If you go down to the woods today you’ll be sure to find…

Well, lots of things and this forest themed scavenger hunt inspired by the book Neighborwood by Shawn Sheehy is a simple activity to do with your toddlers and preschoolers as you take a nature walk this spring and summer with them.

Read on and don’t forget to check out some of the other forest and woods themed activities you can do together while you are there at the end.

So here you go our simple forest scavenger hunt activity for tots.

toddler on a forest nature walk feeling the bark on a tree with free printable scavenger hunt sheet and activity to do

Who Lives in the Forest? A Book Walk for Kids

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Sometimes you come across a book that just inspires you to go explore!  That’s exactly what happened when we opened the pages of Welcome to the Neighborwoodby Shawn Sheehy.

This adorably illustrated pop-up books features seven woodland creatures as they build their homes in the same forest area.  And the pages are just amazing!

Readers of Welcome to the Neighborwood will be able to peek inside a 3D beehive!  And see how the same woodland area is the perfect home to snails, beavers, hummingbirds and bees.

After reading the book and inspired by the details and facts on the pages head out on a forest walk with your toddlers and preschoolers and discover who might call your local forest ‘home’.

Who lives in the forest? A forest school book linked activities for kids that explores the animals and plants that live in the forest.

Forest Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers

This simple scavenger hunt is one easy to complete with toddlers and lets you spend time wandering and stopping as well as completing as you walk through the forest together.

To make it easy we have a printable that you can download now to record your walk together.

FREE Printable Forest Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet to complete with toddlers and preschoolers

I created a printable to bring along so we could record some of our findings.

Be sure to print off your own “Who Lives in Our Neighbor-wood?” sheet before you head off to explore a woodland area near you!

forest scavenger activity sheet on a clipboard to complete on a woodland walk with toddlers

Tips for Heading on a Forest Nature Walk with Toddlers

As you set off for a forest walk, be sure to talk to your toddlers about the fact that you are indeed visiting someone else’s home. 

With young children, I like to ask them “What do people do when they visit your home?

For example, do friends come running in the door yelling?  Or do they walk in, say ‘hello’ and wait to be shown around the house?

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some forest friends, be sure to remind kids to use their quiet or inside voices as you visit the woods.

some of the finds on our nature walk in the forest a deer, caterpillar and the book that inspired the scavenger activity Welcome to our Neighborwood

And look ALL around!  Peek up in the trees where you might find birds and squirrels (we even saw an owl resting in a tree one day!). 

Look on the ground to find various insects that might be making their way home — for example, ants and beetles. 

Check the sides of trees where spiders will build the webs too.

What you will Need to Complete the Forest Nature Scavenger Activity with your Little Kids

  • A clipboard
  • Wax crayons or simple for making rubbings
  • Pencil
  • Printed Forest Scavenger Activity Sheet

You may also like to bring along some kids binoculars – we have used these ones with our kids.

We put together our own DIY Nature Study Kits and used to take those out with us on every outing with the kids. Adding in this printable or our rock pool scavenger hunt depending on where we went.

Using the Woodland Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet on your Walk

scavenger hunt sheet being completed with pinecones over the top

While doing a leaf rubbing on an evergreen tree, we came across two pinecones lying on the forest floor – one that had opened and the other had not before it fell from the tree. 

We talked about the types of insects that might use a pinecone for their home and the animals that may feed on them (have a look to see if you can find evidence of squirrels eating pinecones along the woodland floor).

Use the printable forest scavenger hunt to record your adventure

Create a leaf or bark rubbing from a tree you like, draw a picture of a woodland animal you spot along with an insect’s home and write what you hear but aren’t able to see.

There is really so much to experience in the forest!

More Forest Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Over in the Forest Counting Clip Cards - Free Download of the clip cards to print and use. A perfect fine motor and math activity for preschoolers.
Get outside this summer and connect books and activities with building a forest home and Stella: Fairy of the Forest
FREE Printable Forest Walk Scavenger Hunt to do with Toddlers
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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