more than a story

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Family Scavenger Hun

Family Scavenger Hunts @ Your Library

Select a good DATE, VENUE and TIME:  
  • Because this is a family activity and you want as many family members as possible to attend, be sure to check a district-wide calendar to make sure older or younger brothers and sisters do not have a previous school-related commitment.            

  • You can do a scavenger hunt in your school or your public library.  Your public library will most likely be thrilled to have an opportunity to reach out to your school in this way.  

  • Holding your scavenger hunt in the evening will ensure that more people will be able to participate.  If you are holding your scavenger hunt at the public library, see if your public librarian is willing to hold the event on a weekend evening, or another time when the library is closed.  

Select a theme:

  • There are a few very good, nearly ready-to-go library hunts on the web.  Only a few changes will be needed to tailor these hunts for your own use.  These hunts are best used with upper elementary students, although the whole family will have great time participating.  

  • Library Survivor:  based on the television show, this scavenger hunt challenges families to identify the location of books and other materials in the library.  When a family arrives at the right location they will be faced with a challenge. (i.e.:  near the First Aid books, families will be provided with bandages and asked to “wrap up” one of their team members; in the location of the books on stars, families will find star cans and be asked to identify the constellations).  The complete hunt can be found at:

  • The Aliens Have Landed:  a space-themed hunt, found here:

  • Make your own theme, using the ideas provided at the websites above.  Once you have the idea it is easy to create your own hunt based on any theme:  holidays, back-to-school, the end of the year, etc.  

  • Scavenger hunts for children in younger grades and their can be just as fun and easy to do if they are simplified.     

  • Keys to Knowledge, Keys to Fun:  by the end of the evening each family will have a ring filled with keys. Write up a list of places in the library for families to visit on their hunt.  (i.e.:  find the Ramona Quimby books; find a nonfiction book about Abraham Lincoln; see Appendix A).  At each of those destinations, place a stack of paper keys of the same color; the Beverly Cleary books will have a stack of green keys, the Lincoln bios will have red keys, for example.)  Give each family either a real key ring or a metal binder ring.  Send them out into the library with their clue sheet to find their rings.  

  • Prizes

  • If possible reward all of the families that attend. A book is a great idea!