Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nature Treasure Hunt

Kids looking a little stir crazy.  How about a treasure hunt? What do you mean, what sort of hunt? A nature treasure hunt. Give me 5 minutes, then come outside. 3 egg cartons for three kids - after a quick wander around the garden they were filled with treasures to find - about 20 bits and pieces.  Instruction - when you have two of everything you're finished. Middle one worked in a team with his friend. Little one stuck with me.

 This 2 year old knows her garden really well, she was great at finding things.

 Friends exploring the garden together

 A rest stop

 Eating the treasure - tasty sweet broccoli heads.

At the end of the hunt we checked the treasures matched their original, they took it very seriously and when a mistake was made they studiously looked for the true treasure.  They took a hint when really stuck but didn't want anything pointed out to them. They were keen on knowing the names of things and many objects launched a little story. Have you ever found a four leaf clover? Did you know you can eat calendula? A violet leaf is shaped like a heart, Black currant leaves smell like black currants, Why are forget me nots called forget me nots?......I gave them a chocolate freckle prize and later heard my middle one exclaim to his friend - huh a prize for doing something that's fun! Highly unnecessary chocolate.

They so loved the hunt they were ready for more.   The big one found the treasures this time. She also helped the little one with the finding. Little one filled that wheel barrow with grass when helping daddy with the lawn clean up.

 I've seen a few versions of nature treasure hunts.  You can play it like a memory game, you can paint your egg carton cells different colours and find nature objects to match the colours, you can hold up items to find one by one on a nature walk, you can laminate pictures of things to find.....  The beauty of this technique was the independence it allowed the participants and the simplicity of setting it up. Such wholesome cuteness was a delight to watch, I was sorry to return to the much needed task of cleaning.

A totally unrelated yet profound quote I heard from Steve Jobs today, on the day of his death.

"Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart".


  1. Wow, your garden is just beautiful. Such a sweet and simple game you had them play - like the find two of everything aspect.

  2. Marvelous, love it. We will so be doing this my son will love it.

  3. What a fun activity to pull out at the drop of a hat, you clever thing. I like the simplicity about it.

    So... why is a forget-me-not called a forget-me-not then? I'm intrigued..(is it because they seed so readily no one could ever possibly forget them?

    Thanks for taking the small one, she had a ball at the Bowerbird Blue House. :)

  4. What a beautiful activity and a way to get kids really seeing nature.

  5. Your garden looks lovely! And what beautiful and delicious treasures! Thank you for the follow :D

    Greetings from Norway

  6. I think they are called forget me nots because of their stick to your clothes habit Christine.

    Thankyou for all the lovely garden comments.

    Can highly recommend the activity, we will definitely do it again. How fun this would be at the beach!

  7. This is a beautiful treasure hunt. I'm sure this was a wonderful day.

  8. What a beautiful garden you have. I can't wait for our broccoli heads to come (we still have a while) My children would love this treasure hunt game too! Thank you so much for linking up this week to the Afterschool Blog Hop - I can't wait to see what you will link up next week =)


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young