Looking for a fun activity to do while you are on your “allowed one hour of outdoor exercise” with your child?

Eager to learn/maintain your German? Keen to be green and ready to recycle household waste and then be attentive to the natural world around you? Want an activity involving both fine and gross motor skills?

GAP teacher Gerda has the perfect activity for you: a nature treasure hunt in German (with translations)!

You will need a box to keep your natural treasures in. In German, it’s called a Naturschatzkiste. Natur as in nature; Schatz as in treasure (Germans sometimes call each other Schatz); and all the children will know Kiste from our daily Raetselkiste.

You will need: an egg carton (der Eierkarton), scissors (die Schere), glue (der Kleber). Optional: crayons / pencil crayons (die Wachsmalstifte / die Buntstifte).

Step 1: Draw your own version of the pictures below, or download this sheet and change “Gerdas” to your child’s name (one letter at a time to keep the rainbow effect), then print it.

Quick German lesson:
In English, we write: Gerda’s (with an apostrophe then the letter s)
In German, we write: Gerdas (no apostrophe) except when the name ends in s, in which case we write: Lars’ or James’ (with an apostrophe after the s).

You can download this here and print it, or draw your own.

Step 2: If you drew your own, you can colour it in.

Step 3: Glue your name to the top of the box, like this:

Glue your name and box title to the top of the egg carton

Step 4: Glue your list of things to find into the top of the lid, like this:

Glue your Things-to-Find table into the top of the egg carton lid

Step 5: Dress for the weather and out you go on your Spaziergang (walk) or into your backyard for your nature treasure hunt. It might take you a few outings to complete your box, which is great!

Here is Gerda’s Naturschatzkiste so far, from this morning

Teacher’s Tip 1: Unless your child is ready for the extra lesson of getting their object into the corresponding slot in the egg carton, don’t worry about that… your child will still be getting good educational value from this activity no matter which slot they choose to put their treasure in. The hunt and the language are the goals here.

Teacher’s Tip 2: You can refresh and reuse this activity with different themes by changing the things to look for.

Note For Those In Quarantine: This activity can be adapted for those looking to enjoy their confinement … You can look for tiny toys, erasers, paper scraps in different shapes (circle, triangle, square, oval), objects of different colours (rot, blau, gelb, orange), fruit pips or bits of orange peel, something soft, something hard, something round, something spiky, and so on.