{Guest Post: Garden Hunt}

Today's guest post is by my bloggy friend Abbie of Greening Sam and Avery. You may recognise her from our Friday Outdoor Play linky. If you haven't already visited her blog, be sure to check it out. She writes about raising her two (super adorable!) girls (almost the same age as my two, in fact) to love nature and to be environmentally responsible. She has made it her mission to spend time with them in nature every single day, and her blog is a report on those adventures. In fact, today is a very special bloggiversary for her - 365 days of outdoor play and learning with her kids! Wow, what an achievement, Abbie, well done!

Hello Mama Pea Pod Readers! I am super excited to be guest posting over here today. I co-host the Outdoor Play Link Up with Mama Pea Pod and have gotten some really great ideas from her and her readers. It is a treat to get to “meet” you all! I am sharing an activity that my girls and I love. I wrote about it a while back but both girls like when we pull the rabbits out on any day. Thought this would be a fun one to share because it is great for mamas with kids of any age and can even be a good one in a school setting or at camp! Hope you enjoy it. And be sure to let me know if you try it out.

I originally created this activity (not taking complete credit for this because I am sure years ago I read it or saw it somewhere) for a family program. I thought I could simplify it a bit and use it with Sam. 

Super simple. Cut out some rabbits (or really any other animal that is small and easy to cut out) in a variety of colors. Then hide them in places where rabbits would naturally live. 

Then let the children go to find the rabbits. 

Sam loved "hunting" for the rabbits and I did hide some a bit hard so that she had to keep walking back up and down the path to find all ten that I had hidden.  We talked about which ones were the hardest to find and she called them out by color each time she found one.  We did this activity over and over again (Sam would go play on her swings while I hid them!).


The Nitty Gritty!

I just used a rabbit that I found online, printed it out, cut it out and then traced it onto construction paper.  Since Sam liked this so much I will probably laminate the rabbits just to make them hold up a bit better and be heavier so that I can be sure they won't blow away after I have hidden them.

This is a GREAT activity if you have several kids of different ages.  With rabbits hidden at different levels of difficulty there will be challenges for each kid.  You could also tell each child they are looking only for rabbits of specific colors to guide their hunting.  Although with the little ones they might be so excited to find one they will point it out no matter what color it is.

With older kids the idea of camouflage can be explained in much more detail.  This time of year the hardest rabbit to find is the green one, so why aren't rabbits green?  Would it help them if they were green?  How does being grey/brown/slightly multi-color help rabbits to survive?  There are lots of different examples of animals that use camouflage that can be described and talked about.

This is also a great activity to have packed when you go camping or hiking.  It can be motivation on a trail (just send one parent up ahead while you are on a break to hide the rabbits) or a good at camp activity.

Thanks so much to Abbie for sharing this fun activity to get us playing outdoors! Be sure to check out her blog, Greening Sam and Avery, for more ideas for getting your children outdoors, enjoying nature, and having fun!