Un-Nature Trail

Owl puppet peaking out of a flower potThis is a fun treasure hunt to do in the garden and is suitable for any age. It can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. It will test your observation skills and teach you how camouflage works in nature.

You will need:

  • Plenty of man-made objects. Include some brightly coloured things that will stand out easily and some that blend in with their surroundings.
  • Paper and pencil for each player

Step 1

Set the trail. Place the objects at intervals around the garden, some up high and some low down. Make sure whoever sets the trail have noted how many objects they have hidden.

Step 2

Explain to your players that they are going on a un-nature trail. Often we go on nature walks to look for animals and insects that belong and live in that habitat but this trail we will be looking for things which do not belong naturally in the garden.

Step 3A paint brush on a garden fence

Depending on the size of your garden you may want to set your family members off one at a time so that they cannot see what the person in front has spotted. Perhaps you could also set a time limit for each person. Get the players to jot down on a piece of paper what object they saw and where. For example, ‘Paintbrush on the fence’.

Step 4

When everyone has had a turn compare answers and then take them on a tour of the trail to locate any objects that they didn’t find the first time.

Variations

If you want to make it easier you could place a marker near the objects that are harder to find or you could design a card with pictures of the objects they are likely to find.

Card showing pictures of every day items included in the unnatural treasure hunt

You could end the game with a discussion and pose the following questions.

  • Which objects were the easiest to spot? Why?
  • Which objects were the hardest to spot? Why?
  • Was colour important or did shape matter too?
  • What makes an object look out of place?
  • What makes an object very visible in its surroundings?

Now you could go on a hunt for small camouflaged animals like insects and spiders.