Once kids discover the fun they are going to have includes trolling for clues on a scavenger hunt, most children willingly lay down their game controls to join in. Of course we need to be careful of a child's safety in today's world, but you can't raise kids in a bubble and still expect them to be ready for the real world when adulthood catches up to them. School may seem like drudgery to most children, but when you put learning something valuable into the format of a scavenger hunt, the possibilities are endless.
Enjoy The Low Tech Fun Of A Good Scavenger Hunt
Urban scavenger hunt clues lead to more than treasure or points, they can teach children about life outside their front door. You have to look closely at the world around you to locate the clues that lead to those points and let's face it, games where there are no winners or losers may be the politically correct thing to do these days, but if you ask the kids most of them will say winning is way more fun.
Most of us wouldn't feel comfortable allowing our children to wander alone along city streets looking for items on a list but that's okay, scavenger hunts are a blast for adults as well as children. Sometimes it's necessary to talk to strangers while running down an item or a clue but that's where the parents come in. This is a golden opportunity to teach a child how to safely approach and talk to strangers with no danger involved.
All You Need For A Fun Hunt Is Imagination and Good Walking Shoes
Pick an area suitable for the child's age, make a list and get started, it's that simple. For example, ages under ten years would most likely enjoy a hunt in your local zoo with a list of things like "how many different animals are there," or "which is the oldest animal and how long has it been in the zoo?" Give them a list of vegetables (raw) that they have to track down in the produce section of a grocery store, or take them to a flea market with a list of things to find. The options are endless, and so is the fun when they put their detective skills to use, and with a little help from adults, cross every item off their list.
Urban Scavenger hunt clues don't have to be for material things. For teenagers, Instead of using their phones to take "selfies" add a few items to the list that require pictures for proof such as posing in front of an outside clock at high noon or offering to help a disabled stranger carry packages across a busy street. First they have to locate an outside clock and then they have to really pay attention to crowds to spot those that could use a little help. Scavenger hunts aren't just fun, they can be a learning experience kids will never forget.
Pictures of "Minimum Wage" In Action Could Be The Key To Better Grades In School
Here's a good one for teenagers or any age that thinks they are being mistreated when chores must be completed before an allowance is paid, or they are grounded for study after poor grades at school. For example, a 14 year old that complains about doing dinner dishes and ignores homework could learn a lot from "photo of the dishwasher" at no less than 3 popular chain restaurants during their lunch rush on a scavenger list. Homework and dinner dishes might not seem so harsh after that.
In a way, today's technology has almost bred the curiosity out of younger people. They think they have no need to get outside and see life up close as long as they have their net connection. Scavenger hunts are an excellent way to goad a child's interest. At first, it may only be the possibility of getting prizes for points that gets them to come along willingly, but it usually isn't long before curiosity takes over and genuine interest is born.
Expanding Horizons Bit by Bit
Even with GPS and tracking available on most phones these days, it doesn't hurt for a child to learn how to get around in a city without this kind of help. Putting the following on their list will at least teach them the rudiments of finding their way in any town without electronic aide. After surrendering their phones, the task is to find their way to four places they've never been before by paying attention to street signs and what block they represent as well as numbering on buildings. It's a terrible thing to feel lost, and if they ever find themselves with a dead phone battery in a strange place, they'll know they can still get home on their own.
Learning To Interact With People Outside School or Home
With so many different cultures represented in one country, try putting this one on your child's list so they might gain a little more understanding of life in other parts of the world. "Listen for the sound of a strange language. Identify the persons homeland and then describe the pros and cons of this person's life now." Last, ask the people if they would sign to verify completion of the task. Most will sign gladly, and even enjoy being part of a child's scavenger hunt/learning experience. This may be a task you'd like to supervise from a distance but let the child do the research and then the talking.
When children seem to take things for granted, that can usually be cured by a healthy dose of what life is like for other people. Scavenger hunts for information like this are often the hardest to complete but the rewards can be great. Lectures and study about other cultures can only take one so far. After that, the best way to learn about your fellow citizens is by talking to them, and picturing how you would do in their birth country. To create a scavenger hunt for your kids, join now!