A, B, C Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
When it comes to the kids, we are passionate about outdoor play, using imagination and having them run free. After moving cross country, being late in the year, we struggled to find a pre-kindergarten for our 5-year- old. I spent an entire day running from one place to another trying to see the different schools. If you have ever spent time searching for a day care, you will know that it only takes about 10 maybe 15 seconds to know whether the place will fit your child. I get a vibe immediately upon entering; each place suited for a specific kid. I walked into one school where they asked for my child’s name, the father’s and mother’s information. In 2018, most institutions are conscious enough to have paperwork state parent 1 and parent 2. How could I enroll a kid who has two Mom’s into what seemingly was a non-progressive, outdated school. This clearly was not a good fit for us.
To date, I have enrolled the boys in 5 day cares/pre-schools. Although searching for a full day, due to the late enrollment, we ultimately settled on a 5 time per week – half day preschool. This one was perfect even though it only offers half days. Since our youngest has been in full day care since he was six weeks old, we felt that we need to come up with an educational plan for the latter half of his day. I set out on google to research home schooling ideas. After hours of looking, I was not overly enthused. Combining lessons I found online with my own ideas, I have created an after school, continued education curriculum.
Lesson One: A, B, C Scavenger Hunt
The concept I borrowed from a website online, however, I could not find a complete list, especially one for a 5-year-old who is just learning to read. I envisioned a list that children of any age whether literate or not could participate and learn, and do so by wandering around the house, yard, or neighborhood. After hours of pouring over pictures, googling words that start with specific letters and trying to piece a new list together I thought I was nearing the end. There came a time where I felt I had hit a wall; I was concerned about using copyrighted pictures and the adaptability to everyday life. Then, while playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard, the scavenger hunt came to life, as I identified objects among our yard that most people would also own. Alexis started to look at me weirdly as I wandered away, phone in hand, snapping pictures of random objects. With enthusiasm I shouted, “animal tracks for A”. As I meander off I looked back to see her smiling at me knowing that she supports my creativity and new adventure of blogging. The boys mosey back to the house and Alexis lets me know they are calling it a day. I follow suit shortly after as I am still wandering throughout the yard looking for identifiable objects for young kids. Flipping through my phone, I enthusiastically show Alexis all the pictures.
The result is an alphabet list of both words and pictures of common items found in and around the home. Hopefully, this is relatable for most families. Our next goal is to send Jameson out with his shock and waterproof camera to adventure and find the items on the list. We have tried this previously and has resulted in him running out, taking a picture and coming back to show, then ultimately getting the next letter and repeating. This gives him the confidence to explore on his own, the ability to critically think as he finds the objects listed and figure out the intricacies of his own camera. He had a blast being outside, exploring, feeling independent and instilled with a sense of pride as he accomplished an interactive lesson. The goal was to make the list all encompassing, however, if not, anyone should be able to adapt it with ease to their surroundings wherever you may reside. I also hope that it provides your family and children as much joy as it has brought ours.
I would love to continue to grow this list, so feel free to email ideas and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org