Targeting Language Skills on a Nature Scavenger Hunt!

By Alexa Demyan,

By: Janel Niekamp, M.S., CCC-SLP

Spring has given way to summer and with the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to go on a nature scavenger hunt. Regardless of the season or the weather, heading outside is always a great speech-language activity! There is never any shortage of great things to talk about and look for, all while incorporating a variety of language skills. Whether you’re strolling around your neighborhood or out enjoying a nearby metro parks you can get your little one actively engaged while exploring the great outdoors. Here are just a few of the many language skills you can target while on a scavenger hunt:

Describing: Describe an object by stating its category, size, shape, and color. You can also try comparing and contrasting two objects to work on stating similarities and differences.

  • A bee is a type of (insert category)
  • A flower is a type of (insert category)
  • Can you name two more types of insects? Plants? Trees? Flowers?

Following Directions: Try incorporating basic 1- and 2-step commands with embedded concepts (spatial concepts: between, under, next to) and (sequential concepts: first/then/last) to target their receptive language skills.

  • Run to the small tree.
  •  Go to the tree and look under the rock.
  • First find a flower, then a feather
  • Put the leaf between the flowers

Object Function: Talk about how we use objects or what we do with it.

  • Show me the object that (insert function).
  • What does (insert object) do?
  • What do you do with (insert object)?

Prepositions: Practice using and understanding spatial concepts (in, on, out of, off) and prepositions (in, on, under).

  • Where is the leaf? (in the dirt, on the sidewalk, etc.)
  • Put the flower under the tree.

Vocabulary: Your child’s vocabulary is continuously growing. Label different objects and use a variety of adjectives to describe them: fast, shiny, loud, heavy, bumpy, etc. By introducing more objects and descriptive terms each week, your child’s receptive and expressive vocabulary skills will continue to grow.