Summer is officially here and this means cookouts, picnics, and more time to spend with your grandbabies! Whether you’re hosting a summertime sleepover or sharing an afternoon adventure together, figuring out how to have those fun, memorable moments isn’t always the easiest. So, if you’re hunting for a clever idea that creates good times and deeper connections, why not try a scavenger hunt?
Scavenger hunts are a great way for kids to practice their problem-solving skills, boost their self-confidence, and limit screen time. These treasure hunts can be played with one or many treasure seekers, so grab your colored markers and create a Disney character quest with basic hand-drawn clues or get out your Minecraft thesaurus and write up an intricate game. You can personalize your search according to your grandkid’s interests and abilities, and remember this play can happen inside on a rainy day or outside in nature. In case you need a little inspiration, here are 3 tips to jump-start your imagination and get the party started!
1. Define your concept: The basic idea behind a scavenger hunt is to create clues that lead to (hidden) objects and another clue. Once the final object has been found, the hunt is over and there is much rejoicing. Make sure to define your search perimeter, like keeping all items in the living room or backyard, and if you feel it’s age-appropriate, set a time limit. When playing with a group, creating teams is a fun way to encourage cooperation.
2. Cueing up the clues: After you’ve decided on a theme your grandkids love such as Pixar movies, famous baseball players, or a nature hunt where kids gather pine cones, sticks, etc., it’s time to develop your questions or drawings. For the younger kiddos, draw on separate sheets of paper (or take pictures) of the items you’re searching for and journey along with them. This is a great way to deepen trust and playing together creates connection.
For older kids, get fancy and hide small trinkets associated with your theme along with each written clue. Using “favorite treats” as a topic your clue might read: This food can roll or slide down a pole because in its center this snack has a hole. Then watch the fun as your grandchild figures out the riddle and searches for the donut you’ve stashed away.
3. The pre-made hunt: If hunting for clues inside your brain feels too time-consuming or overwhelming, try some pre-made printable hints at Etsy.com. You can choose from nature walks, treasure hunts, and there’s even one geared for tween/teenagers. Or check out the Family Scavenger Hunt game on Amazon.com. It’s adults versus kids with separate child and grown-up card decks to play. The indoor game is suitable for kids 6 years old and up and the outdoor cards are geared for kids ages 12 and up.
By Tonilyn Hornung
P.S. Take this for allergies.