A mum of three, engineer, scientist, educator, and all around dabbler, I'm far better at finding interesting things to do than I am at doing housework.
Published July 4th 2012
Sometimes, when the school holidays are in full force, it's easy to believe that the kids are turning into trolls. Cave dwelling trolls who avoid sunlight and live by the flickering glow of televisions and computer screens.
When the rain is pouring down, this is tolerable. However when the sun comes out at the end of a rainy day it can sometimes take a little encouragement to get the trolls to leave their den for some fresh air and exercise. This is when the school holiday scavenger hunt comes in. It can be played anywhere, in any weather. It can be competitive or co-operative, and, if the novelty value alone isn't enough to get your trolls moving, you can offer prizes. And it's free.
All you need are pen and paper, and a suitable location. This could be the park, the beach, the street outside your house or, if the weather is really terrible, the local shopping centre. Next you need a list of things to find. Here's a simple one we used yesterday.
This was for early primary and pre-school age children, so the list is quite simple.
If you're playing with very young children, your list can be in picture form to avoid the need to read. If you have older children who enjoy photography, you can get them to take pictures of the things they find. And if you're playing with teens or adults then the only restriction is your imagination. And if your imagination is a little lacking, there's plenty of sources on the internet that will get you started, such as this one.
For a hunt in a hurry, give each participant a piece of paper and a colour. Their goal is to list (or draw) as many things as they can find which are that colour. You can set a time limit (say 15 minutes), or play "first to 10". Either way, try to make sure that the colours are similarly common, or that the older participants have the more difficult ones. There's thousands of variations possible - so why not write a list and get hunting today?