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With Winter on our doorsteps, and the increasing need to stay in our bubbles at the moment, it is all too easy to exhaust the obvious resources and ask… “well what now?!”

The answer could be, quite literally, in front of our own eyes. Little ones love task-driven, simple, reward-based fun and what could be better than setting them off on a hunt for goodies that can be found around the home. A home-based scavenger hunt can provide education across a full range of learning, from numbers and shapes to words and colours, and may even help you find that missing item that disappeared a while ago! Also, with the advantage of being able to be played as a team or individuals, there are benefits to working in a group and independent learning to be encouraged. 

The first key point is easy customisation. You can tailor the hunt to your child, your house and any others involved. For example, if your child loves or needs help with maths, you could ask “find 2+6 blue ribbons”. If your child is of reading age, you could make clues which they have to read. For those with younger children, the emphasis could be on colours and shapes. 

Problem solving and exercise!

One of the most beneficial ways of teaching a child something is through hands-on learning. Practical learning is always the best way to teach children things in a way that ensures it remains in their memories for much longer. Also not only is a scavenger hunt good for mental occupation, it is just the ticket for exerting energy in our little ones. 

A scavenger hunt can also encourage co-operation and following instruction. A child may have to learn that they have to wait for the next clue or next find, and prioritise the order of the hunt.

Ps & Qs! Manners, it’s all about manners

A scavenger hunt could all be about asking “please” to find something and “thank you” as they hand the item to you, thus inspiring and affirming those magic words and sentiments. 

Interaction

Whether with you, another parent, or other children, a scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage and promote socialisation. It also advocates communication and affirmation. 

Structured time

It’s fair to say as parents there is always the temptation to look at the clock and despair at the slow, unproductive second hand, but an at home scavenger hunt is a great educational, fun exercise guaranteed to make time fly and provide entertainment for all!

Below are some examples of proposed scavenger hunts, but can be modified and customised to suit all children and homes.