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Trees: A Winter Scavenger Hunt

It’s winter in our part of the world, and even the cold and snow can’t keep us inside! In fact, we think this is a magical time to get children up and moving by taking them on an outdoor excursion!

One way to appreciate nature during the winter months is to explore different types of trees. From conifers to deciduous species, there is so much to observe and learn from trees at this time of the year. 

Preparing for your adventure:

  1. Name the various parts of a tree: crown, branch, leaves, trunk, bark, roots, flower, fruit, and seed. Predict which parts you might be able to find during the winter months and which parts might be more easily found during other seasons.
  2. Bring along a magnifying glass and a camera to document your observations. Usually we’d suggest packing up a nature journal and a few art materials too, but during the winter months we much prefer to draw our findings at home while sipping from a cup of hot chocolate!
  3. Print out our Winter Scavenger Hunt and discuss each item on the list. Attach it to a clipboard and offer a writing tool.

During your adventure:

  1. Pause to look at, listen to, smell, and feel the trees you find. What do you notice? What do you wonder? Help build your child’s scientific vocabulary by pointing out and naming the parts of each tree you identified earlier.
  2. Search for the items listed on your scavenger hunt. Which ones can you find? Mark them off as you do!

After your adventure:

Shed your winter gear, warm up by the fire, and reflect on your time outdoors. Which of the items from the scavenger hunt did you find? Spend a few quiet moments thinking about your adventure. Open up your nature journal and draw pictures of your favorite trees, or print out some of the photographs you took and glue them onto the pages.

How were you and your child able to connect with one another and with nature today?


Are you an online member? If so, you can find all the printables, as well as the full description of each lesson mentioned above, here:

For our Do-It-Together Kit subscribers, the Parts of a Tree Wall Hanging, all four Seasonal Tree Scavenger Hunts, and a magnifying glass can be found inside your All About Trees box!

Resources and Inspiration (members only):

Do-It-Together Experiences: All About Trees

Trees Thematic Exploration

Conifers and Evergreens Thematic Exploration

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Playful Learning Field Guides

Grab these handy field guides on your way to park or walk around the block. Add a basket for collecting and a magnifying glass for observing you are set for a memorable outdoor adventure