Broward Tutor

Science Scavenger Hunt by The Broward Tutor

Now that your kids have made it through another school year, it’s time to give your whole family a high-five. All the hard work and schedule juggling will finally ease up for all of you. But, how can you keep your kids learning over the summer? Give them new experiences, and dare I say it?  Go outside and have a summer SCIENCE SCAVENGER HUNT!

Your kids may whine, and even beg not to go because they HATE GETTING DIRTY and/or SWEATY. But it’s important for all of us to get out of our comfort zones sometimes. You don’t want your kids labeled with ‘nature-deficit disorder,’ do you? Outdoor science experiences are everywhere. So, throw down your electronics, apply your sunscreen & bug repellant, grab some water, and go. A day of science discovery lies ahead!

Science Scavenger Hunt

Explore, be curious, and don’t forget to release any living specimens you have collected. Be inspired by the natural world around you!

You can create a checklist to take with you from the information below. This list is just a suggestion. You should tweak the information to fit the environment you choose. When one of you finds an item on the list, it should be collected or shared with the group and recorded in the journal. Try to find a park with lots of trees and paths, but some neighborhoods will do just fine!

• plastic container
• tweezers
• small gardening tools or spoons & forks
• a small notebook or journal
• pencils and/or colored pencils
• camera
• a field guide to plants, animals, or insects (if you have one)
• garden gloves (for the faint of heart)

• dragonfly
• butterfly
• spider & web
• squirrel
• ant
• worm
• beetle
• little lizards
• tadpoles
• birds

• variegated leaf
• thick leaf or succulent
• thin leaf
• air plant (epiphyte)
• coniferous tree
• deciduous tree
• flowering tree


thin leaf – typically, leaves are flat and thin. Thin leaves are arranged on the plant in order to expose their surfaces to light.

variegated leaf – a leaf which contains green and non-green parts. The leaf may have a mixture of green with white or yellow white or yellow. These zones on the leaf contrast with the usual green tissue.

thick leaf (succulent) – having thick fleshy leaves or stems that store water. Succulents are usually adapted to drier environments such as deserts, and display other characteristics that reduce water loss, such as waxy coatings on leaves and stems. Examples:  cacti,  jade plants

air plant – a plant that grows above the ground, supported by another plant or object. Air plants get their nutrients and water from rain, air, and dust. Examples: Spanish moss, orchids

coniferous tree – coniferous trees are usually evergreen, and often have drought-resistant leaves that are long and needle-shaped. They produce cones. Coniferous trees keep their foliage all year round. Examples: evergreens, firs, pine

deciduous tree – Deciduous trees are plants that drop their leaves for a part of every year, usually during periods of dryness or cold weather. Their branches remain free of foliage until conditions improve. For the tree, this means that it can save energy by not working to keep the leaves green and healthy.

flowering tree – the flowers attract pollinators, and fruits feed birds and small mammals. Examples:  Royal Poinciana, Golden Shower tree, Jacaranda

adaptation – a special feature that allows a plant or animal to be better suited to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.

Animals have adapted to different environments in order to survive. Some adaptations are physical, such as gills that allow fish to breathe underwater. Some animals may adapt through behaviors. A porcupine extends its quills, making it difficult for other animals to eat them.

Plants have adaptations allowing them to live and grow in different areas. Some plants climb or grow on other plants to reach the sunlight. Some trees have thick bark to protect them against the cold. Spines, such as on cacti, protect the plants from animals who eat the plant for water.

Use as many of the following science process skills as you can,
so that your children will recognize the vocabulary as they advance in science learning.

discusstalk about color, shape, texture, pattern, and size.

observeuse the senses to explore and learn. How are the leaves arranged on the stem? Are the leaves waxy or dull? Does the animal live alone or in groups? Is it climbing, eating, sleeping, washing its fur, searching for food?

compare/contrast – try to identify what you see and find out how they are alike and different
 from other organisms

classifygroup objects into categories based on specific characteristics

recordwrite, draw, or photograph what you see.

NOTE: When you get home, clean up and cool off. Take the opportunity to research anything you want to learn more about!

Do you have any other ideas to add to this scavenger hunt?
Please add your cool ideas in the comments section.

Hope you have a fun, happy and safe summer!
Randi Gelfond, a.k.a.
The Broward Tutor




2 Responses to Science Scavenger Hunt by The Broward Tutor

  • Pascale says:

    Great summer activity to do with the kids, Randi. Thanks for posting.

  • Thanks, Pascale! I have found that very few children have science background knowledge. This all comes up in 5th grade when they are finally tested in science. If children have memorable experiences in the great outdoors, it will stick with them forever.

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