Sometimes we all need to take a moment to look at the world with a different perspective. Give yourself a chance to see the natural setting around you in a whole new light by engaging all your senses on a hike in a familiar place.
Age Level: 6 and up
Supervision Requirements: Outdoor safety, reading comprehension, keeping track of a timer.
Materials & Setup
- Access to the outdoors and any kind of natural area
- A printer (print and cut apart Sensory Hike Cards)
- A timer or stopwatch.
Print and cut out a set of Sensory Hike Cards and find a hiking route that will take you 30 to 60 minutes. If you’d like a shorter hike, feel free to skip some cards. If you’d like a longer hike, feel free to use some cards multiple times.
Read the first card and follow its instructions as you begin your hike. Set a timer for 3 minutes (If you’d like to hike for an hour or longer, set the timer for 5 minutes instead). When the timer ends, read and follow the instructions on the next card. Then, start the timer again and repeat for each card throughout your hike. Remember to take your time, relax and enjoy this time in nature!
Dive in Deeper
Looking for something more? Try these extra challenges.
- Try writing your own set of sensory hike cards. What are some new ways you can engage each of your different senses?
- Commit to hiking with sensory cards in the same place 3 days in a row. On each of your hikes, notice: how is this place different than it was yesterday? Why might it have changed?
- Go on a night hike! How do you use your senses differently at night?
- Bring a buddy, and take turns hiking blindfolded a couple minutes at a time. While your buddy is blindfolded, lead them slowly and carefully so they don’t get hurt, and help them anticipate obstacles by describing their surroundings. While you’re the one blindfolded, feel your way along the path with all your other senses and think about what different things you notice about the landscape while blindfolded.