Over the summer, I was struggling with how to do programming that would be safe for our community and our kiddos. Like many of you, I decided to do an outdoor scavenger hunt, but I put a little bit of a spin on it. Similar to the “The Amazing Space Race” idea I did a few years ago, I decided to do a scavenger hunt that incorporated our library’s Facebook page.
Each Monday, I released a new batch of Critter Club clues on our Facebook page. I made sure to pin it to the top of our feed, so that it was easy to spot while scrolling. By only releasing it virtually, patrons had to interact with our Facebook page, which is our best way to inform our patrons about changes in programs, new programs offered, or just overall news. By interacting with the page every week, we then change the algorithm and increase the chance of our Facebook being featured on newsfeeds while patrons are scrolling. Sneaky sneaky.
Each set of “clues” was just three simple prompts do find or do something outside. I tried to make them as easy as possible so that all ages could do them. Because just getting outside and interacting as a family is great on its own. Once completed, they were instructed to come in on Friday to turn in their clues and get a small prize. This way, you have a whole week to do it so there’s no pressure, and by having the turn in date on Friday, we weren’t bombarded at random times in the week with people asking for prizes, when we had so much else going on. As an extra bonus, we got people to come into the building on a Friday, a day when families usually don’t come in, so yay!! If someone did turn in their stuff early, we did have something ready for them, but the vast majority stuck to our timeline.
To get their prize, each family was instructed to take at least one photo or bring in one thing from the scavenger hunt. This can serve as “proof” that they did the exercise, but more importantly it can create a dialogue about where they went and what they did. It’s just another way to interact with the community. Just keep in mind you might get stuck with rocks that are picked “just for you.”
You could definitely do an extra prize or certificate to mark off for every time your kiddos come in, and if they come every week they get an extra prize. But I decided against that, since I don’t like the idea of kiddos missing out if they miss a week or they sign up late. But maybe you can think of a way to incorporate that.
Anyway, this is a great activity to do any summer. It encourages going outside and interacting as a family, as well as interacting with their library both physically and digitially.
Here’s my weekly prompts if you’re looking for ideas: