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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Make a nature rainbow wheel

First suggested by WWF
Capture the colours of the rainbow in the local area with this scavenger hunt.

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You’ll need

  • Rulers
  • Pens or pencils
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint
  • Copies of the colours and nature sheet, one per group
  • Paper plates
  • Felt tips
Colours and nature
PDF – 469.2KB

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 

Planning and setting up this activity

  • Make sure the outdoor area you visit is accessible for everyone, choosing a suitable place for drop off and collection. You may need to think about avoiding steps or steep gradients or including frequent breaks. 
  • Check the forecast and sunset times, but be prepared for the weather to change. It’s best to run this activity on lighter evenings, such as in summer.
  • Make sure everyone knows where and when to meet, knows what to bring, and comes dressed for the weather and the task. People should wear outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • You could use resources to help people identify wildlife, such as apps or identification sheets from the Woodland Trust.
  • You may wish to run this activity over two weeks, with one to make the rainbow wheel and the other to find the items.

Making the rainbow colour spotters

  1. Gather everyone together and explain you’re going on a rainbow nature scavenger hunt. Depending on the group, see if the group can remember all the colours of the rainbow. For the purposes of this activity, indigo and violet can be blue and purple.
  2. Give everyone a paper plate and ask them to divide it into eight segments using a ruler and pencil. 
  3. People should use paint or felt tips to colour in each of the segments, making sure each segment is a different colour. Make sure to use all the seven colours of the rainbow, plus one other colour. For example, you could use brown, as red-brown colours are common in natural environments.
  4. Once the plates are dry, attach a peg to each segment. This’ll be used to hold items down once you’ve found them.

Going on the treasure hunt

  1. Meet at or head out to the outdoor space or meet at the chosen venue. Explain the boundaries of the playing area and where the no-go zones are. 
  2. Everyone should get into small groups, with at least two adults for each group. If playing in a public space, young people should be paired up so no young person is left alone and they should run or move together.
  3. Tell people how they can use the space respectfully. Remind people to be calm and quiet, so you don’t disturb wildlife or other people, and not to pick any flowers or plants. They should handle wildlife gently, take litter home, and put things gently back where they were found. Explain what the signal to stop is and how long the activity will go on for. A long blast on a whistle works well as a signal to stop the activity.
  4. Give each group their rainbow coloured plates. Give out copies of the 'Colours and nature' sheet to each group. 
  5. Explain to everyone that they’ll be looking for the colours of the rainbow in nature. When they find something that matches one of the colours, they should peg it to their plate. However, people should only collect items on the floor, rather than picking or pulling them off plants and trees. Remind everyone to think creatively, to only touch natural items, and to check with an adult if they’re unsure if they can touch something.
  6. Give everyone a set amount of time to find all the colours and peg them to the plate.
  7. If there is time left over, everyone can search for other colours to add to their plate. 
  8. At the end, gather back together and get groups to show what they’ve collected. Remember to return all natural items back to where they were found at the end.

If people find the colour, but it’s an insect, wildlife or living being, then they could take a photo of it to show the rest of the group. They could also use paper, pencils and colouring items to draw what they’ve seen and attach this to their wheel.

A wheel with the colours of the rainbow on it, plus dark green and brown. Each segment has a peg, with items attached, such as flowers, leaves and bark.


In this activity, people had to find natural items representing the colours of the rainbow. Was anyone surprised at how many of the colours they found? Was anyone disappointed not to see more colour? How might more colours be introduced into a natural environment? Why is this a good thing?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast, and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

Animals and insects

Be aware of the risks before interacting with animals. Be aware of anyone with allergies, and make alternative arrangements for them.

Gardening and nature

Everyone must wash their hands after the activity has finished. Wear gloves if needed. Explain how to safely use equipment and set clear boundaries so everyone knows what’s allowed.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance for each the adventurous activity.

Phones and cameras

Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.

Near water

Manage groups carefully when near water. The guidance on activities near water will help you to keep your group safe.

  • To make this activity easier, you could give each group just one colour to look for, rather than eight.
  • To make this activity harder, you could add more colours or use different shades of the rainbow colours, if there’s time. Some of these are likely to be more common than others, depending on where you are.
  • It might be a good idea to have some spare equipment, such as gardening gloves, for those who’d prefer not to get their hands too dirty. Make sure there’s somewhere everyone can wash their hands after the activity too.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

The group should think of ways to make different environments as colourful as possible. You could come up with ways of making urban areas more colourful, such as planting wildflowers on verges or roundabouts.

Young people could choose the place they wish to visit, if there’s a choice.