This outdoor sensory scavenger hunt is a great way to not only get kids outside and moving, but to also teach them about all 8 sensory systems. This activity is such a fun way for kids to get their ever important sensory input.
This is a great hands-on sensorimotor activity that encourages children to explore their senses and the world around them.
How to create a Sensory Scavenger Hunt:
Setting up this scavenger hunt couldn’t be simpler! Print off the Sensory Scavenger Hunt checklist or create your own. Give each person a crayon or marker along with their sheet. Go outside and begin the scavenger hunt.
This can be done in your backyard, a nature preserve, or park. All that’s needed is the paper, something to mark it with, and a child eager to explore.
Use the activities on the checklist to teach or reinforce the different sensory systems. Each item lists the sensory system that it corresponds to. This is a great way to help kids learn the terminology.
The scavenger hunt includes samples for the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, vestibular, proprioception, and interoception senses.
This is an excellent example of a hands-on way to reinforce the concepts of sensory processing that are taught in the My Sensory Self Workbook for Kids. By allowing kids to actually do things representing each sensory system, it will make the concepts more concrete for them.
My kids completely loved the sensory scavenger hunt. They appreciated that it went beyond the usual “finding” that goes on in a typical scavenger hunt. One of my daughters particularly liked the rolling and balancing activities while another preferred being still and finding shapes in the clouds.
This activity is such a fun way to explore nature through your senses! Plus, it’s a great boredom buster.
You can also create your own sensory scavenger hunt specific to your backyard or indoor space. Kids can help design the scavenger hunts as well or help brainstorm additional ideas.
This gets great discussions going about all the different senses and how we can use them.
If your child finds rolling or balancing difficult, you can choose other vestibular tasks to replace those. I also have one daughter who can’t stand the smell of flowers, so while her sister loved smelling ALL the flowers in our yard, I let her smell the grass instead.
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You can also combine this activity with creating a Nature Sensory Bottle or Nature Sensory Bin by collecting some of the items found along the way. Just like that, you’ll have a double dose of sensory fun!
I love this idea! My boys all have sensory processing disorder and they all love to be outside. What a wonderful idea to get them to do something more engaging than digging in the dirt all day!