Scavenger hunt to the rescue. Do your kids have a lot of time on their hands? Are they feeling dumpy and bored? I have a fun low-cost solution for you! My scavenger hunt takes at least three hours to complete. Can you hear the angels sing? LOL! This adventure keeps the kids busy and creates a smile on their faces.
Not your typical scavenger hunt!
This hunt is like no other. First off, it’s not just a list of things to find. It involves reading, drawing, exercise, strategy, skill, teamwork, creativity, and cognitive thinking. Seriously the kids loved it. They were outside and having fun. And strangely they got along! As a parent, it was gratifying to watch how much joy was happening in the kids. A memory for sure!
Another fun difference from other scavenger hunts is that it tells a little story. The story starts out with Larry who is lost and needs to find his way home. He has to go through the first three challenges to unlock his map, materials, and list. Then the rest of the challenges help him find his way home. He gets hungry on the way, wants to find presents to bring home, and needs to spend the night. And the most exciting part of all is that he needs to create a flying vessel to get home!
Who is Larry?
Larry is actually one of my son’s stuffed animals. I just grabbed a small one that would be suitable for flight. You can use an egg…this would be interesting…or a water balloon for that matter, or a cardboard cutout. Essentially, Larry can be anything you want. However, with the stuffed animal, I found it made the hunt more personal-able and “real”. They really had fun with it.
Who is this scavenger hunt for?
This challenge is for 8 – 13-year-olds. Younger kids can be helpers; some of the challenges I found to be difficult for kids younger than 8 years old. But that is up to you. You could make some adjustments to cater to younger kids. This is also fun for families.
Materials and Set-up
materials, use items you already have in-house. No need to run to the store.
This is what can make the scavenger hunt more challenging…after all it is a
scavenger hunt! For instance, for Larry’s flying vessel I just found some yarn,
balloons, a plastic cup, a piece of fabric, foil, and threw in some other
things from my junk drawer. Who knows what kids will come up with!
All you need to do is draw a map and set-up the course. This usually takes about 30-minutes. I personally had a lot of fun doing this. It brought me back to my childhood fun. To make it more interesting, I allowed a phone to be present for the kids to shoot video and for taking pictures. They enjoyed this part especially making the trick shot video. I simply downloaded an app called Clips. My son actually had to show me how to work it, in other words, it’s easy to figure out.
Scavenger hunt example
Here’s a video summary of this scavenger hunt we did the other day:
Larry is waiting for you!
Ready to have some fun and watch your kiddos have a blast? To download and print Larry’s Scavenger Hunt Challenge head over to Freebies. OH! One last thing, it’s actually a lot of fun as a family to do too! Not to mention at a campground when on vacation. Enjoy!
Storytime with Christy gives us parents or grandparents a list of happy healthy kid-approved picture books to read with our kids or grandparents. Why read out loud? There are numerous studies about the benefit of reading with your kids, even before they are born! It’s a great time to love-on each other, have a laugh, or ignite conversation.
Studies have shown many benefits to storytime
From PBS Kids they recommend starting early with storytime. To read often, read the pictures, and to take a minute and talk about the story, to ask each other questions about it. They go onto say, “the more words that are in a child’s language world, the more words they will learn, and the stronger their language skills are when they reach kindergarten, the more prepared they are to be able to read, and the better they read, the more likely they will graduate from high school”
From All4Kids.org they say reading also helps with cognitive development, improved language skills, serves as a platform for academic success, creates a special bond, improves imagination and creativity, plus increases concentration.
What to read?
Not all picture books are the same. I’ve read hundreds of books and there are some books that made one eyebrow go up and face cringe. Many times I’ve asked myself how some books got published! Let me save you some time and disgusted faces. I’ve done the homework for you on picture books when it comes to storyline, characters, pictures, and plot.
These are some of my favorite books I’ve read to my son when he was little. Snuggle up to your kiddos and grab a picture book. These books will make a lasting impression.
Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld is one of my favorite books to read to kids. I love the cadence and beat of the rhymes. Sherri and Tom did a great job with the word choice and illustrations. It is clever and very cute. Any child will love the imagination of trucks needing to sleep too. I just had to have my own copy. You can get it on Amazon here. It comes in glow-in-the-dark! This is also a great gift to any truck lover.
This book also comes in a board book style.
Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraaff is a fantastic book to ignite imagination for outside play. Wendy is a colleague of mine. In fact, she and I were in a children’s book writing group together. She did a great job making you feel like a kid again playing on the playground. The illustrations by Bryan Langdo capture the beauty and emotion of playing outside. This adorable story makes me, as an adult, even go outside and make salad pie! Nice job Wendy and Bryan.
When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore and illustrated by Howard MeWilliam brings me back to my days as a kid on the beach in Florida. My dad and I used to build amazing sandcastles, but we never thought a dragon would move in. I love this story. The humor is cute and the pictures are engaging. The dragon kind of reminds me of a dog…so funny. This is one for the library, especially if you want to escape to the beach!
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall and illustrated by Shari Halpern is a classic. I read this book over and over with my son when he was a tot. It’s educational, it’s easy to read, and you learn how to make a pie! This is a great book to help our kiddos recognize words. And learn how an apple grows through the seasons. A keeper for the home library, and fun to read during apple season!
More Rhyming books
Dig Dogs Dig by James Horvath is a construction lover’s gem. My son loved to play construction trucks out in the sand and gravel patch we made him. He’d make the noises with his mouth and have them talk. So cute! This book has a great rhythmic cadence. It’s fun to read and has a fun story. Plus there are dogs in it! Great job James on writing and illustrating. A keeper in our house.
Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae and illustrated by David Wojtowycz is a super fun book to read. We read it so many times that our book cover is getting tattered. We learn about all sorts of jungle animals and what their jungle job is. The pictures are colorful and cute. You really feel good after reading the rhythm of this book. Bravo!
My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk is a great book for entertainment. With its catchy rhymes and engaging pictures, you’re sure to get a laugh. Storytime has a whole new meaning…giggle time. This is another book of ours that has had a workout. Nice job guys!