Looking for something fun, cheap and easy to get the kids out of the house and using their imaginations (or even yours!) without any prep whatsoever?
You could try the…
‘ALPHABET PHOTO CHALLENGE’!
All you need is a camera or mobile phone, and some keen eyes!
The idea is to just set off on foot around your local area/village and ‘collect’ photos of letters of the alphabet, starting at A and ending at Z. That’s pretty much it!
I took the challenge yesterday with my 3 kids (aged 5, 6 and 7). There was a howling gale outside, and normally I would have met with some resistance from my litter, but they were up for the challenge. I explained the guidelines and that was that – I then just let them lead the way!
These are guidelines more than rules – I’m sure you can make your own up depending on your circumstances. We stuck loosely to the following and it worked well with zero arguments!
- The letters must be collected in order (ie A first, then B, then C and so on)
- You CANNOT use the same type of item more than once (eg you cannot fill up with streetnames UNLESS they are really different designs)
- If you have multiple children, alternate who is ‘in charge’ for each letter – eg 1st child for A, 2nd child for B etc
- The child ‘in charge’ gets to choose where you go – eg where you turn at the end of each street (helps to encourage leadership, turn-taking and exploration other than your normal routes!)
- EVERYBODY searches for an example of the current letter – teamwork!
- Once spotted, the ‘in charge’ child can accept the letter and take a photo (or refuse one or two)
- If you get to Z and find one – congratulate the whole team! (we celebrated with a bar of chocolate!)
If you think this could take too long, you could always aim for something smaller – like spelling your child’s name, or family surname.
Equally, if you want more of a challenge, there are several ‘extensions’ you could try…
- add numbers 0-9 on the end (and even punctuation marks?!)
- find two of each letter
- find ‘natural’ letters – eg instead of roadsigns etc, find a tree branch for a ‘Y’, or a lamppost in the shape of a ‘T’ (my kids found a cat poo in a perfect ‘S’ shape!)
The important thing is to let the kids take charge and do the exploring – encourage them to gaze up and down as well – it’s amazing what you can find on the floor or at the top of buildings if you just stop to take time and look.
If you have a computer, or a even a free photo-montage app on your phone, you can pull your alphabet together into a single page and see all the variations in one go – a lovely reminder to print out and let your kids put on their wall.
Hope you get chance to have a go – it’s great fun and so
easy to do at the drop of a hat wherever you are. Let us know via the comments if you do try it yourself – and if you have any suggestions for a different challenge, let us know – we love to experiment!
All the best