Looking for a fun, free activity for kids in Goodyear? Look no further! We have beautiful weather year-round, so there’s no excuse for not getting outdoors for some fresh air. If your kids aren’t into walking or hiking, encourage them by going on a nature scavenger hunt! They’ll be excited to have a mission, and you’ll all get some good exercise. Here are the treasures you should find:
1) A Coniferous Tree
A conifer is a tree with needles instead of leaves, like a typical Christmas tree. Goodyear has pine trees, like the Douglas-fir and spruce, as well as cedar, cypress, and juniper. When you find your tree, snap a picture of it and use the Tree Identification Field Guide to figure out what species it is!
2) A Butterfly
Butterflies are one of nature’s prettiest insects, and there are a wide variety around Goodyear. Swallowtails are common, and come in all shapes and sizes. If you find a particularly large butterfly, it might be a giant swallowtail, one of the largest species of butterfly in North America! It can have a wingspan of over six inches! Having trouble finding a butterfly? Caterpillars count, too!
3) A Unique Rock
Look around for a unique rock that’s small enough for you to bring home. It could have an interesting shape, or maybe it’s a different color than the rocks nearby. There are three kinds of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. See if you can determine which kind of rock you’ve found using geology.com or the Arizona EdVentures websites.
4) A Cactus Wren or Nest
The cactus wren is the state bird of Arizona, and you’ll find them everywhere, from the driest parts of the desert to your very own backyard. It’s a big bird (about eight inches from beak to tail) and has a white belly with brown spots. It also has white feathers that look like eyebrows above its eyes. The cactus wren builds many nests, but only uses one. The others are decoys!
5) A Cactus
Did you know that there are over 2000 species of cacti, and they come in all shapes and sizes? See if you can find a cactus on your treasure hunt! The saguaro cactus is native to the nearby Sonoran Desert, and the saguaro blossom is the Arizona state wildflower. They can grow up to sixty feet tall, and when it rains, the cactus visibly expands as it soaks up the water.
6) A Flower
The desert isn’t always conducive to plant life, but there are some flowers which are specially adapted to live in Goodyear’s unique climate. Keep an eye out for desert sunflowers, desert bluebells, and desert marigolds. Take a peek at nearby gardens if you’re having trouble finding wildflowers! Snap a picture of a garden flower or pluck a wildflower and bring it home for identification.
7) Two Different Kinds of Leaves
There are all kinds of trees in Goodyear, so this should be a pretty easy one. You can find leaves on the ground or still growing on the tree. Find two leaves that look different from one another, whether that’s shape, color, or both! When you get home, you can use the Tree Identification Guide to figure out what you’ve collected.
8) A Small Animal
Goodyear is home to many different kinds of animals, and chances are you won’t have much trouble spotting a squirrel. Ringtail cats are common in Goodyear, and despite the name, they aren’t cats at all! It’s actually a type of raccoon, and just happens to be the state mammal of Arizona. It’s a nocturnal beast, though, so you’re probably more likely to find a squirrel or a snake.
9) Something That Makes You Smile
This is a freebie! Look for anything that brings a smile to your face, whether it’s a pretty flower, a soaring bird, or an especially cool insect. Everyone in your group will probably have something different for this one, so show your fellow scavengers what you’ve chosen!
10) Something That Might Be Dangerous
Although it’s wonderful to spend time outdoors, there are many potential dangers. Some snakes and spiders, including rattlesnakes and brown recluses, are poisonous. But even if a snake or spider isn’t poisonous, a bite can still hurt! Bee stings can be dangerous, especially if you’re allergic, and even extra sharp rocks pose a threat if you aren’t looking where you’re going. Keep your eyes peeled to avoid danger. Don’t touch it – just see if you can spy it.
Fresh air is good for the body and the spirit, but accidents do happen, even when you’re on your guard. When you’re injured, FastMed Urgent Care is here to help. From sprained ankles to cuts or burns, we’re able to provide you with the fast care you need, so you don’t have to spend time and money at the emergency room. We’re located on North Litchfield Road, and we’re open seven days a week. We do vaccines and physicals, too!