Alphabet, Number & Shape Hike

Look around outside for letters, numbers or shapes in leaves, branches, rocks and other objects.

What You Need

  • Binoculars or magnifying glass
  • Camera
  • Clipboard (optional)
  • Pencil or crayon (optional)
  • Sketchbook
  • String (optional)

What You Do

  1. Prepare a paper with a list of the alphabet letters.
    You can also look for numbers and shapes. Put your list on a clipboard. You might attach a pencil or crayon to a string so you don’t lose it as you search for letters.
  2. Look around outside for letters, numbers and / or shapes.
    With smaller children, you might start with the letters in their names or shapes. To see something new, try a different view. Lie on your back and look up at the sky. Get down low on your hands and knees. Stand on your head to see an upside-down scene. In advance, you could talk about whether all the letters must be items in nature, or whether you can look for shapes in buildings, benches and other man-made structures. alphabet hike E
  3. You can find shapes in many outdoor places.
    Examine the patterns in clouds, mud, and snow; in branches and leaves; in sunlight and shadow. Look at big shapes and small ones. Use binoculars or a magnifying glass to really zoom in. alphabet hike Q
  4. Document the letters, numbers or shapes that you find.
    As you discover every letter, a picture will help you remember it better. Carry a camera or sketchbook and take your letters home as photos or drawings. When you take a photo, get as close to it as you can. If it is very small, be sure to turn on the “macro” setting on your camera. alphabet hikeO
  5. Print out the photos and make a book.
    You can remember your day, while practicing your letters, numbers and shapes, if you make a book with your photos. alphabet hike heart
  6. Keep looking for letters, numbers and shapes during more than one hike.
    It would be almost impossible to find all the letters, numbers or shapes on one hike. But if you keep this activity in mind, and continue to look each time you explore outside, you might find them all during a season. alphabet hike L