Learning in the Summer Through Scavenger Hunts
Making Learning Fun
My kids love to do scavenger hunts in the summer. These fun scavenger hunts allow them to discover the world around them in a fun and educational way. My favorite thing about the scavenger hunt, is that they do not even know that they are doing school.
ABC Scavenger hunt:
This is an excellent way for your kids to learn about nature and their alphabet at the same time. The goal is to find one object in nature that begins with each letter in the alphabet. Then your child can write the word or draw the picture that matches the letter that it goes with. For example: tree, could be written next to the letter Tt. Flower could be written next to the letter Ff. You could even get fancy and learn the names of the flowers, so is you see a rose, it could be written next to the letter Rr. You can get as detailed as you would like for this activity.
This scavenger hunt allows even the youngest child to join in on the scavenger hunt. The words on the scavenger hunt are in color so that your child doesn’t even have to be able to read color words yet. For example: the red box, has the word red, written in the color red. Now as you walk around outside, your child can start to draw pictures or write words of objects that match the color in the box. If they were to find a purple flower, then they could draw the flower in the purple box. If you would like to take the scavenger hunt further, you could label their pictures for them, or have them label their own pictures. You could even, have them help you sound out the words needed to label their pictures, and have them help you write the words. For example, if you were going to write the word flower, you could ask them what letter flower starts with. For you older kids, maybe you want to show them that the /r/ sound at the end of flower is made with the letters ‘er’. Make it as hard or as simple as you would like.
Publication2 (5 Sensory Scavenger Hunt):
This is one of my favorite scavenger hunts, because it teaches them to understand the world around them, using their 5 senses. So when I hand this worksheet to my younger kids, we talk about the 5 senses together. Touch, is the first sense on the the sheet. Together we would walk around and touch everything. Then they would decide which object, that they touched, that they liked best. Finally, they would draw a picture of that object in the touch box. Then we would work on another one of our senses in the exact same way. We would continue to do this for all of our senses. Be careful when you get to the taste box. You do not want them to taste anything that may harm them. For your older kids, they can do the worksheet on their own. Just talk to them about tasting things first.
Same Area Scavenger Hunt:
Kids have the ability to see things in nature that we do not. Their eyes tend to hone in on the little things around them. For this scavenger hunt you are going to need an area outside that you can visit at least 3 days in the next week. All they will need is blank paper, or we use a regular notebook. They are to go outside and look at one area. We like to do this with our swimming hole. You could use a small area with flowers, your garden, or even just a small patch of grass. We like to use magnifying glasses to see the small things in our area. I give my kids about 30 min. or more to just explore the first day. Then they are to pick their favorite object and draw a picture of it. If you have older kids, tell them to add details to their picture and label it. They could even write a few questions about their object that they would like to learn about. Then a few days later, go back outside with their notebook or piece of paper and a pencil. Have them look at the same area and try to find something new, that they did not find on the first day. This allows their brain to work on visual spatial recognition, which is important when they read and write. Once, they find something that is different have them draw it in their notebook or on their piece of paper. In another few days, repeat the process again.
*If you want to extend any of these scavenger hunts even further, you could go to the library, once you are done with the scavenger hunt, and check out books about some of the things that they drew. This will allow them to attach vocabulary words to what they saw during their scavenger hunt.