If you’re looking for a cheap activity to get your kids engaged on a sunny summer day – or a rainy Sunday afternoon! – then a good old fashioned scavenger hunt or treasure hunt is a great option. Today we’re looking at how you can put one together for your kids, for an afternoon of fun they won’t forget in a hurry.
Making a List
The most important part of any scavenger hunt is what you put on the list to find. If you’re making your own list you can customise it to the people involved – if your children are interested in nature then you can focus on creepy-crawlies, flowers, leaves and trees. If they’re interested in history, then you could use a scavenger hunt as a way to take them on a tour of a stately home or historical site.
There are also lots of companies who produce off the shelf scavenger hunts for you to buy. The best of these are focussed on a specific location, with a narrative weaving in the history of the area and keeping everyone engaged in the adventure!
Taking Objects or Keeping Memories?
When you’re putting a scavenger hunt together, the first thing you have to think about is whether you’re going to be asking the participants to gather physical objects (stones, leaves, flowers and so on) or simply ticking them off a list – and forming some fun memories of exploring the natural world at the same time.
In general, think of your location. If you’re organising a scavenger hunt in your own home and garden, you’re not risking damage to anyone else’s property, but if you’re using a scavenger hunt to liven up a day at a National Trust property or other privately owned (or publicly maintained) space then it’s more considerate to leave things as they are and take nothing but memories. Don’t risk damage to other people’s hard work!
One work around might be to ask for pictures of your chosen targets: in a world of smartphones and tablets, it’s relatively easy to provide everyone involved with a camera, and then they find their scavenger targets and record them without any damage!
If you’re stuck in the house with your children on an unexpected rainy afternoon, a scavenger hunt can be a great way to keep them occupied and happy for a few hours. Just adjust your scope downwards and make sure everything you send them looking for can be found inside your home.
It might be even be a way to trick them into doing a bit of tidying up as they go…