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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Week of the Young Child (Day 4): Take it Outside

Now that spring is here and the weather is starting to get warmer it the perfect time to get outside.

Some of the activities we enjoy almost daily are playing sports, going to the play ground, swimming (in the summer) and having picnics.

But if your family is anything like mine, and we love those activities, but sometimes we want to mix it up and make it a bit more fun for both grown ups and kids.

We have a State Park about a half an hour away from our house and love to go there for walks in the woods. We quickly found the kids needed something to do on these walks so I searched the internet and found all sorts of links for "Nature Scavenger Hunts."

We're off on our Scavenger Hunt!

The kids loved having something to do while we were on our walk. Now, every time we go, Scavenger Hunts are a must! And with the internet doing all the advanced planning for us, I just make a few adjustments to the lists and off we go!

The wonderful thing about the scavenger hunts is you can adapt them to all age groups and environments.
Writing Down

For little kids, print up a list with pictures instead of words. The kids can either check off the items as they find them, or draw pictures. If your kids are older, give them more cryptic clues such as "find something a deer would eat" or "find something that floats."

Live in a city? Take a walk around the block or your local park and look for different colored shutters or window boxes or count the number of blue cars you see. You could even adapt this to use in the grocery store with your shopping list if you wanted.

With Earth Day right around the corner, you can incorporate the Scavenger Hunt into the perfect Earth Day activity. Bring garbage bag and some gloves and pick up trash as you go or, you can use the opportunity to teach the kids about the different things you see -- we tested to see what items floated and what items sank.

Writing down his findings

We are lucky enough to live in a state where we can go outside most of the year so we do the scavenger hunts in the winter too. We just change what we need to look for to suit the season. Believe me, being able to get out of the house in the winter time helps to maintain our sanity!

We also like to bring a "treasure" for the kids to find after they get all items on their list. Usually one of us distracts the kids while the other one "hides" the treat (usually it's a few wrapped chocolate Kisses or similar). It's a nice treat at the end of the walk.

Happy Hunting!

6 comments:

  1. Sounds fun! I like the idea of incorporating a scavenger hunt into an Earth Day activity!

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  2. I love it! What happy hunters!

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  3. AWESOME idea!! If I didn't know better, I'd swear you homeschooled! Your mind is always going, always thinking of cool, fun, safe ways for the kids to 'learn'...and what better way than a lovely walk/scavenger hunt! I LOVE IT!

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  4. I love the Scavenger Hunt idea!

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  5. I like your idea for a scavenger hunt. My 4-H meeting is Thursday and I think this sounds like a great idea for my 6 year olds. I like the idea about drawing or etching the item. Thanks for sharing.

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