I’ve always loved walking. I walked miles and miles every day when my kids were little; first pushing them in their strollers, and then pulling them in wagons.
When their little legs were long enough they’d toddle along beside me to the park and along forest trails. And now that they’re older we go on evening walks around town to de-stress from the day, get in some heart-pumping exercise, and clear our minds before bed.
Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve made it a priority to walk even more, and while I still love walking I might have to face it, the kids are getting pretty bored with the same routes and me pointing out the same things.
*with giant sighs* “Yes mom, we saw that same dog yesterday.”
Family scavenger hunts
If you’ve never tried one, scavenger hunts are seriously fun, no matter what your age. They can be done just about anywhere, encourage kids (and grownups!) to boost their observation skills, and are even educational. They are also a great way to encourage outdoor play and boost creativity.
The next time you need to spice up a plain walk, print out your sheets, bring along a pencil or marker, and get finding. Sometimes I like working all together to tick off each item, while other times it’s fun to make it into a (friendly) competition and see who can finish their list the fastest.
If you don’t have a premade scavenger hunt printed out, you can also enjoy these creative ways of livening up a walk:
- Try playing an alphabet hunt, where you work your way from A to Z finding things that start with each letter.
- Throw together a simple colour hunt and try and find something in 10 different colours.
- Grab a bucket and go on a rock hunt. My pockets always end up full of pebbles and rocks anyway, so may as well have the kids make a game of it and gather them themselves. Just make sure to not take rocks from private or city gardens!
- Kids who love all things creepy-crawly will like a bug hunt. See how many snails, crickets, worms, bees, spiders, and ladybugs you can find.
- Nature tic-tac-toe. Next time you go for a walk, make a pit stop at the park and find natural items to use in a sand tic-tac-toe board.
Print out your own
In my quest to make our daily walks a little more interesting, I’ve come up with a few printable scavenger hunts that can be used for power walks around the neighbourhood, or for a relaxing stroll through a nearby nature park. And if some unwelcome dreary weather puts a stop to our outdoor adventures, I’m going to whip out the indoor scavenger hunt sheet for the kids to use around the house. Who knows, maybe it’ll even give me time for an uninterrupted cup of coffee. Doubtful, but maybe.
Because I don’t want to keep the fun all to ourselves, we’ve made the scavenger hunts below shareable. Just click each image to open a full-size PDF that you can print out for your own adventures. Have an idea for a different kind of hunt? Let us know in the comments!