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Seaside Scavenger Hunt - Enjoy The Beach!

Updated on January 6, 2017
Seaside Scavenger Hunts get them playing outside.
Seaside Scavenger Hunts get them playing outside. | Source

It is a tradition amongst many families to go to the beach for an annual vacation. People of every age flock to the coast every summer for these seaside retreats. They walk around the boardwalk, purchase souvenirs in the local shops, tan on the beach, and swim in the ocean. These things are the norm around beach communities, especially in the summertime. But who ever said going against the norm was a bad thing? Why not organise your own seaside scavenger hunt.

When it comes to scavenger hunt ideas, staging scavenger hunts on and around a beach may not be the first thing to come to your mind. It might not be the second or tenth either. But for those of you trying to find a way to take your family on a more unique and beneficial trip, a scavenger hunt with clues relating to the beach might be just what you need.

The Educational Aspect Of Seaside Scavenger Hunts

For centuries mankind has been fascinated with the sea and the mysteries locked within its depths. People from many varying professions and specialties have sought to learn more about it, but much of the ocean still remains unexplored. And yet you do not need to be a scientist or a philosopher to learn about the ocean. You and your children can use scavenger hunts as an educational tool more easily than you might expect.

If you are dealing with younger children then you are going to have a fairly easy time with this activity, as they still need to learn their animals and their shapes. And what better a way to teach children about both at once than via starfish and sea sponges?

These two living creatures are often mistaken by children for inanimate objects when they are spotted around the beach. So imagine the surprise that your kids will feel when you tell them that they are alive? To set this situation up all you need to do is make a simple clue about “finding a star in the daytime.” (You can substitute anything you want for your clue, that is just an example.) Before you know it you will have helped guide your child to a starfish. You can then explain some basic information about it and wet their curiosity for sea life.

You may even relate these creatures back to a certain popular kids' cartoon that features a starfish as a main character. This will go perfectly if you introduce the sea sponge as well. The sea sponge – whilst not perfectly shaped – can come in a variety of forms. So help your child determine which shape the sponges you find are making and attempt to make it into a fun sort of guessing game if you can.

Past these two examples, get creative. Hermit crabs can be found on some beaches (and in plenty of seaside gift shops). Their discarded seashells are always of fascination to children. A clue to find one during the scavenger hunt might read “Where can you hear the ocean, even when you're miles away?” Or you could show them some sort of aquatic plant life, such as kelp.

The hope you should go into this situation with is that you will be able to get them interested enough in aquatic life to start a dialogue that will allow you to teach them everything they need to know about the subject. You may start with a starfish or a hermit crab, but perhaps the conversation will end with tales of pilgrims, pirates, and Atlantis. Just be careful to keep fact and fiction separated if possible, as you don't want to confuse your younger kids into thinking that the wrong things are true. Be clear with your distinctions.

Get Your Kids To Exercise

If you're looking for a way to use this seaside scavenger hunt technique to make your kids more active, then look no further. All you need to do is expand the area of the scavenger hunt to include the boardwalk. Then place the clues so that they force the participants in the scavenger hunt to go from one end of the boardwalk to the other. Alternate hints so that they will find themselves endlessly trekking both ways. This will tire them out quickly and allow you a more peaceful day, if all goes to plan.

Of course, your children might figure out your scheme and simply do the clues out of order, thus allowing them to get away with less physical activity. But this is not something to be discouraged. In fact, reward them for this level of problem solving, as it shows them how to think outside of the box.

Speaking of rewards, the boardwalk is the perfect place for a post-scavenger hunt reward. You are likely to find dozens of places that your kids would enjoy shopping in for a souvenir or two. So if your children have been good, cooperative, and willing to learn, then consider buying them something small to remember the day by.

The Small Issue Involved

Due to the nature of the beach, you will not be able to plant your scavenger hunt objects ahead of time. If you leave something on a beach alone it is likely to get trashed in your absence. So instead of risking your possessions and disappointing your children when things go missing, make sure you base your clues around things that you will not need to plant.

This is why harmless sea life works so well. You will almost always see starfish, sea sponges, and/or hermit crabs at a beach in one capacity or another. So by using them as a part of your scavenger hunt you are saving yourself trouble.

You can also use things like beach balls, umbrellas, and sand castles. Just be careful to specify that your children are not to talk to strangers or take/harm their possessions. This could be a helpful tactic for teaching your value of personal space and property, as purposely selecting items that they can see and they cannot touch is a way of reinforcing these values.

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