Saturday, September 25, 2010

Idea: Scavenger Hunts

Cross a Bridge
Whether it's for a change of pace, to alleviate boredom, to entice interest in an activity that is less desirable, or to play as an entertaining game, scavenger hunts are often a hit with children and adults alike. It's a treasure hunt, a challenge!

Spot a Pumper Truck
Scavenger hunts come in all shapes and sizes; they can be competitive or cooperative. As an adult, I've participated in scavenger hunt rallies that required driving around town (or bussing it) trying to collect all necessary items or information within an allotted time. Sometimes this was a fundraising event, other times this was simply a fun raising event. I've even designed one for a friend's birthday one year. And then there's geocaching--- but I'll keep that treasure hunting for a separate post for later!

And, of course, most children/ young people love them too. Go figure! Perhaps, like The Box, this is another area of our childhood we never truly grow out of.

My inspiration for scavenger hunts lately has been my son's disinterest in certain activities conflicting with my interest in doing them. Believe it or not, nature walking was one and going to the art gallery another. So I designed a few nature walk scavenger hunts (and a huge list from which to create new ones) and even found one online to print out. As members of our Art Gallery of Alberta, my husband and I love going to the opening receptions. Sometimes our son comes and often he doesn't, but this gives me time to check out the exhibits and ascertain whether there is something that will intrigue him or not. As I walked through the M.C. Escher exhibit, I imagined my son enjoying this one, but he has convinced himself he doesn't like art (weird). So, I examined the prints and jotted down some notes and designed a scavenger hunt for this exhibit.

Find something that doesn't belong
Did it work? Well, no. Lol. My son willingly went with me to the AGA just the other day (he's in a new mood and insists he loves everything) and we had a lovely time. In the first exhibit he carefully paid attention to the various pieces of art until I asked if he wished to sketch the art. He readily agreed. I only had a very small note book in my purse and a pen, but it was well received as my son enthusiastically sketched and sketched and sketched. Awed by his inspiration, we went to the gift shop and purchased an inexpensive sketchbook and pencil which he almost filled up by the time we left. His sketching turned into his own drawing creations inspired by what he saw as we made our way up the floors of the AGA. And the M.C. Escher gallery? He unenthusiastically took my scavenger hunt and started it, but barely did a single item, lol. He just wanted to draw! And who am I to stop him?! A sketchbook, not a scavenger hunt was what he wanted this time. 

Still, scavenger hunts have their place and time. And there are all kinds to be had and the options are endless...

Here are some scavenger hunt themes/ideas:

Photograph Some Graffiti
nature walk scavenger hunt
city walk scavenger hunt
car/vehicle ride scavenger hunts
house items scavenger hunt
photo album scavenger hunt
Halloween/other holiday themed scavenger hunt

themed hunts: find items only beginning with a specific letter or colour
internet scavenger hunts
shopping mall scavenger hunt
....and more

Here's a website to help with specific examples and more ideas:
this website is intended for both adult and child oriented activities including corporate team building ideas and kids camping hunts.

Find a mushroom not growing on the ground
I will post a few of my nature walk ones for people to copy and print.

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