Summer scavenger hunts are not only fun, they’re educational, too! It’s easy to get creative to make up your own, or modify any of these to make it fit for your area and the age of your child. For older ones you will want to make it harder and for younger children make it easy enough to keep them interested while still teaching them important skills.
Nature Scavenger Hunts
Getting kids outside to explore is a great way for them to learn about nature and get exercise at the same time. You can create a nature scavenger hunt for whatever types of items are in your backyard, the park, when you go camping or wherever you choose to hold your scavenger hunt. Here are a few items to think about to get you started with coming up with your own ideas:
• Four leaf clover
• Large leaf
• Small leaf
• Large flower
• Small flower
• Smooth rock
An easy way to create your game is to gather the items from the area you’ll be playing and take a picture of each. This way you know the items will be there and you can print off a picture of each for your child to gather. Next all you need is a basket or bag for your little one to be off and running.
Helping preschoolers learn their numbers is easy and fun with a numbered scavenger hunt. All you need is some colored paper and a pen to get started.
Cut colored paper into pieces and write numbers on them from 1-10. Hide them around your yard or house – kind of like an Easter egg hunt. Once the children find all of the numbers you can have them match them up to a sheet of paper that you’ve written all of the numbers on.
Have the children search around your house for anything with words on it. Use the first letter of the word to have them come up with another word that starts with the same letter. Or if your child is a little more advanced you can give them a letter and have them find a word that has the letter within the word.
You can print out a rainbow of colors and have your child find something of each color to gather. Another variation of this color game is give them a bag of a certain color and have them find 10 objects of the same color to bring back. As you help them go over their items you can reinforce the colors.
This is fun for all ages and you can scale the hunt to fit the ages of your children. Draw a map to several different areas, when they find the first item it should include a clue to the next item and so on. At the end of the hunt they should find the buried treasure!
Scavenger hunts can provide hours of fun for kids of all ages. In fact, if you have a wide range of ages, you might even enlist the help of the older children to create the hunt for the younger ones (Bonus: You might even get your teenager or preteen off their Ipod for an hour or so!). Each child will learn some valuable skills, and you’ll be helping to alleviate their summer boredom.
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