One of our favorite activities on Halloween was a scavenger hunt that I created
at the very last minute. Leah had an absolutely wonderful time running from place to place around our house and front yard finding and solving each clue.
I was a little apprehensive about how this would go, given that she's only three and each clue required a bit of critical thinking in order to solve. It would have been easy to dumb this down just a little to ensure that she could find each clue, but I'm really glad I stuck it out; it was amazing watching her think through the clues and come to a conclusion! She definitely needed us to read parts of the clues more than once, but she did not require any additional prompting to reason through it. It was awesome.
To set it up, I simply made a list of the places I wanted her to travel. Then, I wrote the clues on numbered index cards and taped a piece of candy to each card. She had a paper bag that we had decorated earlier in the week, and she got to keep all the candy and keep track of the clues along the way.
This game could be used at any time of the year in any household with a few simple modifications. For reference, here are the clues I came up with:
1. I am the thing you'll carve tonight
to give your neighbors quite a fright.
Once you start, you can't turn back.
so dirt and germs cannot be seen.
To find the clue just lift the cup,
but do not drink the water up!
(more specifically, under the cup we use to wash her hair)
3. The next clue is in your room,
with a witch, her cat, and a broom.
Follow, follow, where I lead,
I'm so glad you love to read!
4. For the next clue to put in your sack,
find the place mom keeps your snack.
This is the place that keeps food cold.
Hurry! I am getting old.
5. Hurry, hurry, the next clue is calling.
From the place where leaves are falling.
Put on your shoes, your coat and hat,
for outside is where I'm at!
(Helpful hint: tie the clue securely to the tree with some twine. We didn't do this, and got to spend a few extra minutes searching as Mommy frantically tried to remember what the heck the clue said. We finally found it in the neighbor's driveway.)
6. The next clue is found in a bag
that makes the doggies' tails wag.
When you give the dogs their food,
you will find your next clue, dude!
7. This clue is the very last,
isn't this going fast?
Under where your shows come alive,
you'll find tools you need to survive.
It's the best holiday we've ever seen,
I love you, and happy Halloween!
Her prize was a bag full of pumpkin carving supplies, some glow sticks for trick or treating, and of course, candy. She never knew it, but I recycled some of the candy we had already gathered from Boo at the Zoo and other places this season. Waste not, want not, right? (Plus, it's not as if anyone can actually eat all the candy they get on Halloween.)
Enjoy! If you try it with your little one, let me know how it goes!