Photo by Deven Vilar

Mountain School @ Home Lesson 12: I Spy Nature

This is part 2 in the series: Mountain School at Home

Students! Parents! Teachers! During this time of school closures and stay-at-home guidelines, North Cascades Institute is sharing lessons and activities from our talented Mountain School instructors. We hope these will inspire students of all ages to continue to learn about the natural world and discover new connections to the outdoors from home. This lesson was created by Mountain School instructor Bre Harris. Find more lessons and activities on our blog or website.

A Sensory Adventure

Get in touch with your senses to find items in nature that match these descriptions! Download and print the list and check them off as you go!


  • Find something white
  • Find something purple
  • Find something tiny
  • Find something fragile
  • Find something big
  • Find something beautiful
  • Find something bright


  • Find something bumpy
  • Find something wet
  • Find something smooth
  • Find something cold
  • Find something fuzzy
  • Find something prickly


  • Find something quiet
  • Find something loud
  • Find something to make music with
  • Find something that crunches


  • Find something a squirrel would eat
  • Find something a bear would eat
  • Find something a worm would decompose


  • Find something that smells good
  • Find something that smells bad
  • Find something that smells fresh

Photo by Deven Vilar

Meet Nature’s Objects

As we go about our daily lives, we rely heavily on our vision to tell us what is going on in the world. In this activity you will be blindfolded and forced to use senses other than your vision to identify objects in nature.


  1. Grab a friend or family member. 
  2. One person will be blindfolded while the other person will be the careful guide.
  3. The guide will lead the blindfolded person to various objects outside and the person with the blindfold on will try, using their sense of touch, sound and smell, to identify the object. 
  4. Once the person with the blindfold has given their best guess, they can take off their blindfold and verify whether their guess was right or not. 
  5. When the blindfolded person has had the opportunity to try identifying 5 different objects, switch roles.

An important note to the Guide: Before jumping into the activity, ask the person you are about to blindfold how they would like to be given directions. Remember, as the guide you are tasked with keeping the blindfolded person safe. Give clear instructions on where and how to move, and perhaps link arms or put a hand on their shoulder if they are comfortable with it. 

Objects found in nature to guide the blindfolded person to:

  • Plant
  • Tree
  • Rock
  • Pinecone
  • Seed
  • Feather
  • Dead leaf
  • Live leaf
  • Blade of grass
  • Worm
  • Moss 
  • Lichen 
  • Fern
  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Stick
  • Acorn
  • Dandelion


  • Draw something beautiful you found.
  • Describe the bumpy object you found.
  • Where was the quiet sound coming from?
  • What did the good smell you found remind you of?
  • How did it feel to lose your sense of vision when identifying objects in nature?
  • What sense did you rely upon most?

Download Lesson as PDF

Thank you for helping us offer these at-home lessons for transformative learning experiences in nature by making a gift at

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