Explore wildlife at your local pond with this free pond scavenger hunt. Perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners, and elementary aged kids!
Ponds are one of those places where you visit and you cant help but admire all of the plants and animals. Exploring ponds is a great way for your kids to get outside into nature and learn about the world around them!
Pair this activity with a pond unit study or just as a fun adventure!
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I kept this printable simple on purpose. Large colorful images of plants and animals that even young children in preschool can identify.
Activities like scavenger hunts are great as a hook to get your child excited about a new topic.
You can download the pdf version of the scavenger hunts at the bottom of this post.
Pond Plants and Animals
- Small Fish
- Lily pads
Depending on where you live will have an impact on the specific types of wildlife that you will find at a pond. However, most pond habitats contain most of the items found on this list.
If not simply cross off the image and replace it with a different plant or animal. It would be fun for your kids to come up with the replacement!
Reading books together is a wonderful way to learn more about specific species of pond wildlife.
If you are looking for a resource to use with your kids, Pond and River is a wonderful nonfiction book for children.
You can also find a whole list of Fantastic Children's Books about Frogs in this post.
One of the best parts of exploring ponds with your kids is that they are always changing. Plan a few visits to a local pond throughout the year to track all of the seasonal changes happening within the freshwater habitat!
How to do a Pond Scavenger Hunt
There are several different ways to do one with your kids. Here are a few ideas:
- Let each child find the items on the list independently
- Work in pairs or small groups
- Hunt for each item together and discuss each one as you find it
Within the printable scavenger hunt there is a box next to each of the eight items. Simply make a check mark once you find an item.
Or keep a tally then write the total number within the box. At the end you can talk about the different plants and animals you found.
Like scavenger hunts? Make sure to check out these Backyard Scavenger Hunt Printables
When your kids are done, they can even come up with additional items to add to the list!
Skills to Practice
- Fine Motor Skills
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Making Observations
- Problem Solving
- Working as a Team
One of the best parts about heading outside to observe nature is your kids will practice a wide range of skills. Communication and collaboration along with problem solving.
Younger children in preschool and kindergarten can practice counting and recording data.
Older children will build communication skills as they talk about and share their results. Even if you head out and do this activity with one child, they will still be practicing these skills.
Science Topics to Explore
- Pond Plants and Animals
- Freshwater Ecosystems
- Characteristics of Living Things
- Communities and Populations
- Food Chains
As your kids look for items they will naturally begin to observe the characteristics of a pond ecosystem. They will see first hand the different species of plants and animals that live there.
When hunting for frogs and dragonflies, they may witness insects being eaten by the frogs within the pond.
Simple activities like scavenger hunts are great jumping off points for larger discussions.
Bring along a science notebook or nature journal and record additional notes. Even young children can draw a picture, make a map, or write down a few words about what they saw.
Why stop at just a scavenger hunt? While your children are interested in pond life you can do some additional free activities together. You can even bring them along with you as you explore a pond!
Free Coloring Pages
Worksheets and Sorting Cards
Games and Puzzles
Here on the blog, I strive to make educational activities for you to do with your kids in preschool and up. All of these activities can be adapted for kids of different ages.
Don't forget to get your free copy of the pond scavenger hunt below!
These printables were created by Nature Inspired Learning and are for personal use only for your home, classroom, or public library. All of these free pond scavenger hunts are for non-commercial use. See full disclosure.
Printable Pond Scavenger Hunt
- 2 different versions- 1 fits a standard 8 ½ inch by 11 inch piece of paper and the other is half that size
Heading outside to explore nature with your kids? Make sure to check out these additional nature scavenger hunts!