Often, a week in school can zap you. The sterile rooms, the uniform classrooms, and the fluorescent lights pull all the energy out of our children. It’s no wonder they just want to veg out in front of the screen when they get home.
The best solution for this zapped energy costs nothing. The remedy is a day of surprise and mystery. We can manufacture that adventure with a photo scavenger hunt. With just a little bit of inspiration, most children will be excited to explore our beautiful city of Greenville.
By surprising your children with a list of items to find, they will be primed for adventure. Mystery will engross them as they imagine what they will find, where they will find the results, and if they will find them all.
Make your Own Photo Hunt
Think about an area you enjoy walking with your family. Maybe it’s in the neighborhood, maybe it’s a park, a school, or shopping center. Identify 3 to 5 unique landmarks on your walk. Write down your landmarks or make a little sketch of them on a piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough to surprise your children and spark the mystery of what they will find.
Take your family out and about in Greenville, snapping photos of your children with each of the landmarks. Give yourself bonus points if you can give general landmarks that have multiple opportunities to be found.
Main Street Greenville Photo Hunt
You could save this little photo hunt on your phone or print it out. Use it as an easy inspiration to get out and about on Main St. Each of the landmarks can be found in multiple locations, there are lots of possible answers.
Let's talk about video games
Video games open the door to countless learning opportunities. Children are naturally curious and want to learn about things. Video games do a phenomenal job of keeping children engaged and providing immediate feedback. They often spark interests for our children to explore.
My son was playing the video game Subnautica last night before dinner. He was proudly telling us about how he had crafted a new submarine, much larger than our apartment, that was named The Cyclops. During our discussion we dove into the Latin roots of the word - “round and eye” like cycle and optometrist - and then busted out Edith Hamilton's Mythology to read about the Cyclops Polyphemus. Our conversation meandered into Homer and his epics, how stories are passed down through time, and then back to why the submarine might have been named The Cyclops. We could have dismissed him at the beginning, by saying leave the video game talk to kids, but instead we explored it. Many seeds of interest were planted in a short amount of time by simply talking about a video game during dinner.
Unlike consuming entertainment such as movies, cartoons, and youtube; video games are interactive. Children have to put thought into the video game and make decisions as they play. They have to solve problems and overcome obstacles. Rather than simply consuming, a video game requires thought, planning, strategy, and input.
Many parents unnecessarily see video games as a waste of time. They wish their child would do something else, but do not offer up anything more exciting than the screen. I encourage you to embrace video games as a worthwhile use of time.
Use the following talking points to connect with your child and add more value to their video gaming interest.
What game are you playing?
What is the goal of this game? What are you trying to do?
Tell me about this character. Tell me about this game.
What does it take to be good at this game?
What have you gotten better at while playing?
What are you trying to accomplish in this game? How do you think you will be able to do that?
Why do you play this game? *
*Keep an eye out on the answer to this question. Hopefully it’s about the fun, playing with friends, learning a new skill, or accomplishing a goal. Be on the lookout for gaming as an escape from reality or better than the real world. That response could indicate an increased tendency towards depression or isolation.
Healthy gaming is a productive use of your child’s time. They are spending time with a hobby that entertains them and can generate interest in a huge number of activities away from a screen.