Get outside to study nature and search for the signs of winter with this fun outdoor learning activity for kids!
Invite children to go on a nature walk scavenger hunt searching for the “signs of winter” with this educational winter nature scavenger hunt idea for kids. As the Winter solstice approaches, signs that winter has arrived can be seen all around. While some signs of winter’s arrival are universal, others will depend on where you are in the world. When the winter draws to a close, get outside to search for the signs of spring!
Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids
When we go outside on our daily nature walks, my daughter and I like to point out the signs of the seasons changing all around us, and winter is no exception. We can see, hear, smell, and feel the changes of the seasons and like to point them out to each other like it’s a nature scavenger hunt on our daily walks. It’s become a game that we like to play as each season changes to the next.
Invite children to go on an outdoor adventure as the fall comes to an end with this fun winter nature walk scavenger hunt idea. When the cool crisp days of autumn begin to give way to the cold and wet long dark days of winter–invite children of all ages (and the young at heart) to become aware of the subtle changes occurring all around them.
nature Scaventer Hunt Educational Opportunities
Seasonal nature scavenger hunts offer a unique educational opportunity for children of all ages. As children learn about the trees that lose their leaves in the winter, they also learn about the trees that don’t lose their leaves and why. While most deciduous trees lose their leaves in early winter–most evergreen coniferous trees do not.
Nature walks and scavenger hunts also provide children with the opportunity to learn more about animals and their behaviors and habits. For example, some birds and animals migrate or hibernate while others don’t.
Still another learning opportunity lies in understanding plants and agriculture; some crops can ripen while others go fallow, etc.
The differences they observe between plants and animals in each season (using all of their senses) can cause children to wonder why and ask more questions. This curiosity opens the door to even more learning opportunities as they learn to discover their own answers to the questions that they seek.
Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt Printable
Or, try our winter scavenger hunt for preschoolers. It has pictures to make it easier for toddlers and preschoolers to use.
Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Get outside on an outdoor scavenger hunt with the kids this winter. Searching for the signs that winter is on the way is an excellent outdoor educational activity for kids. Go on this winter nature scavenger hunt to help children learn about the changing seasons and their many differences while having fun.
Below we have provided a list of some of the common signs that winter is approaching or has arrived. I’m sure that I have missed plenty of winter signs that you see because different areas can have different signs based on where you live.
Download and print winter scavenger hunt list–> Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt Printable.
Please add any of the “signs of winter” that you have seen that are not on our winter nature scavenger hunt list in the comments below. We’d love to hear all about the signs that you are noticing appearing around you!
Weather and the sun:
- Temperatures drop, and the weather gets colder and colder.
- You can see your breath when breathing, speaking, or singing.
- Morning frost appears all around.
- Rain, hail, or snowfall to the ground.
- Icicles are found hanging from rooftops, trees, etc.
- The blanket of snow on the ground grows thicker if you live where it snows.
- Each day becomes shorter and shorter before the winter solstice.
- After the solstice, the days grow longer.
Garden and Plants:
- Most trees, except evergreen trees, lose their leaves and go bare.
- Grass doesn’t grow as fast.
- Winter flowers such as Hellebores, Winter Jasmine, and Snowdrops can be found in bloom.
- Unless you have a greenhouse or live in an area that stays warm all year, the garden goes fallow.
- Pets and other animals shed less and grow a thicker winter coat.
- Many animals hibernate for the winter and can no longer be seen in the wild. (Bears, hedgehogs, etc.)
- Birds (and some animals) finish their migration south for the winter (geese, swallows, hawks, cranes, etc.)
- Invertebrates such as butterflies and ladybugs also disappear into hibernation until the spring.
Other Random Signs:
- Gas and energy bills start to go up as the heat in the house is turned up.
- Smoke can be seen and smelled coming out of chimneys.
- People are bundled up in warm winter gear when outside.
- Snowballs can be seen flying and you might get ambushed!
- Christmas and holiday decorations are everywhere.
Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt for Winter
Invite children to go on a nature scavenger hunt this winter in search of the first familiar sights of the season. Or, try our winter scavenger hunt for preschoolers. It has pictures to make it easier for toddlers and preschoolers to use.
As the winter solstice approaches, the signs that winter is here start to show up all around us. I’m sure you are beginning to see familiar signs than on the list above. So tell me–what “signs of winter” have you noticed?
While some signs of winter’s arrival are universal, others will depend on where you are in the world. As the winter draws to a close, get outside to search for the signs of spring!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
- Winter Scavenger Hunt for Preschoolers
- Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt
- Search for the Signs of Summer Scavenger Hunt
- Signs of Autumn Fall Scavenger Hunt