Photo Credit: Rachel Samanyi
We were stuck in a rut.
The “I’m bored bug” was crawling out far too often.
I could suggest an activity, but rarely did it spark a creative fire in my kids.
I decided that instead of waiting for them to be bored, I would send them on an adventure to start the afternoon. We are blessed to live on a farm with plenty of space, but I think this can be done in any space…just use what you have!
It took me about 10 minutes or less to write up short clues for outside and inside. The only problem…they were a little too excited! They ran from one activity to the other a little faster than I had hoped. Next time, I think putting a time on each card would work better. Something like “spend 15 minutes on the trampoline” or “20 minutes in the sandbox.” This would also help them practice telling time, keeping time and being on time!
While the kids were finishing their lunch, I was sneaky and went for a quick walk to hide the cards. I kept the first card, hid the second where the first card said to go… then the third card was at the second activity and the forth at the third activity, etc. It will probably help you (and them) to number the cards, just to help you when you keep track as you put them in their spots and to help them make sure they’re getting the right ones as they find them.
I gave the kids the first clue, and they were off! They had three activities to do on their own, trampoline, sandbox and bike, before they got to the family work activity. I used the acronym S.W.A.T. Swiftly Work All Together. I wanted my kids to find a little fun in doing a mundane task. It also helped me organize my cleaning supplies into a manageable space so that maybe I would find more joy in the mundane too!
I printed off a picture I found of the words “S.W.A.T. Team,” but here’s a free font that should work so you can print up your own. I taped them to my bottles of cleaner, the vacuum power nozzle and my “S.W.A.T. Box” that holds everything. I also had some self-laminating pockets just the right size for badges to wear as we worked together. My 6 year old girl loved that! The boys… not as excited, but they humored me. 🙂
After we finished cleaning the room together and had our ice cream, I kept the vacuum out and the kids headed to the swing. They finished swinging like monkeys and were on to the next…Bible verses. I was still vacuuming, but took a break to read with them. Once I finished with each kid on their verse, they went outside to play. I finished up the vacuuming and went outside to do the last clue
But, the kids had all found something else they wanted to do! The boys were playing in the garden dirt TOGETHER… this is rare, my oldest does not play in dirt. My girl had decided to head back to the swings. I did ask them if they wanted to play catch, but they all decided they wanted to keep doing what they were doing! I wasn’t going to bother them to complete the activity, since what they were doing was my desired result — get their juices flowing and being active in their play! Together! Happily!
Spring is here! It’s the perfect time to get outside more! Hopefully you’ll find this activity a help in your own quest to squash the “I’m bored bug” and get out into the sunshine!
Paper (I used bright colors so they could see them easily.)
Timer (If you want to give them times to stay with each clue.)
Activities your kids can do independently or with you! See below for the ones I came up with! Some others might be: snack time, go to a park, read a book, play a game, find items in nature, find items in the house, sing a song, do a dance, make a snack, make an art product, etc.
Scavenger Hunt Clues
- This is the time to go be like a kangaroo! (go jump on trampoline)
- Now that you can hop, time to be more like a crab! Mom would much rather be on a beach full of _____________! (play in the sand box)
- A cheetah is fast, if you peddle, you will be too! Can you do five laps around the ________ (This was for a dirt track we have in our yard, but your driveway or street would work just as well!)
- S.W.A.T. is a special team who work well together. Come to the house to Swiftly Work All Together! (Cleaning the room together – even mom!)
- Nice job! It think we need to fuel our body with something cold and sweet! (Ice cream!)
- A monkey in the rain forest gets from place to place _________ through the trees. Your turn to practice in your own backyard! (swings)
- Come to the table and read with mom. (I did a scripture reading, but this can easily be a reading from your family’s core book or even just reading a book.)
- A fast ball, a curve ball, come play with me! Grab your glove and we’ll toss a few, you, he, she
and me! (play catch outside)