Looking for a fun way to entertain your little ones for an afternoon? Why not plan a scavenger hunt?
Finding activities to keep the kids busy is not always easy, especially when they reach a certain age. Making up a scavenger hunt is great for their bodies and their minds. They can explore the world around them, get some exercise, practice their hunting skills and achieve a sense of accomplishment. If you feel like you and your kids are stuck on fun activities and sliding closer and closer to that dreaded indoor rut, then it’s time to get out there and hunt!
Fun Scavenger Hunt Games
You can really make a scavenger hunt with anything. Younger children will probably be happiest to look for items that are small yet easy to identify which is why Easter egg hunts are quite successful for little ones. However, you don’t have to simply hide Easter eggs – you can hide other items too – toy cars; marbles; stuffed animals. This will give toddlers a sense of thrill and excitement, even if they are too young to properly understand the concept of a scavenger hunt.
Once your child is able to understand what a scavenger hunt is and is able to read clues, then you can choose from some of these tried and loved scavenger hunt games:
- The Great Nature Hunt – ready to explore the world around you? Choose items that you can find in the park, in the beach or in your backyard such as flowers, rocks, sticks and plants. You can make it more advanced with word association clues, such as “Find something that belongs to a bird” (a nest or a feather) or “Find something that comes from the sea” (a sea shell or piece of kelp).
- Magazine Hunting – scavenger hunts can also be performed indoors. All you need are a few old magazines, some child safe scissors, a poster board and some glue. Take a few moments to look through the magazines in search for items that would interest your children and that they would be able to identify. Write up a list of items for your children to ‘seek out’ in the magazines, such as a fishing boat (from Dad’s fishing magazine), a robot and bicycle (from the Toys R Us catalogue) and a big purple yoga ball (from your Women’s Health magazine).Then, help them cut out these items and glue them to the poster board.
- The ABC’s of Hunting – make a scavenger hunt where you child has to find something that belongs to every letter of the alphabet. This is a great game to play while on a family picnic as your kids can run around searching while you and your husband enjoy some quiet time.
- Photo Scavenger Hunts – another great option for any scavenger hunt is to give your child a camera and ask them to take a photo of each item they find. This is especially good if some of the items on the list are simply too big or too dangerous to carry back to you.
The Thrill of the Hunt
One important thing to remember when it comes to scavenger hunts is that it can be quite easy for kids to get overwhelmed and frustrated, especially if the clues are too hard or if they are not having any success finding the items. Offer your assistance anytime they need it and try to choose clues and games that work with their ability. With practice, they will get better and you can enjoy more advanced versions of the versatile scavenger hunt.