I started writing the “Summer with Supermom” Series, to inspire moms (and MYSELF!) to make the most of the days we have our children at home….Before long, summer will be gone, and back they’ll go onto the buses and off to school. (Blink again, and they’ll be sending their own kids to school.) Lately, I’ve been contemplating how short of a time we actually get to spend with our children, and really evaluating the time I spend with them. I’ve decided to challenge myself to embrace the time I have with the kids (even when they’re driving me bonkers), and make a point of spending intentional time with them each day….an activity or experience that is just for them. I hope you’ll enjoy some of the ideas I share this summer!
Activity: Scavenger Hunt!!
Suitable For: 2-10
Skills: Observation, discrimination, and a myriad of natural/earth science lessons (animals, habitats, wood and trees, insects, soil, rocks/geology, etc.)
How To: Print off the Scavenger Hunt that I have created for you! Choose a location that will allow your child to discover the majority of items on the list. (It should be noted that this list was created for use in the Pacific NW, and may need to be modified for different climates!) We have used this list at a local park, in our backyard, and I used it at the school I used to teach at with my kindergartners. If your child can read, allow them to look over the checklist prior to starting the activity. Ask them questions to check for understanding, and clarify any of the terminology/items that they may be unclear about. This is a great opportunity to introduce new vocabulary and concepts to children. One thing I love about the list I’ve created, is that it is a total sensory experience. The child is required to not only use their sight and power of observation to find items, but they will use their senses of hearing, touch, and smell as well. In my experience, kids LOVE crossing off, “smell the fresh air,” or “listen for the bee buzzing,” etc. Teach your child to use their senses, and talk about what they are doing. Talk about textures, sounds, shapes, colors….This is SUCH a fun activity, and I KNOW you will love it!
Extensions: Have your child come up with a scavenger hunt for YOU! You can also modify this list to make it harder/easier for your child based on their individual needs. As an early childhood literacy teacher, I will almost always suggest WRITING as an extension for just about every activity. Have your child pull out their science journal and write/draw about their observations as they complete the hunt. Have them stop and journal about the squirrel they just saw, or the different rocks they just gathered. Another idea is to have your child present the items they found to someone else. Teaching kids how to present information in public is a wonderful skill! Have them prepare what they are going to say (and as they prepare, they will be learning new facts and more information about the leaves, animals, etc. that they saw!)
Examples: Scavenger Hunt Here is the link again, just in case you missed it!
Have fun! Get out there in the great outdoors and get ACTIVE with your kiddos! I hope you enjoy this one…it is one of my FAVORITES!!