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Organize a Scavenger Hunt

No matter where you are, at home or on vacation, your kids can entertain themselves for a long time with scavenger hunts. Whether your kids are younger and just learning to read, or older and free to go off in the neighborhood on their own, scavenger hunts are great for all ages.

You’ll need to do a little heavy lifting up front to create the hunt, but it’s worth it when then the kids are off and running, having a great time.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas for ultimate outdoor scavenger hunts:

In Your Own Backyard

You never know what you’ll find on a scavenger hunt, even in your own backyard. Take 10 minutes to look around your yard and make a list of unique things that you might miss at a glance. Remember to get low and check out the world from your child’s eye level, or even lower, to find special spots and things that will make it fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Spider web
  • A flower bud about to bloom
  • A thirsty plant that needs more water (oops!)

Street Smarts

For kids who are comfortable roaming around the neighborhood, you can involve some of your neighbors and get your kids knocking on some doors while they’re out and about. They could look around the block for:

  • The most unique mailbox or front door
  • Animal tracks (or scat!)
  • A bird’s nest

Vacation Hunt

If you’re on vacation, a scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids to pay attention to their new surroundings and even learn something about the place you’re visiting. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few to get you started:

  • The flag of the state or country you’re visiting
  • A sign in a different language (and best guess at the translation)
  • A dish or drink that’s unique to that area

Unless you’re hunting on your own property, we recommend checking your scavenger finds off the list as you discover them, instead of taking leaves or other objects from nature. Lots of living things are depending on them! If you want to enjoy your finds later, take pictures or bring along a sketchbook so your kids can draw them.

Alright, time to get outside. Good hunting!