Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fun game for drive to hike: Nature Detective

Where would this plant live? "On a rock."
Once you’ve got your children excited about the hike, you next have to get them to the trailhead, probably in a motor vehicle. Sometimes those drives to a national forest, nature preserve or state park can be long. You can keep kids’ spirits up by playing games on the drive there.

One tried and true possibility is Nature Detective.

When police detectives conduct interviews to solve a crime, they typically ask questions that start with the five W’s and one H (who, what, when, where, why and how). This game allows children to play detective as they try to solve a puzzle.

If with two or more children, have one child pick a nature-related word, such as bird. Going round-robin, with the aim of guessing the word each child may ask a question starting with one of the five W’s and one H, such as “Where would I find this animal?” The child who selected the word then answers, possibly by saying “In trees.” The child who answers the question can guess the answer or pass. If the child guesses wrong or passes, another child gets to ask a different question that starts with one of the five W’s and one H.

The round ends when a child guesses the correct word; that child then gets to pick a nature-related word for the next round. Should the children not be able to guess the word after going through each of the five W’s and one H, the child who picked the word wins and gets to select the word for the next round.

Children who ask a question starting with one of the five W’s and one H already used lose their turn. For example in the above game, a child cannot reuse “where.” In addition, all questions must start with one of the five W’s and one H or the turn is lost; for example, “If the animal has wings, when does it fly?” is not an acceptable question.

Materials: None needed

Ages: 9 and up

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.