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Ideas for At-Home Holiday Fun: Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids

At one point, we all need to get up and take a break from reading. Even the most prolific readers eventually must stretch their legs. Why not learn while you exercise with this great activity from The Big Book of Nature Activities: A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning?

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Excerpt from the Book

Winter Scavenger Hunt

You’ll learn: That almost every characteristic of an organism is an adaptation that helps it to survive.

You’ll need: Scavenger hunt sheets, pencil, clipboard.

Especially in winter, all living things need strategies to deal with the cold, dryness, and lack of food. Through millions of years of natural selection, they have evolved traits (adaptations) to help them survive this difficult season. Some of these are behavioral (e.g., insect-eating birds like swallows migrate south where food will be available), others physical (e.g., birds fluff up their feathers to trap pockets of insulating air).

Procedure: Visit an area with various habitat types, preferably including field, forest and wetland. Ask the children to try to find as many plant and animal adaptations to winter as possible from the following list. Encourage them to add other probable adaptations they see that are not on the list. The adaptation story for some items is explained. Then have the children provide their own ideas about what special adaptation(s) are associated with each item. Discuss the adaptations they found on their own.

About the Authors

author Drew Monkman portrait

Author Drew Monkman

Drew Monkman is a retired elementary school teacher, his interest in integrating nature activities and environmental education into all areas of the curriculum led him to oversee the development of an outdoor classroom which went on to become a model for many similar projects throughout Ontario. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

author Jacob Rodenburg portrait

Author Jacob Rodenburg

Jacob Rodenburg is the Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, an award winning summer camp and outdoor education centre which uses music, drama, hands-on exploration, games and activities to inspire awe and wonder for the local environment. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

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