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Neighborhood Nature Scavenger Hunt

Across West Virginia, families are encouraged to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy the outdoors (while practicing social distancing, of course).

girl holding binoculars

This nature scavenger hunt is designed to help your kids get outdoors, giving them a chance to get some fresh air, exercise and reinforce concepts from their science lessons. All the items in the hunt should be easily found in your neighborhood or near your house, so you and your children shouldn’t have to venture far from home.

All you’ll need is a container for any items your children may want to collect along the way and a smartphone for photos and audio recordings. You can even extend the activity by having them create and deliver a presentation from their photos once they return home.

We’d love to see your photos, too, so please share what you found with us on social media by using the hashtag #WVUExtNatureHunt.

Here’s what you’re looking for:

  1. Collect a sprig or needle from a conifer.
  2. Take a photo of a flower bud on a twig.
  3. Collect three very different looking rocks. Identify what kind they are when you come inside.
  4. Record the sound of a spring peeper. (Hint: It’s a tree frog, which is an amphibian.)
  5. Take a photo of an American Robin. They've just migrated north, so they should be easy to spot.
  6. Collect a clover (three- or four-leaved).
  7. Take a photo of a segmented worm, such as an earthworm.
  8. Construct a mandala out of objects found in nature and take a picture to share.
  9. Take a photo of a jonquil, a daffodil or a crocus, then try to identify the flower parts (e.g., petal, sepal, pistil, stamen, etc.).
  10. Take a photo of a cloud and identify its cloud type.
  11. Take a photo of tonight’s moon and identify what moon phase it is in.
  12. Take a photo of the sunset. Identify the different colors you see. Create a color palette to match at home.
  13. Record and identify a bird song. It helps if you can also take a picture of the singing bird.
  14. Spell your name on the sidewalk or edge of the road in stems and twigs. Snap a photo once your name is complete.
  15. Find a deciduous leaf. Determine what species of tree it came from.
  16. Snap a photo of a footprint left in the mud or dirt. Try to identify the animal that left it behind.
  17. Take a photo of an example of erosion that has happened. (Note: it can be on a very small scale.)
  18. Climb to a higher elevation and take a photo of the landscape you see. What landforms can you identify (e.g., hills, valleys, streams, ponds, rivers, mounds, ridges, cliffs, mountains, etc.)?
  19. Take a photo of a mammal. (Hint: It doesn’t have to be a wild one.)
  20. Find and photograph a bird’s nest. (Hint: They are easy to find in all the leafless trees.)