At the beginning of Lent I decided not to give up anything. I never seem to get anything out of doing that, and I definitely don't find that my relationship with God grows any stronger (for me personally) by giving something up, and that's the whole point, right? So this year I decided to do something different. I made a whole list of things I wanted to do instead. In the past I have also tried things like "I'm going to pray more" or "I'm going to pay better attention in church." Obviously, those are good goals, but they weren't specific enough to be effective for me.
That is why this year I came up with a list of specific goals/things I wanted to accomplish this Lent. They were all things aimed at improving my relationships with friends/family, doing a random act of kindness, or deepening my relationship with God. So happy to say that this worked well for me, and I think I'll do it again next year!
One of my little Lenten "goals" was to plan a fun afternoon for the kids I babysit. So often my time with them is the same routine. I pick them up from school at 3:30. We get home, put backpacks away, and get a snack. They relax and watch some TV while I work on a little homework until 4:30. Then I help them with some of their homework, and when that's finished we go back to TV/iPad/homework.
So I thought it might be fun to do something different and something they would hopefully enjoy. I came up with a pretty brilliant idea if I do say so myself.......I planned a scavenger hunt for them!
I love scavenger hunts. I've been to 2 birthday party scavenger hunts and 1 bachelorette party scavenger hunt where you had to go around town and take pictures and videos of different things. I just think that is SO fun.
Let me stop right now and say that if you babysit, have kids, or even interact with kids at all, you NEED to do this for them. They really enjoyed it, but I got so much enjoyment out of watching them have so much fun. I already want to do it for all the kids I know :)
Here's exactly how I did it to give you some ideas. Obviously, you can customize it 100% to wherever you're doing it and to the kids specifically. But seriously, this is such a fun idea that I'm pretty proud of myself for........
First off, you need some kind of reward or treat that the kids are working to find. It needs to be a surprise, and also something a little out of the ordinary. I got them cupcakes from one of the local bakeries in town that I knew they liked, but I had never gotten them cupcakes from there before.
Then you need to assemble and hide all of the clues. I took pictures of all of mine so you kind of have an idea of what I did.
When they got home from school, this first clue was waiting for them on the kitchen counter.
Each clue led them to the next clue, which eventually led to a treasure map that led to the surprise.
Clue #1 led them to their crayfish's tank.
Clue #2 led them to the freezer. Can you spot the clue? I tried not to hide them too hard since the kids are pretty young. I think it was a good middle ground - not too difficult for them to find, but not super obvious either.
Clue #3 led them upstairs to one of their closets.
Clue #4 led them back downstairs where I had a few Easter coloring pages that they had to complete before I would give them the next clue. I wasn't sure how this would go over, but the kids actually really liked it. I also thought it was good to add in something that they had to do.
Clue #5 led them to the garage and their bikes!
I thought my hiding place for this one was pretty good!
The next clue led them to the pantry, where I hid the clue in a lifesavers box - ha!
I hid the treasure map on the front porch.....
"X" marks the spot....
I hid the final treat in their bathtub - ha!
Overall, the kids and I both seemed to really enjoy it (although for different reasons). I loved seeing how excited they got with each new clue.
It's definitely something I would do again, and heck - something I would love to do in another 15 years with my own kids :)
The scavenger hunt was so easy to do, and I can't think of any kids that wouldn't love to do something like this. So take my advice, and plan a cute little scavenger hunt for your cousin, kid, friend, sibling, whoever! I'm pretty sure they will love you for it!