Take a Hike!: A Family Forest Walk

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In this family or group inquiry activity, learners use their senses to explore a local forest or woodland. Learners can look for decomposers and fungi, investigate flowers and pollination, and practice observation skills while looking for signs of plant and animal life interaction. Learners will sketch their findings in a nature journal and then share their observations after the forest walk.[Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip


Materials List (per group of students)

  • light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts
  • map (if needed)
  • nature journal(s)
  • pencils


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Protists and Fungi
      • Classification
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Smell
      • Vision
      • Hearing
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • hear
  • be mobile
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums


  • All rights reserved, Smithsonian National Zoological Park,

Funding Source:

  • FujiFilm