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.
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'.
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.
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!
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.
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
- Printed Forest Scavenger Activity Sheet
You may also like to bring along some kids binoculars - we have used these ones with our kids.
Using the Woodland Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet on your Walk
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
- Print and count with our Forest Animal Count and Clip Cards
- Set up a forest-themed sensory bin inspired by one of our favourite Forest Stories The Gruffalo
- Make a den with fallen branches as you head on your forest walk