Monday, June 27, 2016

Bug-Catching and Nature Scavenger Hunt

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

It's the second week of summer and it's been everything I though it would be: hot, sunny, rainy, and long hours for more summer activities. The kids were in summer camp last week and were gone most of the day, but we still squeezed in some activities from our Summer Bucket List. One of those activities was catching bugs and exporing the outdoors with a nature scavenger hunt. Today, we're sharing a fun scavenger hunt for you to try. Combine it with catching critters as an exciting summer activity.

Explore the Outdoors with Bug-Catching and a Nature Scavenger Hunt

We received our scientist bug-catching kits from Orkin and decided to use it as we did our scavenger hunt one evening at a local park. You can also stay in your own backyard and find plenty of nature and critters to catch, too.

Summer Fun, Summer Activities

Try out some ideas we used to make it a game and add to the excitement!

summer fun, ducks, summer activities

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Print out the printable below and take it with you on your hunt. Pair up in teams to make it a game. Set a time limit and meet back in a certain spot afterward.

Summer Fun, Summer Activities

Set points for each item on the list, then count them up to see who scored the most points. For example, large critters can be five points, small things that don't move like leaves or twigs can be one point. Bonus points for a really scary or crazy-looking creature!

summer fun, summer activities, nature photography

Strike a Pose

Bring your camera to take photos of what you find as proof to show the other team. You can also use the pictures to create memories of your summer like a summer scrapbook or video. This is a great way for kids to practice their photography skills. Bonus points for who takes the coolest picture!

We made a short video of our bug-catching fun below:

All the Small Things

The kids had a blast finding bugs and various creatures and things in nature. We were able to appreciate tiny things that we may pass by without paying attention to on a normal day.

Use a clear plastic jar with a lid poked with holes to capture the insects or other small critters. We were able to observe the creatures more closely while they were in the jar and how they reacted. The spider instantly made a web inside the jar to be able to move around easier and try to find a way to escape.

Spider, Insect, Summer Activities

We watched how the creatures moved and looked closer at their features. We took note of where they lived before we caught them. If they were eating, we were able to see what they ate for their diet.

squirrel, nature photos, summer activities

Use it as an educational tool to do more research on what you find. You never know where it may lead!

Let It Go

Remember, don't harm the creatures or anything in nature while you are exploring. Don't destroy their homes while trying to catch the critters. Tread quietly and carefully. Be cautious when you approach anything that's alive. you might want to use gloves. We didn't touch anything with our bare hands except for the lizard since it kept jumping.

Lizard, summer activities, summer fun

For everything else, we gave it a gentle nudge or caught it while it flew into the jar. Release them back to their homes after a few minutes.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

 Print out the free printable below to get started on your nature adventure!

Bug Catching, Summer Fun, Summer Activities

Afterward, take time to discuss your favorite part of the outdoor activity and what you found that was the most interesting.

summer fun, flowers, summer activities

My favorite part of this game is how the kids grew to appreciate nature even more and that the game took away a little of their fear of critters. Additionally, it gave us a chance to take some pretty photos of nature.

I think our most interesting critter had to be the spider. It had a unique look and received bonus points for spinning a cobweb while in the jar.

What's the most interesting creature you or your kids have ever seen in nature? Have you been on a nature scavenger hunt?

Trees, summer fun

Share this post with a friend who would enjoy exploring the outdoors and getting close to nature!

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