Fall has officially started, and it’s beautiful here in The District of Columbia. Being from Texas, where we only had one season, HOT, my favorite part of living in D.C. is getting to experience all four seasons. Now is an excellent time of year to get out and take a walk around different neighborhoods. Scavenger hunts are not just for company retreats or professional development; they are a perfect way for your child to experience a new place. If you have only participated in but never created a scavenger hunt, don’t worry, I have some tips to make it successful.
Scout The Location
When making up a scavenger hunt, keeping your little one interested is a top priority. Search for everyday outdoor objects that won’t be difficult or frustrating to find. Below are some ideas for clues. Keep those in mind as you explore the new neighborhood. Some of the traditions that you grew up with will work splendidly with your family.
Plan Your Route
Set your timer, map out your route, and have a back-up plan. Once you’ve found the neighborhood you want your little one to explore, it’s essential to gauge how much time it will take to complete the activity. You know your child best, so plant your clues accordingly along the route.
**If you are planning on hiding clues, don’t forget to number each clue in order.
Sneak In A Few Treats
Make it fun! Have a token or two for encouragement along the way—no need to break the bank. Use what you have already lying around. It will bring a level of familiarity and enthusiasm when they find an old toy (or trinket) in a new location.
Need help with clues:
Clues using pictures– take a distorted view of the location of the clue. Turn that picture into a simple 3 part puzzle for your little one to put together.
Clues using rhymes – have your little one complete the clue using a rhyming word.
Clues using letters – this is a perfect time to infuse letter practice; make clues using the beginning or ending letter of the object.
Clues using senses – children this age learn by experiencing the world around them, so when creating clues, think about how objects look, feel, smell, taste, and sound.
With a little bit of time and planning, you can pull off a neighborhood scavenger hunt. And if hiding clues is too much to manage, you may want to make a list of objects to find. Either way, the ultimate goal is to explore a new place. So get creative and explore away!
Here are some additional scavenger hunt ideas: