When that school bell rings on Friday afternoon, students are beyond excited to begin their weekends. Television, video games and fun with friends leads the agenda in their minds, with a slight bit of homework peppered in somewhere. They already dread homework as it is, so how else can you keep education fresh in their young minds? Educational scavenger hunts for your children are one of the best ways to sneak some learning into their weekend of fun!
Scavenger hunts are a way for all children to come together and enjoy their time. They promote and develop outstanding problem solving, communication, time management and teamwork skills – all while getting a little bit of exercise and a whole lot of fun.
They are also fully customizable, too. You can pick a theme, teams, items, etc.
Here’s what you can do to start scavenging this weekend!
- Pens & Lists (for each team)
- Some sort of bag or container to gather items with
- A prize for the winner!
Build your list.
What will your little hunters be looking for? One of the best parts about a scavenger hunt is that virtually anything that you already have at home (or in the yard) can be turned into an item. Nutritious fruits from the fridge or colorful leaves in the yard make ideal items for your children to check off. List items that come in all different shapes and sizes to help your children learn from a vast array of different sources at the same time.
Set the rules.
Start by setting up a start/finish line. Let the kids know if they need physically collect the items or simply take a picture as evidence of their findings. (Taking pictures might be the safest way to those potentially heavier items off the list). Also, choose a timeframe for your hunters to adhere to. Giving them a set time limit builds valuable time management skills while also giving them a sense of urgency.
Here’s where the problem-solving skills come into play. Either on your scavenger list or scattered throughout your “playing area,” leave easy riddles or visual cues as to where items can be found. For instance, if your child is searching for an acorn, mention something like “if I’m round and brown and fall from a tree, oh where in the world would I be?”
Let the games begin!
Stand back and watch your kids learn in so many different ways! There’s no better feeling than knowing that your children are gaining knowledge from an activity that you created for them. They’ll be able to apply these skills to almost anything in their lives, and the peace of mind that you receive will be worth every bit of it.