Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scavenger Hunt!

Last weekend, I took the kids to the zoo. G had earned the trip awhile ago, and we had been trying to find a good day. Finally, I just decided that we had to go for it.

We have a membership, so we have been fairly often and the kids know the general layout. It also means that we pretty much end up going to the same sections every time, as they have their favorite things to see and do and that place is just too big to cover the whole thing in one day with small people.

I came up with a plan - scavenger hunt! I made a list of 20 things to find and wrote the list out twice. I wanted them to be able to easily check things off, but clipboards would be too big and awkward for them, I thought (plus, I'd be lucky to find one of those in this house, never mind two). So I glue sticked (that's a verb, right?!) the papers to cardboard and attached pens.

I built the list to have a variety of animals (I looked at the zoo map online and listed ones that we don't always get to see, but could be found along a route rather than sprinkled all over the place), words for them to find that I knew would be on signs, and sights we were sure to see ("crying baby").

 The kids were very excited about the plan. They got dressed, I packed lunch and snacks, and we were ready to hit the road. We left the husband watching football, and headed out.

It was SO much fun. And showed me just how observant and creative J & G can be. They saw stuffed animals in the gift shop window and thought they should be able to use that for "koala bear". Sure! (And good thing - the koalas are off exhibit right now.) They convinced me that the sky tram could be a "swing". (I had been thinking of the monkey enclosure, but the tram works, too.) J spotted a display at a food stand and told me that they were obviously trying to make the plastic look like ice around the beverage display, so that should count. (Saved us walking all the way up to the polar bear exhibit - sold!)

They worked as a team, pointing things out to each other. We saw sections of the zoo we haven't seen in many trips. They were completely engaged. I got no complaints about being tired and needing to be carried. They carried their own boards the entire time, even figuring out that they could hang them around their necks and clip the pen to the string to carry them. All in all, a huge success and a great way to see things in a new way.

Looking forward, I think it would be fun with two adults to split up and see how many things each twosome could find in a set amount of time, too. We'll have to try that some day.

J already wants to do a scavenger hunt the next time we go to the Midway. That will definitely require some time on their web site, figuring out what planes to list!

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