With all the talk about social distancing the past few days, my husband and I decided that we would keep our kids out of school this week and see how things played out with the Coronavirus in our local community. By coincidence, the Montessori school they attend was closed for teacher professional development last Thursday and Friday (and tomorrow!), giving us a chance to practice our self-quarantine skills and see if we were more likely to contract the virus or kill each other in isolation at home.
Fortunately, we fared well over the past 72hours, and I can honestly say (though I’m sure I’ll live to regret it) that I’m looking forward to the challenge of finding ways to have fun while limiting our interaction with large groups of friends, especially anything indoors. I also learned just yesterday that the Coronavirus can live for 2-3 days on hard surfaces like plastic and stainless steel – making it a bad idea to even take the kids to the playground right now. This means that we’re going to need to get creative both indoors and outdoors while we wait this thing out.
Luckily, a little fresh air, sunshine and some beautiful spring flowers along The Swamp Rabbit Trail inspired some flexing of our creative muscles on a backyard adventure yesterday. We came up with a fun game we’d like to share with our fellow Greenville (yeahTHATGreenville) families who might be looking for something fun to do outside this week: a good ole’ fashioned Scavenger Hunt.
How does it work? Below are 40 photos we took of things on The Swamp Rabbit Trail between Linky Stone Park: The Children’s Garden and the Church St. Bridge to Cancer Survivor’s Park – basically the entire Falls Park area along the south side of the trail with the splash pad and The Lazy Goat, up to Mary’s at Fall’s Cottage, across the bridge and down the paved path past The Governor’s School, then down and along the Reedy River looping back up to the Falls Park area. Photos are posted chronologically, so it’s probably easiest to start on the trail beside the Children’s Garden.
We thought it would be fun to post them here to see if other kids (or grown ups!) could find them, too! There are a bunch that will be relatively easy to find – perfect for pre-K – and others that will definitely take some good detective work. For anyone looking to fill an entire morning or afternoon of social distancing in downtown Greenville, we’re confident this will do the trick! And at the same time, it will give you an appreciation for all the careful thought and planning that went into creating this beautiful outdoor space for us to enjoy.
Note: #32 is more of a bonus. It’s a geocache box. My son is five and it’s his favorite thing to do downtown. Learn more about geocaching.
Some ideas for keeping track of your findings:
- Make a checklist in the notes app on your smartphone: put the numbers 1-40 and check off as you find them
- Have kids bring pencil and paper, write the numbers 1-40 and check them off as they find them
- Use a smartphone or camera to take your own pictures of the objects as you find them
- Screen shot the objects as you find them
- Have kids draw pictures of each object as they find them
Tips for little ones:
- Have the adult find the object first and narrow down the searchable area before asking the child to try to find it
- Talk about the shapes, colors and textures of the pictures and objects
Tips to extend the learning for kids:
- Have kids dress as detectives and/or bring things like magnifying glasses, notepads, cameras, binoculars, etc.
- Have kids create their own scavenger hunt (traditional style with pencil and paper or a photo hunt like this)
- Bring art supplies and draw or paint one of the objects
- Do some research and find facts about one or more of the objects
- Draw a map of the scavenger hunt area (if you make a good one, please share on our FB page or in the comments below and I’ll add it to this post!)
- Challenge kids to try to take the exact same photo (same angle) and another that looks completely different
- Take a close up shot and a far away shot of each object – compare them
- Choose 20 words from the hunt. Turn them into a spelling list. Have kids write in sentences, alphabetize and/or create a word search.
If you decide to try our scavenger hunt, please let me know in the comments below or on my FB page! Use the hashtag #photohuntGVL on Instagram. Leave comments under the photos in the gallery. Tell us how we can make it better. Tell us what you could find and what you couldn’t (Maybe we can give you some clues!??). Let us know other tips we can add. And please tell us the proper names of the labels we’re missing on our photos, so I can add them in!
Finally, if you don’t live around Greenville, SC, but you like this idea, please make one for an outdoor space where you live and share it with us! Use the hashtag #photohunt(yourcity).
Let’s make it easy and fun to keep our social distance over the next few weeks so we can stop this virus in it’s tracks. When we work together, anything is possible.