Scavenger hunts were created to be fun: a crazy menagerie of things to locate, tromping around in teams being silly and trying to find an elusive list items while racing the clock. Scavenger hunts have the added benefit of making the players think and be a little creative in the way they find things in order to beat out the competition. Little ones may not be able to get into the competitive aspect of a hunt, but they can certainly get into the collecting and finding things portion of it. And it turns their own backyard into a big game of “Where’s Waldo” that will most definitely encourage the fun!
And to step up the kids-will-go-crazy-for-this-activity portion of this scavenger hunt…you hand them a camera to go do their hunting with! Using a phone or a point-and-shoot, kids can wander around their backyard looking for all the things on their list, and take a picture of each.
Anyone with kids and a phone probably has as many child-selfie shots on it as I do, and can see the benefit of teaching children how to turn the phone around to take pictures of other things. Summer activity and teaching moment all in one.
Once they’ve crawled all over the yard collecting pictures of everything on the list, Mom or dad can print out their shots for them to cut out and paste into their Summer Adventurer journal.
If you’ve got big kids, encourage them to write something about each of their finds…like what kind of leaves they found, or something interesting about how or where they found a particular item. For the little ones, well, I’m usually pretty happy when the tiny ones make it through a craft project without eating the glue.
After all the pictures are pasted and journaled, three hole punch them and tie them up with a bit of ribbon to keep!
This was a big hit with my kids. They each wanted their own scavenger hunt journal, and disappeared into the yard for quite some time to complete pictures of everything on the list. We spent some time after talking about all the things they had found and writing about them.