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Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

2016-03-23 by Sarah Noftle

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Combine outdoor play and important skills, with this activity from guest blogger Sarah Noftle of How Wee Learn.

What makes an awesome learning activity for my busy boys? Well, to begin it needs to get them on the move and learning with their whole bodies (those busy, busy little bodies).

It needs to be filled with opportunities for chatting and talking and oodles of learning opportunities need to be in place.

And finally, and of course in my books most importantly, this all must be accomplished through PLAY!

I am so excited to partner with Melissa & Doug today to tell you about this crazy fun scavenger hunt we did (well – in fact, we are still doing it — daily) using the Bead Sequencing Set.

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

My boys are busy (have I mentioned that already?). Perhaps even considered wild (by me). But they are smart as the dickens! How do I get these busy boys of mine so full of all of that wonderful knowledge? Through play!

This bead sequencing scavenger hunt is a great example of how little ones can learn so much through one playful activity.

For this scavenger hunt I set up our Bead Sequencing Set on the porch. I chose one sequencing card, collected the beads that matched that card, and hid them around the yard. I had to do this very sneakily, as those wild boys of mine are also peekers.

I hid them all over! On thin tree branches, little sticks, in bushes, you name it.

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

Once they were all hidden, the scavenger hunt was on. Now I know these competitive little guys of mine work best when they are on the same team. So since there were 8 beads hidden, I told them they each needed to find half of them. With a few flips of little fingers it was discovered they both would need to find 4. And they were off!

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

Climbing, running, stretching, running, jumping, running …. running.

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

Once the beads were found the boys brought them back to the Bead Sequencing Set and put them on in the correct order, according to the card.

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

This was actually trickier than I had thought it would be. Many of the beads look similar and the boys had to discern between those similar shapes to figure out the correct beads and the correct order.

Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt

Just as soon as they popped the last bead on to the dowel they would run up to the bench to close their eyes (or pretend to close their eyes – those peekers) so I could hide them again. And again, and again…

And I have to say, I loved this activity just as much as they did. All that learning and growing! Those boys of mine were:

  • strengthening their fine and gross motor skills
  • strengthening their ability to discern between similar objects and note similarities and differences
  • developing tracking skills by ordering the beads according to the cards
  • building important vocabulary with learning shape names, colours, and ordering words (first, next, last)
  • and practicing all sorts of counting: such as splitting the beads evenly between them and figuring out how many beads were left to find

So much learning with this scavenger hunt! And it was a nice and exciting way to introduce this new toy to my boys. When we were done (well, I suppose it was only when I  was done) we came in and the boys took turns playing with the Bead Sequencing Set all on their own.


Yes, just when I thought this activity couldn’t get any better it ended with some quiet time and tea for this Mama.

I love that this Bead Sequencing Set can be used for busy play and quiet time. Fabulous, isn’t it? I hope your little ones love it as much as mine do!

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Outdoor Bead Sequencing Scavenger Hunt


Sarah Noftle

Sarah is a teacher, mama, and wanna-be homesteader. She is home with her kids learning through play, exploring with nature, and surviving parenthood with humor. She writes at How Wee Learn which is full of creative and playful learning activities for kids, as well as the occasional post on natural living and farmyard antics. Sarah would love to connect with you on Facebook and Pinterest so she can show you pictures of her chickens (and more relevant things too, of course).

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