Nature Games




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William Gould Vinal


Twig Matching: Obtain several kinds of twigs 8 to 12 inches long.  Cut into two parts.  Mount the lower half on a board. Scatter the other halves on a table.  At a given signal the players observe closely one of he twigs and then run to the twigs on the table to get the other half.  If the wrong half is brought back they try again. This game requires close observation.  Leaves may be used in the same way, or flowers with short stems may be fitted to longer stems, or leaves to leaf scars. 


Indoor Twig Relay: Have a group of winter twigs scattered at one end of the room, as many of each kind as there are players.  Show a twig, as the white ash.  The players may look as long as they wish.  Samples are then passed back and they are given 30 seconds to get a white ash twig.  Everyone back in his seat with a white ash twig at the end of 30 seconds gets one point. 


Spot the Tree: Give each player a sample twig of a tree that may be seen from the window.  The players go to the window and mark those trees on a map.  If it is an elm, for example, they mark the elm trees spotted from the window.  Maple twigs, horse chestnut, pine, and spruce, all work well.  This is a very interesting game to train in long distance observation. 


Spot Spy: This game is great fun when resting on a hike or when loitering along the way.  The leader says: "I can see 5 white oaks."  The group are given one or two minutes to spot the white oaks.  All those who see them may indicate it by sitting down, taking off their hat, or by some other agreed signal.  All those who see the object get a point. 


A Forest Census: This game is well adapted to a permanent or temporary camping site.  Mark off a forest area as the "Out Door Museum."  Have a large number of sale tags such as used in a department store. Divide into groups called foresters, miners, florists, birders, etc.  If there are a large variety of trees and a small display of minerals give each tree the value of one and each mineral the value of three.  The naturalists are then given fifteen minutes to label and list the natural history objects under their department.  In the case of birds it would be the evidence of the bird rather than the bird itself.  The reports around the council ring are instructive and often amusing. 


Tree Cribbage: This may be played for a time when on a hike.  One group may take one side of the road and the other the opposite or the points may go to the side recognizing the tree first.  It should be limited to trees on the road side of the fences.  Counting the number of legs on the right and left is fun and usually ends up when coming to a chicken farm or cemetery.  Sometimes it is stated beforehand, as a joker, that a rabbit or a white horse, seen first will count as five points.


Twig Diaries: Suited to late fall.  A tree is named, as tulip.  The players must run and get a tulip twig that grew in the preceding summer.  He counts the number of leaf scars and searches for the  same number of leaves that grew on the tulip tree. 


Nature Sounds: The group is given five minutes to see who can make the longest list of things heard in the woods during that time.  It may be a raindrop, crow, cow, rooster in distance, rustling leaves of oak or the swish of the pine, tapping of the woodpecker, or song of the brook. 


Exploring Game: Parties are sent out to discover good blue berry picking, clay for pottery, frog's eggs for the aquarium, a good region for nutting, sphagnum moss, etc. 


Sand Tracking: Make puzzles on the beach, such as: someone has a piggy back ride, someone falls down and is helped up, someone crawls on hand and knees to view a bird, etc. 


Compass-Pacing, Nature Trailing: This again is a game for real Scouts.  A meter is given which may read something like this: 

Left Hand 

White Pine 
Open Field 


Fox den 
Poison sumac 


Compass and Paces



10 Fence 

Right Hand 

Granite boulder 
White Oaks 

White Ash



Trail Observations:  A good Scout can retrace a trail because he remembers certain objects along the trail. Walk for a certain distance over a trail and then ask ten questions, or each one may write ten questions and then exchange. Arguments will follow and it will usually be necessary to go over 'the trail again. 







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
B-P Snow Games ] Camp Games ] Contests ] Indoor Games ] [ Nature Games ] Snow Tag ] Vigorous Games ] Animal Tracking Game ] Game of Big Foot ] Gander-Pulling ] Goose Hangs High ] Raccoon Jumping ] Running the Gauntlet ] Running Indian Scouts ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Winter Games ] Snowball Warfare ] Skate Sailing ] Woods in Winter ] Snowmen ] Snow Statuary ] Ice Fishing ] Skating ] Evening Entertainment ] Winter Projects ] Advancement ] Polar Bear Swim ] Snow & Ice ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.