Make your next trip to a museum an exciting challenge with this free printable alphabet scavenger hunt. Whether it’s your first visit or you 50th, this activity is a great way to liven up learning time.
I’m not really a stay-at-home kind of stay-at-home mom. I’m more of a let’s-get-out-of-the-house-and-have-adventures-so-I-don’t-have-to-do-the-dishes kind of mom. In fact, I go a little crazy when my kids get sick and we’re forced to stay home for days at a time. That’s one of the reasons we have several museum and aquarium passes…because I NEED a place to take the kids to get out of the house.
Here’s the problem…you can only go to a museum so many times before it loses some of its appeal. We try to rotate which museums we get passes to each year to keep things fresh for the kids, but by the time we’ve gone a museum ten or more times, my kids start to lose a little excitement about going.
A few months ago, we had reached that point with our aquarium membership. It’s a fabulous aquarium, and it even has a huge indoor play area, but we had seen everything they had to offer…multiple times. Still, we paid good money for the membership, and I wanted to get as much bang for my buck as possible.
Our scavenger hunt adventure
In an attempt to breathe new life into the exhibits, I invented a simple alphabet scavenger hunt for my kids to do on our next visit. Boy did it work! In fact, they couldn’t even wait until we got to the aquarium to start. They began brainstorming ideas of animals that would work for the different letters while we were driving there. I loved their excitement, but I didn’t want them to do the whole scavenger hunt before we even got there. I told them to keep the animals in mind, and when we actually saw the animal, they could mark it off on the scavenger hunt paper.
From Anacondas to zebra sharks, we learned about all sorts of new creatures. In the past, the kids have sometimes just run from exhibit to exhibit, quickly looking at their favorites and passing by many of the less flashy animals. This activity encouraged them to take a little more time and actually learn about the animals they were seeing.Challenging them to complete the alphabet scavenger hunt gave them something new to look for (novelty is KEY to engaging kids in learning), and checking off each letter as we found it was extremely rewarding for my oldest son who thrives on achievement.
HOORAY for successful outings with no major meltdowns and where everyone came home with at least one new factoid to share!
How you can use this scavenger hunt:
The idea is simple…
1. Print the alphabet scavenger hunt page below (don’t worry, it’s FREE…see below).
2. Grab a pencil, pack a snack, send everybody to the bathroom ONE more time, and FINALLY pile the kids in the car to go to your favorite museum (or maybe your not-so-favorite-anymore museum that you’d like to get your kids excited about visiting again).
3. Spend an hour or two looking at your familiar, tired museum with new eyes, searching for items or animals that start with each letter of the alphabet. At the end, tally your “score” (how many letters you were able to hunt down) and celebrate your success with cheesy high-fives and perhaps some floss dancing…whatever floats your boat.
Ready to go a’hunting?
- FREE printable scavenger hunt (see link above)
- clipboard (optional)
- A place to hunt
Where to use this scavenger hunt:
- natural history museum
- science museum
- botanical garden
- while driving in the car on a road trip
- pretty much anywhere
Oh, and if you LOVE this alphabet scavenger hunt, try one of these others…Can you tell we really like scavenger hunts around here?
- Preschool Scavenger Hunts: 5 Ways to Play
- Rainbow Color Scavenger Hunt
- Photo Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
- Valentine’s Alphabet Treasure Hunt
What do you think? Where would you do an alphabet scavenger hunt with your kids?