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We love ideas that re-use boxes and get inspire even the littlest kids to be observant in nature. We’re up-cycling our cardboard box into a nature tray for a scavenger hunt. When I was a kid I used to do this activity with a shoe box, so if you don’t have a Green Kid Crafts box handy, any small box will work.

Separate your box into compartments and paint the bottom of each compartment with a color found in nature. This can be adapted with the seasons too!

Then head outside and find objects that match the colors in the tray.


  • 1 Green Kid Crafts Box
  • Nature Colored Paint or Markers (We used brown, gray, yellow, and green.)
  • Scissors
  • Tape


Cut the lid off of your empty Green Kid Crafts box.

Cut cardboard spacers from the lid in the following sizes:

2 Spacers at 6 3/4″ x 2″

1 Spacer at 4″ x 2″

Use tape to secure the spacers in the box as shown.

Paint or color each compartment a different color.



Head outside! In your own backyard or to a local park and kids can collect objects that match the colors in the box! How many objects can you find?


It’s a simple activity, with infinite variations.  Siblings, Friends, a Classroom – as either a supported, individual or group activity it works!

It’s a good exercise for young kids, teaching them words to describe objects they find.  Shapes, textures, smells.

It’s a good opportunity to talk to kids about what you shouldn’t pick for your box (roses from your neighbor’s garden?) and why.

It’s a great hiking or traveling activity too – does the earth change color between places? Is all dirt the same color?

Be prepared for some Why’s and go exploring!





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