seasonal blooms such as primrose, snowdrops and wood sorrel. These educational spotter sheets are great for adults too! Click for the Wildlife Watch activities page.
5. This next free spring scavenger hunt is from Canadian public broadcaster CBC. Despite large populations of bear, cougar and moose in Canada, this family-friendly download is useful anywhere in the northern hemisphere, as it gets kids to see, feel and smell common springtime signs, such as the sound of birds chirping and the feel of sunshine on your face. Suggested hunt items to touch include lichen-covered twigs and feathers. Visit the CBC printable spring scavenger hunt to find the free download link.