It seems funny to me that New York City’s elite sophisticates could have been the ones to popularize scavenger hunts in America way back in the 1930’s. After all, the words “scavenger” and “hunt” seem way too primitive for Park Avenue. To me, the best place to scavenge and hunt would be in the wilderness among the wild. (okay, a family camping trip). Why? It’s a great game for kids especially when they’re outside. Following directions, thinking through the clues, and finally discovering the desired items provides plenty of learning opportunities. But getting creative and personal with the game can take it to a whole new family fun level that’s special. Thanks to my husband Brady, his artistic skills and his love of the outdoors, the game became more than a competition, it became memorable.
I’m extremely fortunate that my husband is so talented with his art. He can make a mean scavenger hunt list that is comic kid attractive with fun size fonts. We specifically selected items around camp that were safe, age appropriate and easily identifiable. (After all, we certainly weren’t sending Harper on a bear hunt, athough my fearless daughter wouldn’t blink twice.) Items for any hunt are important as they need to be relevant to the hunters or the hunting location. A theme is always a great idea. Okay…On with the hunt! Harper followed the list carefully and completed her scavenging with great skill and excitement. It was so fun to see her eyes light up when she found an item on the list. I especially loved when she would purposely place her check in the box to note success. It gave her a sense of great accomplishment. She’s like her mommy in that regard; I like checking things of lists as well!
Hunting and discovering are fun and exciting for kids. The old pastime of a scavenger hunt is no different than an egg hunt for Easter. But when you take the time to make family meals, family trips, family time or even a family game and add a little extra something special, not even New York’s Wall Street could measure the value of it.
Photography by Rebecca Sanabria.