If you enjoyed scavenger hunts as a kid, you won’t be surprised to learn they’re still hugely popular. What’s more, technology means children of all ages can now take these exciting hunts to new heights. Whether you’re looking to entertain littlies these school holidays, or trying to tame the teens, a scavenger hunt will keep the young ones in your charge one hundred percent occupied!
Scavenger Hunt 1 – ‘Rainy Day Digital’
You know the rules – if it’s raining, it must be school holidays! That’s why this digital scavenger hunt is designed to take place undercover. An indoor shopping mall is the perfect setting, but the activity could equally work well in an art gallery, library or museum. Wherever you hold your hunt, all you’ll need is a smart phone for each team (or just one phone if you’ll be with your child or children as they hunt), and a list of items to find.
Be sure to head the scavenger hunt setting yourself, a few days beforehand, to check out the scene. Take a pen and paper with you, and make a list of the items you want your ‘scavengers’ to look for. Shopping mall window displays offer loads of indoor choice, from ‘a red umbrella’ to ‘a big teddy bear’. If you’re going to be in an art gallery, try the likes of: ‘a painting of a lion’ or ‘a sculpture made of blue and green plastic’. If you’re in a library, think: ‘a picture book about fire engines’ or ‘a fairy tale’. Once you’ve completed your list, make as many copies of it as you plan to have teams (the photocopy function on your printer is useful for this).
On the day of the hunt, make some sensible safety rules for the children to follow. These will vary according to the age and responsibility-levels of the young ones in your care, but remember: the law says that children under the age of 14 must always be supervised by an older person. Be sure to set a time limit for the hunt, and make an easy-to-find meeting place.
Arm each team with a list and a smart phone, and make sure that at least one person in the team knows how to use the camera function on the phone. That’s because the team will record each item they find, by snapping a photo of it!
If the children are old enough and responsible enough to hunt without your supervision, park yourself in a cafe while they search for the items on their list. If you plan to accompany them, grab a takeaway coffee to sip while you supervise.
Scavenger Hunt 2 – Au naturel!
On a fine day, a digital scavenger hunt is just as much fun played outdoors in a natural surrounding such as a beach or park. By using your imagination, it won’t be necessary for you to visit before hand to devise a list of items to be searched for. Parks are seldom without skeleton leaves, pale stones and fallen bark, while a beach will always yield up a shell, an oddly shaped piece of driftwood or a feather. If you do get stuck for ideas, just head to Google for a helping hand.
On the day of the hunt, arm children with a smart phone and safety instructions, and set them free, or stay close to supervise, depending on age, and responsibility levels.
Make it more fun!
• Make the scavenger hunt interactive by asking each team to message you their photos as they take them, then reply with encouraging messages.
• Place a time handicap on your scavenger teams or individuals hunters, according to their age.
• When the hunt is over, acknowledge participants with a certificate (use this site to make and print your own).
• Reward children with a home made treat such as a decorated cup cake. Or, if you’re planning some more holiday activities, why not take the children to an op-shop where they can pick up some crafts materials for next-to-nothing.