Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Episode Five: Scavenger Hunt Walk

There's nothing like a quick stroll around the block after dinner in Autumn; the leaves crunching underfoot. Or perhaps a trek along a windswept beach on a rainy day; sea spray flying about. I use these little excursions to break up the monotony of the week. The children and I walk through our neighbourhood pointing out which houses we like, making up stories about who might live in them. Doing this gave me a great idea for a very easy idea.

For this idea you need a pen, a piece of paper and well-trained eyes. 

During the warmer months our family were doing a walk around the block every night. For some reason my eldest son decided he was going to look out for bits of metal or steel on our way. We all scoured the footpaths and the gutters looking for screws, bolts or anything similar. What was an easy walk around the streets became a scavenger hunt and that's where this idea came from.

On a piece of paper write down sights or objects they might encounter. The premise being that as they spot this item, they tick it off the list. It's a simple idea but it will add another dimension to a walk and possibly encourage the reluctant walkers in your tribe to get out there. 

Knowing the route you will be taking in advance will help. If you're walking down your street you might know of a letterbox that has a number missing. This would be a great item to put on your scavenger hunt list. So have a think about the route you will take and what significant sights your children might encounter. Not only does this encourage them to pay attention to the world around them, it creates that community awareness we talked about in Episode Two. This is a value I think is important to instill in our children: Awareness of their surroundings.

To test drive this idea, the family and I headed over to our local beach about ten minutes away. I created the list ahead of time and knew that we have two visible off-shore islands so I put one of them on the list. I also knew that it is a family tradition to have an ice cream at the end of a beach walk so that went on the list too. I put a few items that would require them to scout around. For example the 'fan shaped' shell on the list meant they really had to look at each pile of shells and see if the right one was to be found. 


Another thing I put on the list was a friendly dog. We don't have a dog in our family and our two boys are quite weary of them so I wanted to encourage them to look for them and interact with them. It was a way to show them that dogs can be friendly (but first check with the owners if they are child-friendly). I'm not recommending this as an idea but merely giving you an idea of how you can be creative with your own list.

My own attempt proved to be a mixed bag. The three year old loved the idea and was tearing about trying to find each item. The eight year old wasn't keen on sifting through piles of shells to find the right shape. I put this down to age so maybe keep this in mind when doing your own list.

No matter what, every age group would be interested in an ice cream - including Dads.

Have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment