Kids enjoy a party and they love adventures, so team up the two things and you have a chance to score big points with your kids and their friends. Outdoor venues for the party can include a neighborhood park, the zoo or your own backyard. You set the limits on the themes and adventures you can create.
Start the kids on a hunt for all manner of interesting items with a scavenger hunt. You can make a list of specific nature items, such as pine cones, flowers, feathers, stones and leaves. Ask for items of a specific color, such as green grass, leaves, pine needles and litter. Send the kids out with camera phones or small digital cameras and have them take as many pictures of different wildlife types as they can find in 30 minutes. Host the hunt in your backyard, at an area park or at he zoo.
Send your valiant hunters on a magic quest for pirate gold. Leave clues, draw maps and bury a load of plastic jewelry, coins and other pirate booty. This calls for some advanced planning on your part, but it can be a very enjoyable time for kids as you make the clues clever, but not so tricky that they can't follow your logic. For example, write your clues in a code that they must solve or scramble the letters of the next place they must look for a clue. These parties work well in backyards, parks and safe neighborhoods.
Pitch a tent out in the backyard and let your kids pretend they are members of a "Survivor" cast. Hide well-wrapped bags of "survival" food, such as fruit, trail mix, animal crackers, cans of beans and jerky, in clever places so they won't go hungry. Divide the kids into teams and add competitive games, such as relay races and "icky food" challenges. Allow one of the most responsible kids to borrow an inexpensive video camera to document their adventure and help them post pictures on their social media pages to share with friends.
Arm your junior archeologists with pails, hand trowels and brushes and send them to a nice sand pile where you have buried artifacts and bones for them to find. You can hide plastic dinosaurs, cups and pottery, bones or wrapped scrolls in the sand. Purchase dinosaur or human bone models from a teaching or scientific supply store. Allow the kids to assemble the skeletons or make their own fossils using the models. This activity may work best in a large home sandbox.
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