As individuals and a family, we all love to get outdoors for some exercise and fresh air. It is food for the soul, an escape from the job list and exercise does good things to those endorphins which in turn do good things for us. We all thrive outdoors, but most especially children. They NEED to flip, roll, dangle, spin and climb for their neurological and physical development so the more we can encourage play in the outdoors the better. And if we release our own inner child in the process, everyone is a winner!
Scavenger Hunts are a great way to get the family outdoors and with Easter just around the corner there is one annual hunt that most people will already be familiar with: the annual Easter Egg hunt! For me, it conjures up images of happy outdoor family times with everyone mucking in together, encouraging the hunters, exploring, looking around carefully, racing to the eggs and collapsing in a satisfied heap with a bucket full of treasure when everyone’s eggshausted. Of course there is room for dashed hopes but on the whole, scavenger hunts are brilliant for those times when a mission is required!
So here are some ideas to take the scavenger hunt theme and garner some of that enthusiasm seen at Easter into every day outings, all year round. If ‘let’s go for a walk’ is met with a resounding dragging of feet in your house, the scavenger hunt concept will make it interesting, provide a distraction and turn it into an adventure. If more impetus is required, add a friend or two into the mix and all of a sudden the kids are racing out the door and asking what’s taking you so long!
To really blow the parameters of a scavenger hunt, combine some of the different aspects together. Can you swing from a branch AND feel the air on your cheeks. Is the stone smooth or rough? What else is the colour of that flower? Do your actions as if you were a lion.
When you give yourself time to stop and think about it there are so many options! For me, the scavenger hunt needs to be short on preparation time and long on enjoyment. It can be a ready made piece of parenting armoury to pull out when you need it. Just for fun or as a great big shiny distraction from the main event of getting out for a walk.
Sarah wrote an outdoor column for Small City Big Personality. It was all about encouraging and inspiring families to get outside and reap the benefits of our amazing Great Outdoors. Have a look for top tips!
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