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Explore Fall With an Easy DIY Scavenger Hunt

Summer is usually worshiped for being the best time of year to get out and enjoy the glorious sunshine, but fall is totally underrated. With temps that are a little cooler and a gorgeous backdrop—not to mention all of the cool things that find their way from the treetops to the ground—fall is a wonderland for kids. There’s no better way to get them out and encourage them to explore than by sending them on a nature scavenger hunt. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be difficult. With hardly any work at all, you can throw together a little hunt that will have your kids bouncing with excitement. And whether you join them in the fun or use the time to get some yard work done (or, you know, thumb through a magazine), you’ll love it too. [caption id="attachment_5714" align="alignright" width="253"]I spy with my little eye... I spy with my little eye...[/caption] First, you need a list. Kids love lists. It makes them feel very official and very important. (Bonus points if you put this list on a clipboard!) We went to the Bronx Zoo and to The Dinosaur Place last summer and my older daughter marched around, map in hand, telling us where to go while her little sister held a map upside down and tried to do the same. Maps and lists are magical to kids so this part ups the fun factor by about a billion. Make a Word doc listing some things you might find in your backyard or park. I include numbers and colors in my lists to make things more interesting. Older kids get excited about reaching that goal of “three red leaves,” and you can help little ones learn about counting and colors. If your kids aren’t reading yet, you can give them a picture guide instead of a written list. Once you've drafted up your scavenger hunt, all you need to do is bundle them up in some layers, hand them a bucket to collect their findings, and send them out to explore. If you want to get crazy—and if they’re really into it—give them a magnifying glass and some binoculars to explore things a little more closely. [caption id="attachment_5715" align="alignleft" width="193"]Jen's daughter shows off her findings Jen's daughter shows off her findings[/caption] The great thing about a nature scavenger hunt is that you can adapt it to pretty much any circumstance. Has it rained recently, leaving everything wet and soggy and leaving you twitching at the thought of cleaning up the muddy mess? That’s OK. Turn the hunt into a nature walk. Make a list of things that they don’t need to collect (you can include birds and insects and cloud shapes) and play a game of "I Spy" while you get a little exercise together. The possibilities are endless and your kids will love getting out and exploring. Combine that with the fact that it’s so easy and you just can’t lose. It’s the perfect fall boredom buster! About the Author: Jen Garry is a freelance writer who chronicles anything and everything that has to do with motherhood on her blog Cuddles and Chaos. From honest essays to DIYs to fashion and beauty posts, she's got the modern momma covered. She lives in Westchester with her husband and two daughters and spends way too much time on Pinterest and Facebook.  

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