I’m so happy to have my friend Elizabeth of A Natural Nester here today sharing a fun nature activity for your kids to enjoy!
“Oooh, there’s a FEATHER! That’s F, right? Ffffeather.” My six-year-old, beginning reader beamed with pleasure over her “F” nature find.
Our hike hadn’t begun as a quest to find nature items that matched with the letters of the alphabet. It started as just a family hike along a trail at a local state park. We were searching for geocaches, and heading toward a canopy walk and 75-foot-tall lookout tower (we thought… that turned out to be a different path). So, we’d been hiking for quite some time, and we’d been sidetracked one-too-many times in search of a cache. My little one, and her little legs, was oh-so-tired. The whining began right as we turned around to head back. I knew she needed a distraction… and quick!
“Let’s play a game,” I suggested. “We’re going to look for items in nature that match the letters of the alphabet.” She was intrigued, excited, and thankfully, fully distracted from her aching feet. We did our ABC nature quest a bit haphazard like, including items we’d already seen along the way and skipping around a bit alphabetically. Also, we simply kept it in our heads, rather than writing it down and keeping close track. But let me tell you, it saved our hike! When we reached the parking area, my daughter was happy and re-energized; ready to take the short trek (on the correct trail) to the lookout tower.
An ABC nature quest is ideal for young hikers. While my six year old needed the engagement to make it through our walk, my 9 year old found it equally fun. And the whole family pitched in to come up with creative finds for the tougher letters. My older daughter suggested quill for Q, and I offered up vernal pool for V when we came upon a large puddle in the woods. This discovery led to a discussion about what vernal pools are, what lives in them, and the purpose they serve in the environment.