Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scavenger Hike

The next time you go out for a walk or a hike, try playing this game with your little ones.  Our family loves to go hiking.  We set a goal to go on at least 30 hikes this year.  So far we are up to five and we are dying for spring weather!  Most of the time the kids are excited to go but sometimes they need some motivation.  Enter the Scavenger Hike.  I came up with this idea to help get us out the door and into nature while learning about textures, and practicing our ABC's, shapes, and colors.  You could even do numbers, sounds, or smells too.  Use your imagination!

How to Play:

Make a set of cards ahead of time.  You can use the template below or make up your own.  Be creative! I plan to cut these cards up and "laminate" them using contact paper.  That way if we get dirt or water on them it washes right off.  (If you're not into making stuff don't worry, you could just play the game by calling out a category.)

Shuffle your cards and let the kids choose 1 - 3 cards each depending on how long you will be walking.

It's time to explore!  Let your kids find items on your walk or hike that match their cards.  For example, if they drew the "r" card they might find a rock, the "furry" card might be a Caterpillar, or the slimy card might be some moss.  Once they find the item, take a picture of it together.  If they are old enough, let them take their own photo.  My three year old loves to take pictures with my smartphone.

Later you can make a collage of the pictures you collect over time and hang it in their room or make a little book out of them. (Or if you are like me and take WAY too many pictures you can simply delete them after they have forgotten about it!)

The main thing is to get out and exercise!  If you are active and enjoy it, your kids will too!

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