Your guide to quick Summer Scavenger Hunts
There’s something about the sun and blue skies that makes us want to venture into the great outdoors, explore new areas and discover new hideouts. It’s probably something to do with our hunter-gatherer ancestors, right? Whatever it is, playing outside has endless benefits for children, so why not start planning an outdoor scavenger hunt for kids in preparation for the summer holidays?
- What is a scavenger hunt?
- Why are scavenger hunts beneficial?
- Some fun home scavenger hunt ideas
- Other household holiday fun
Preparation is key to keeping the kids happy, so let’s get scavenging…
What is a scavenger hunt?
A scavenger hunt is exactly what is sounds like – a hunt to find specific items to scavenge and collect. There’s no treasure map, you usually just get a list of items to find and the person who finds them all first, wins. The idea is you look for natural items like a specific flower or leaf. There’s no hiding anything in a scavenger hunt, that’s what makes it so fun – it’s fair, educational and relatively low maintenance to set up. Perfect to help young kids get used to using their senses more.
Why are scavenger hunts beneficial?
Scavenger hunt are ideal for young kids as they are accessible for most ages. They rely on visual and other sensory identification rather than complex clues and hint to find the items which makes them universally educational.
Some top scavenger hunt benefits:
- Versatile – do them indoors or out with whatever items you have around you.
- Increases physical health – children have to traverse all kinds of terrain while reaching, stretching, crouching and more.
- Improves mental health – playing outside is a great way to help children develop mentally too.
- Creative – these kinds of hunts lend themselves extremely well to adventure imagination games
- Educational – they can learn all about different trees, plants, animals and more.
There are loads more benefits too, so why not try one out and see for yourself?
Some fun home scavenger hunt ideas
A classic scavenger hunt involves lot of searching and finding to retrieve specific items off a list. Here’s the basic set up:
Step 1: Generate a list of things to find around the home or in a specific area outside. There are ready-to-download lists online for you to use, but a homemade on can include natural things, manmade items, local attractions and more.
Step 2: Make copies for each scavenger group and make sure they have a pen or pencil ready to check off each item as they find it. For safety, you can attach the pen to a notepad with the list inside, or to a clipboard if you want to be super official. Doing this will also prevent any upsets caused by a lost pen or list.
Step 3: Make sure each scavenger group has their own box or bag to collect any items they find. That way there’s no danger or any crossovers or mistakes when it comes to checking the list at the end. For those items they can’t collect, give the eldest a camera to take a picture or designate one of the team to come and get you when they find it.
Step 4: Reward your winners to motivate them to complete the challenge.
You can find ready made hunts on the internet – the Woodland Trust have some ideas online for you to download, but they’re based in woodland and fields which not everyone has access to.
Here are some tips for your own epic scavenger hunts:
- Use your local woodland or park
We’ve all been to play on the swings or picnic in the park, so use what you know of the area to build your own search and find game. Make lists which include finding specific shaped leaves, flowers you know are there or monuments, statues or popular graffiti.
- Use your house
Your home is chok-a-blok full of things to scavenge. How about a specific kind of photograph you have displayed or something that lights up? Extra points if you sneak in chores like bringing you a piece of dirty laundry or a piece of litter to throw away.
- Use your whole home and garden
You can combine inside and outside scavenger hunts easily at home. First, they have to find the longest piece of grass, the next they need to find something soft or something that makes a noise – there’s loads of options.
Other household holiday fun
Once you have all those outdoor items collected and checked off the scavenger hunt list, don’t throw them away – make use of them instead. Natural items like leaves and stick are great for adding texture to your arts and crafts.
You can use the leaves the make prints, grate up the sticks and add the shavings to paint to add texture, use the bark to make rubbings with crayons and more. They can really bring a landscape picture to life.
Make up your own scavenger hunts is quick and easy – you can do it during your morning cup of coffee since it only takes a few minutes to write the list. They are excellent learning opportunities and give your children a safe opportunity to explore the world around them. Plus, with summer around the corner, they can keep the kids busy for a few hours too. So why not give a few of these home scavenger hunt ideas a go?