Create a Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
"Germ" isn't a technical medical term, 1but it's used to refer to illness-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. You'll find germs on every surface you touch. Here's a look at the four types and the kinds of illness they can cause.
Bacteria: Bacteria are separated into two categories - Gram Negative and Gram Positive. Gram Negative bacteria is linked to diarrhea and certain types of pneumonia, among other illnesses, while Gram Positive bacteria can cause skin infections and other conditions.
Fungi: While you can come in contact with fungal spores without getting sick2, common conditions they can cause include dandruff and athlete's foot. More serious diseases caused by fungal spores include bloodstream infections and meningitis.
Virus: Like fungal spores, many viruses cause no illness or disease at all. Others can cause anything from warts to influenza to measles, mumps, and rubella.3
What Should They Hunt For?
Here are a few suggestions for your scavenger hunt. If you can, check the park or trails before you all head out so you can customize the list to your area.
Some sample nature scavenger hunt items include:
A round stone Seeds or a seed podTree bark A nut A dark green leaf A light green leaf Mud A Y-shaped stick A yellow flower A colored pebble A bird's feather Something that floats
What will you need to take with you on the hunt? Plan to take these items:
- Your list
- A pen or pencil
- A notebook for sketches
- A bag or bucket to carry what you find
- Bottled water (You might get thirsty out there!)
- Hand sanitizer for quick cleanups along the way
- A camera (optional)
Let Nature Take Its Course
Once you have finalized your list, divide into teams and start hunting. Be observant! Keep your eyes and ears open for the items you're hunting for, including things you can't or shouldn't touch, such as: bird song, animal tracks, spider webs, toads, or turtles. And remember to make sure your children are respectful of any parks you visit, abide by their visitor rules, stay out of off-limits areas, and don't disturb the wildlife. You want to leave the park, or the woods, just as you found it.