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Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Summer is a great time to get outside for some fun and exercise. Keep kids moving with an exciting scavenger hunt! Here are some tips for a challenging, educational summer scavenger hunt that will get kids learning while they work together.
A Prizeworthy Effort
I like to open the scavenger hunt by telling the kids there will be a prize when they have found all the items on the scavenger hunt list. For a summer scavenger hunt, I think the best prize is an ice-cold popsickle! You can keep the prize top-secret until the end, or tell them what it is up-front if you think it will help motivate them. Other fun prizes might include a trip to the air-conditioned library, or play time at a local spray park.
Summer Scavenger Hunt Items
The first item on your hunt should be something within which to carry all the other items. I've made this one a pail, but a backpack or even a wagon can be super fun hunt items that kids can fill with all their hunt findings.
Then, be sure to fill the list with things the children can easily find. I like to alternate indoor and outdoor items to really keep them running!
Outdoor items might include things from nature like a leaf, rock, blade of grass, moss, or a branch. We also tend to have lots of playthings on our deck, like soccer cones, paintbrushes for painting the deck (with WATER, which keeps the kids happily busy for approximately forever), shovels for excavating mole hills, and more.
Indoor items include things I know my kids can fairly easily find in their bedrooms or in the playroom, like a block, pony, bracelet, or sunglasses.
You can also use the scavenger hunt as a teaching opportunity to reinforce the locations of items in your house, and help your kids move toward self-sufficiency. I'm teaching my kids how to set the table, so I included a spoon and bowl on the scavenger hunt to reinforce learning where items are located in the kitchen.
Returning Items to their Homes
At the end of the scavenger hunt, make a game of returning all the items to their homes. Put all the items in a central location, set a timer for 30 seconds (or however long you think is a challenging amount of time to put things away), and dramatically announce "On your mark, get set, GO!" to send the kids scurrying to put things back where they belong. This fun conclusion gets everything put away, and reinforces for kids the importance of cleaning up.