March 19, 2012

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

A couple of weeks ago I had my nephew over and I was trying to come up with some fun activities for them to do outside.  I think it's really important to get some fresh air, but sometimes it can be hard to think of things to do outside before the weather's actually nice.  

So, I made up a little scavenger hunt for them.  This is super easy to do and it kept them busy and happy for a while. I drew the whole alphabet on the cement with chalk.  

Then I asked them to find something in the yard that started with that letter.  They had to put what they found on that letter to help them keep track.  Dirt for "D."

Ball for "B."

Snow for "S."

It was a good activity to do as a team and my nephew is a bit older than Rex, so he could help him out as well.  They also got really excited about the fact that they could walk on the snow.  (You know when it gets iced over and you don't sink through anymore when you step on it?)  Seriously cool stuff.

Now, there were some letters that we couldn't find objects for.  So, for the unfinished letters we tried to think of something that started with that letter and we pretended to be whatever that was.  So we stood on "Q" and quacked like a duck.  It was silly, but they loved it.

You could also yell out a word and have them run to the letter is starts with.  In this picture they wanted to stand on the first letter of their names.

Now it's your turn.  Do you have any activities or games that help get your kids out of the house?  Obviously there's bike riding and walks, but I'd love to hear about any other things you do with your kids outside.  We need some ideas.  Feel free to leave a link or an idea in the comment section.

Thanks for dropping in.


  1. What a fun idea! That would work for any time of the year. I'm keeping this idea on hand for the lazy days of summer when everyone is bored and no one knows what to do! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. We must have been on the same train of thought this week! What's that saying about great minds? haha!

  3. I don't know if boys would like this one, but jump rope. This is a favorite on my street and the boys even join in. Even my big ones ask for a turn.

  4. What a great idea! I just love your blog!

  5. I have got a whole list running in my journal right now. You know I love me some summer. :) I'll type up the list and send 'er on. ;)

  6. I know you have to buy something, but we just got a stomp rocket, and my kids are LOVING it. The only things is, rockets can easily end up on the neighbor's roof, or in someone's back yard. I let mine shoot it straight up on the sidewalk in front of the house or take them over to the playground to shoot it wherever they like.

    I love the scavenger hunt idea! I'll be trying that with mine.

  7. Wonderful idea! Our 4 year old will love this...the 2 year old will have fun running after big brother...who knows, maybe she'll pick up a letter or two while she's at it!

  8. We have three boys and a girls and we spend a ton of time outside. One of our favorite activities is jumprope. Two fun games for little ones are River Dance and Fire House. In River dance you lay two ropes parallel to one another on the ground, they start out close and you separate them a little at a time. The kids try to jump the gap without falling in the river. We just made up a silly song to go with it. Fire house is the same except rather than separating the two ropes you lift them up and let the boys jump over the pair. Our boys love these games of skill and agility! We also love making mud pies, building fairy houses, creating forts and riding our homemade wooden hill cart. You might also consider teaching them some knots, there are great books at the library. My boys began learning around age three and still love putting together impromptu swings, tying various things together, creating little "traps" obstacle courses and the like. We also have fun with Parkour. You can find all kinds of how to videos on youtube. Our boys love monkey jumping, vaulting and wall running. Obviously my little guys aren't as proficient as the teens in the video but they love it and it has made them much safer because they know how to take a fall the right way. Have fun!

  9. Oh my.... I dont know how do you do it... You create all kind of fun things for your kids i wish i was a little like u!!! TOTALLY LOVE YOUR BLOG

  10. Oh wow! I love this idea! My almost 5 year old will flip for it! Thanks!

  11. In my limited experience, getting kids to appreciate being outdoors is a process, something that must be nutured. So more than any planned games or activities (which are indeed fun and helpful), it is really about opening up the wonderfully exciting world of nature to them, so that they discover themselves how great it is to be outside, discovering, exploring, playing, growing, harvesting, foraging...They will then find things themselves to keep them occupied and engaged. So to encourage being outside, well, (1) the whole family needs to get outside. Can't just send the kids out. Lead and teach by example. (2) Appropriate attire -- if you are warm and dry and comfortable, you are much more likely to stay outside, than if your feet are wet and your fingers are freezing. There is no bad weather, only bad clothing, I once heard it put. (3) Allow for dirt -- it can be a bit hard, but if kids are scolded every time they track mud into the house or get their pants dirty, well, it doesn't really encourage them to play outside. (4) Remember the journey -- as parents, we can get so caught up on the destination that we forget that the whole point is the journey. So, when you're out walking with your kids or just out in the yard, stop to listen to the birds, notice the ants and the snails and the slugs and the dog poop and the new shoots sprouting up, smell the flowers and the decaying leaves, feel the tree bark, jump in the puddles. Might not travel very far (distance-wise), but much more meaningful in the long run. (5) Grow things -- plant bulbs in the fall and enjoy them in the spring. Plant a vegetable garden, a herb garden, a few seeds, whatever. It never ceases to amaze me how little it takes sometimes to have things grow. My children love growing things and eating the fruits of their labours. (6) Eat outside -- my son would eat his lunch outside every day, if he could. So picnic as much as possible and in all types of weather. Keep it simple, leaving the gingham table cloths and the baskets at home, and just brown paper bag it and eat outside. And eat what you can find outside -- my kids love foraging for berries and plucking the wild plums. We taste dandelion greens and pluck carefully stinging nettle for soup and on it goes. They love it. I love it. (7) Invite nature into your yard -- feed the birds, build a bat house, plant flowers that attract butterflies, have a little wilderness section in your yard, where kids can did in the dirt and make mud pies. My kids have a little "cave" underneath a large tree by our back fence. It's a bit hidden from sight and it's their domain. And they can dig to their hearts' content. (8) Invite the outside in -- have a place inside to display the spoils from outside, the rocks, the feathers, the flowers, the sticks, that inevitably make their way into kids' pockets. We have a windowsill on the stairs that is cluttered with drift wood and flowers and pretty rocks and feathers and my son loves it. And we are currently "tricking" some budding branches into thinking it's spring, by taking them inside and letting them spring forth in our living room -- my son's idea. And that is definitely enough from me. Have fun and thanks for the blog!

    1. Wow Jessie! Thank you for taking the time to write all of those tips. That was really kind. You obviously have a lot of experience and I appreciate you sharing it with us!

      Thanks again!

  12. What a great idea. Indy is a bit too old for that now, but when Han Solo is the right age, this would be fun. I homeschool and when Indy was first learning to read and make blends, I would draw them in chalk on the driveway (or on a rainy day post-it and stick them to the floor) and say a specific blend (ch, sh, etc). He would have to hop to the one I said. He loved this game and it helped with school.

  13. What a great idea. Indy is a bit too old for that now, but when Han Solo is the right age, this would be fun. I homeschool and when Indy was first learning to read and make blends, I would draw them in chalk on the driveway (or on a rainy day post-it and stick them to the floor) and say a specific blend (ch, sh, etc). He would have to hop to the one I said. He loved this game and it helped with school.

  14. I LOVE this idea. Thanks so much for the post. I'm in the same boat of trying to get the kids OUT of the house.

  15. Anonymous12.4.12

    what an orginal idea I love it


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