Friday, June 15, 2007

Scavenger Hunt for Kids

I love taking walks in the summer. My oldest would rather ride his bike. My youngest would rather search for bugs in our backyard. I figured out a way to keep the three of us entertained, spend some quality time together, and let me get some much needed exercise.

We have scavenger hunts.

It's such a simple idea and requires 30 or 40 minute of prep work. I create two different lists, appropriate for each age level and interest of my boys.

The seven-year-old's list looks something like this:

  • A blue pick-up truck
  • Three skateboarders
  • A red slide
  • Two dogs
  • A maple leaf
  • Baseball players
  • Soccer players

Note: We live near several athletic fields and finding teams on a weekend is pretty easy.

The three-year-old's list looks something like this:

  • A ball
  • A yellow flower (dandelion)
  • A squirrel
  • Ants
  • A smooth rock
  • A jagged rock
  • Leaves

Once you've done this a few times, challenge them to write lists for each other. Helping each other out is easy as well. You'd be surprised what one will see without effort and will be challenging for the other.

Because the two lists are different, I can easily re-direct potential fights about who is done first or who has the most. Developing their sense of team work could be cut to a single word that is only used to remind them. Our is "peanuts" since each of them needs help from someone else to open the shells.

The next time we go scavenger hunting, I'm going to take along our digital camera. Tune in next Friday for that activity.

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