Go on a nature scavenger hunt for the signs of spring with this fun outdoor activity for kids!
Here’s a spring scavenger hunt idea that is fun and educational for children and adults of all ages. Teach preschoolers, kindergarteners, school-aged children, and teens about the early signs of spring that begin appearing at Imbolc with this fun and educational science learning activity.
As the cold days of winter give way to warmer temperatures, it’s a great time to get outside and learn about the changing seasons. The first signs of spring begin appearing at the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox known as Imbolc. But can be seen everywhere once the equinox arrives.
And, when the northern hemisphere welcomes the spring, the southern hemisphere celebrates the beginning of fall. So, if you live in the southern hemisphere, pop over to look at the Signs of Autumn Scavenger Hunt and learn about the Fall Autumnal Equinox. Get outside with the kids to study nature and the changing seasons today!
Search for the First Signs of Spring
Teach your kids all about the early signs of spring with this fun and educational nature scavenger hunt idea. My daughter and I like to point out the signs of spring that we see, hear, smell and feel like it’s a scavenger hunt on our daily walks. In other words, this is not a scavenger hunt we do in a day. For us, it is a scavenger hunt that begins at the first sign of spring that we see in late winter and continues until we begin to spot the first signs of summer.
This spring activity makes it fun to study nature and the changing seasons. Searching for the signs of the next season’s arrival has become a game my family likes to play as the seasons change. When my daughter was a toddler, I would mention some of the first spring signs on our daily walks. Now that she is older, I ask her what she sees first. And, most of the time, I don’t even have to ask.
First Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt
Today, she squeals with excitement as she points out the first leaf buds and spring blossoms appearing and screams with delight when she hears the geese migrating. On and on, the list goes. I rarely get the chance to point any of the early signs of spring out to her anymore, and she’s always pointing them out to me instead! You may also enjoy this list of fun and educational shadow activities and experiments for kids.
Below is a list of common signs of spring. There are many more signs that spring is on its way (that begin appearing at Imbolc) than we have listed in the following sections. Different areas can have other signs of spring based on climate, location, and so much more. Please let us know about the signs of spring that you notice in the comments below. We’d love to hear about what you see appearing around YOU!
Signs of Spring Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Please pop over to our learning center to download and print the Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt Printable or copy our list of signs to look for into your homemade nature journal. You might also enjoy this list of Outdoor Learning and Nature Activities for Kids.
Weather and Sun Changes to Look for:
- The daily temperature begins to warm.
- The air begins to feel warmer even at night and in the early morning hours.
- Everything smells fresh and new.
- The angle of the sun in the sky changes.
- The light of day begins to brighten; the strength and quality of the light changes.
- The days get noticeably longer, and the nights get shorter.
- Ice and snow melt and disappear.
- Spring showers and rainbows are seen here and there.
Related: 20 Fun Things to do on a Rainy Day
Garden and Plant Signs of Spring:
- Flower bulbs spring up from the earth; snowdrops, daffodils, iris, crocus flowers, etc.
- Dandelions and other weeds begin to sprout.
- Leaf and flower buds begin to appear on once bare winter branches.
- Spring colors pop as plants and flowers come back to life.
- New grass sprouts and the lawn needs to be mowed more often.
Related: How to Plant Flowers
Signs of Animals, Birds, Amphibians, and Insects Welcoming Spring:
- Pets and animals begin to shed and lose their winter coats.
- Songbirds are heard singing their spring melodies.
- Migrating birds begin their migration north; geese, ducks, swallows, hawks, cranes, etc.
- Woodpeckers are heard knocking.
- Worms begin to come up from the earth.
- Caterpillars are seen gnawing on green leaves.
- Frogs are heard croaking.
- Invertebrates such as butterflies and ladybugs appear.
- Mosquitos start to buzz around.
- Mammals that hibernate for the winter, such as bears and hedgehogs, come out of their dens in search of food after their long winter rest.
Other Random Signs of Spring to Look for:
- More people are outdoors.
- Spring decor begins to appear.
- Stores sell flowers and seeds to plant.
- Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter Decorations are put up.
- People dress in less clothing.
- Garden catalogs start showing up in the mail.
- Neighbors plant flowers and start their gardens.
- You can hear your neighbors mowing the lawn.
- BBQ season begins.
- Baseball and soccer season starts.
Spring Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Searching for signs of Spring is a fun and educational activity to do with kids. I’m sure you are beginning to see many signs that the spring is near than we have listed above.
So tell us–what signs of spring have YOU noticed?
More Seasonal Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas
- Summer Scavenger Hunt Printable for Toddlers
- Signs of Summer Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Fall Scavenger Hunt Printable for Toddlers
- Search for the Signs of Autumn Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Winter Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers
- Signs of Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt