Fungi hunting adventures with kids

Group of brown button mushrooms

Fungi hunting is one of our favourite adventures.

Fungi comes in all manner of different sizes, a crazy assortment of shapes, in a kaleidoscope of colours.

We’ve found everything from the the well known mushrooms ranging from orange to bright blues. Blobs that look like they belong in outer space. Brightly coloured tendrils in hues of purple and yellow. And freaky alien looking fungi during our hunts.

It’s a great excuse to get out and be active outdoors with your kids. Exploring a new location and trying to find whatever new or unique species might be hiding there.

Red alien tendril looking fungi

Strange alien looking fungi

 

Kids love fungi hunting!

Once kids understand what they’re looking for, the fun begins.

They end up racing around excitedly, exploring the area, looking under trees and logs for that next discovery.

It’s the ultimate game of hide and seek and a great way to help them learn about the environment and nature.

Keep the fun going at home by photographing and trying to identify what species you’ve found. See how many you can find!

Brown ear fungi

Brown ear fungi

 

Where to hunt?

While fungi can be found almost anywhere. We have found woodlands to be the best hunting spots.

In our home state of Tasmania, Australia. We have found the temperate rainforests to be the best hunting spots.

Some of our favourite hunting places are Philosophers Falls, Hellyer Gorge and Trowutta Arch.

But anywhere with a shadowed canopy that provides a cool, dark and moist location with plenty of decomposing leaf litter to grow in are good hunting spots.

We find under large trees and behind decaying logs to be the best areas to start your search.

Don’t forget to try your local parks, reserves and national parks in your area.

Purple tendril coral fungi

Purple coral fungi

 

How to hunt?

It’s so easy to overlook fungi. Some of the species we have encountered are no bigger than a match head. Hidden away on the dark underside of a rotting log.

You probably walk past them all the time and don’t notice them. But we assure you, they are around.

The key to finding them is to take your time. Walk a few metres, stop, and have a good look around. Don’t forget to look up as well. We have found fungi not only around the ground but also high in the trees.

Once your eyes adapt and you find your first specimen, you’ll be amazed by how many you start to pick out in the area.

Orange mushroom fungi in leaf litter

Mushroom hiding in the leaf litter

 

Stay safe

Certain fungi can be poisonous to touch or eat. And they can often look similar to harmless species commonly eaten at home. Or bright and colourful and therefore attractive to kids. So care needs to be taken educating them.

We aren’t experts and can’t often identify what we find. For this reason we use a look but don’t touch policy when hunting.

Unless you’re an expert and can accurately identify what you find, we recommend following our don’t touch policy.

Ensure your kids are aware of the dangers. Pointing out anything they find is fine, but no touching.

Orange tendril fungi

Orange tendril fungi

 

What’s the craziest fungi you’ve found?

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PIN IT!Red mushroom fungi on moss