Conversation Highlights: The Sunday Edition, March 31, 2019

Let’s Play: Fall Scavenger Hunts

What to Play? by Carrie St. John

Fall Scavenger Hunts

Our Septembers arrive with excitement for new teachers and school friends. There is also a bit of anxiety while we all adjust to the new changes—NEW teacher!, PE on Monday, new classmates, art on Friday before lunch, etc… We are searching for the new day-to-day routines. It’s an adventure as things quickly fall into place.

While the school schedule gets established, it helps if we start our after-school routine at home. Someone at my house craves downtime with a snack or a lazy walk home with friends and then any bits of homework before dinner and free time. Weekends become regular with Friday sleepovers and family fun. Having a fall party is part of our annual back-to-school routine. Read the rest of this entry »

Explore & Connect to Where You Live through Nature Bingo & BioBlitz

Creative Nature Scavenger Hunt Stimulates Nature Education & Strengthens a Sense of Place

Outdoor adventures with kids have a way of turning into loosely-structured scavenger hunts. Woodland trails are littered with interesting treasures, beaches wash up endless items of interest, and the tall grasses of meadows reveal new treats wherever you part the seas of green. Supporting children’s interest in looking closely at nature and discovering treasures is easy enough to do. While unstructured, free play and exploration can uncover lots of natural wonders big and small, adding just a little bit of structure can help children lead themselves to certain discoveries or a specific learning goal, and will support learners of all ages develop useful skills that can be applied in many different educational and real-life contexts.

While we’ve covered the basics of nature scavenger hunts in an archived post, there are more possibilities for learning via nature exploration than we could ever list! The simplest way to open your family’s eyes to nature using a game-like structure is to use bingo-style cards to track your discoveries. Online resources for nature bingo abound, including boards filled with variations on camping bingo and MassAudubon’s nature bingo, which offers four different cards (one to match each season) that help to open players’ eyes to the interesting and exciting natural occurrences, connecting them to the seasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Discovering Our World Through Scavenger Hunts

Zoe Travels the World: Scavenger Hunts
By Tony(a) Lemos, HF Contributing Writer

(c) 2008 Tony(a) Lemos

While putting together a travel journal and activity book for Zoe, I remembered all those years teaching at Summer Camp at the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA in Becket, MA, and how much fun we had planning scavenger hunts.

What’s a scavenger hunt? A scavenger hunt is a game in which individuals or teams seek to find a number of specific items, or perform tasks, as given in a list. The goal is either to complete the list first, or to achieve the highest score within a given time limit. They can be indoor our outdoor and they can be fun as well as educational. They can also be part of a larger treasure hunt. For example, riddles leading to the location of a custom made puzzle piece and then when all the pieces are found and assembled the puzzle can be a map to the “treasure.” The ideas are endless.

NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT

The scavenger hunt that I have the most experience with is the Nature Scavenger Hunt. A sample list might include:

  • Find three different tree leaves, seeds or pods
  • Find an insect
  • Find a feather
  • Find a twig shaped like a letter
  • Find a leaf that a bug has nibbled
  • Find something that has decomposed
  • Find something that is no longer living
  • Find something that was never alive
  • Find two different kinds of tree bark

THEMED SCAVENGER HUNT

There are simpler methods for younger children, such as:

  • Color Scavenger Hunt: find something red, blue, brown, etc.
  • Pattern Scavenger Hunt: find something with strips, a spiral, dots, etc.
  • ABC Scavenger Hunt: find something beginning with a letter or shaped like a letter
  • Number Scavenger Hunt: find one of something, two of something else, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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