March 19th, 2020

Getting Creative with Kids while in Quarantine

It has been a matter of days since my family and I have started “socially distancing” ourselves and my 3 boys, and I too, are starting to get a little stir crazy. We’ve pulled out all the stops and are doing our best to be creative with how we are keeping ourselves busy. We’ve completed a 1,000 piece puzzle, played every board game under the sun (and bought two new ones), had quiet reading time, watched TV/movies together, done camp-outs, etc. You name it—we’ve done it!

Being that we are blessed to live in the PNW, we have access to some of the world’s most beautiful outdoor activities. My home is situated at the end of a dead-end street in the country and backs to a few miles of NGPA (Natural Growth Protected Area). For my boys, this is heaven on earth!

We’ve been doing our best to keep life feeling as “normal” as possible for our kids, so Lyndsay and I started brainstorming ways we could keep our kids interacting with the neighbor kids without actually interacting with them. One of the ideas we came up with was a neighborhood scavenger hunt. 

Here is how we did it:

1) Set up a Facebook page for your neighborhood, if you don’t have one already. This is a good place for each family to post their “map” or directions to finding their treasure. We also use this group to interact as families and keep up with what’s going on around the neighborhood.

2) Go to the dollar store and select what you want to hide. We chose $0.20 flower packets and placed them in a small waterproof box.

3) Place a notebook and pencil in the box for notes to be left behind.

4) Hide your treasure. Keep notes along the way to share with your neighbors. I.e. Take 15 steps from the mailbox to the yellow bushes or turn right at the bushes, etc. Make it hard enough that the older kids want to participate but easy enough that the younger kids feel like they can also have fun. 

NOTE: My boys are ages 9 to 15 so I allowed the 9-year-old to pick out the “prizes” and the 15 year old to choose the hiding spot.

5) Put a picture of your treasure on the Facebook page along with the directions.

6)  GO HUNTING!

We hid our treasure yesterday and sent out our directions to the neighborhood this morning. The boys are so excited to go check our box in a few days for notes left behind and to receive the other directions from neighbors on treasures they’ve hidden.

In this time of uncertainty, I truly believe it is so important to find ways to have fun and bring some light to the situation in any way we can. A family walk to find some treasure can do you some real good!

Les