There are few places in the modern world that could be called more convenient than the mall. When you go to a mall that contains a wide variety of shops and services then you are likely to encounter something that seems pleasing or useful to you. Perhaps you are the type who has a personal library at home and you feel the urge to collect books; or maybe you consume films rapidly and are in the market for a few brand new DVDs; or it is possible that you just want a bite to eat. Regardless of what you want – or need – the mall is a great place to look for it. And yet, if you still wish to increase the already present benefits that one gains from the mall, you just might want to put in the effort that comes with hosting a mall scavenger hunt.
Scavenger hunt clues can be a pain to come up with. You always need to consider where the scavenger hunt is going to take place, what the difficulty level should be, and who the target audience is. But the mall is a fantastic place that helps with some of these concerns with the sheer multitude of attractions held within. You have so much material to work with that coming up with your scavenger hunt ideas will be far easier than it would be in most locations. And once you work past that issue then you are well on your way to a great afternoon!
Growing Closer with Your Family via Mall Scavenger Hunts
So, as was established, the mall is fantastic, if only due to the fact that absolutely everyone can find something to enjoy within its walls. And if you tend to shop as a family group rather than as lone wolves then you can usually gain an understanding of what it is that everyone likes within the mall. You’ll learn about who likes to stop at what store, as well as what they like to purchase at said stores. So why not make use of this knowledge when making your mall scavenger hunt?
So, for example, one of your family members might seem to enjoy going into a record store (or a CD store, whichever name you prefer). You might be inclined to make a clue that references music, records, CDs, or MP3 players to lead your family to that store. But instead, consider making a clue that talks not about what the child likes, but about the child themselves. And then give that clue to one of their siblings (and clues about their siblings to them). By doing so you will call upon your children to figure out what they know about one another. And – if they have been paying attention to their siblings – they should be able to figure out what each of them favors.
And, if not, then this creates a great opportunity for bonding! If your child doesn’t know his brother or sister’s hobbies well then they’ll be forced to ask. And this will get them talking about what matters to each other. It’s a perfect set up for some good old fashioned sibling bonding.
On top of all of this you might want to make some clues about yourself or your spouse. Keep it simple, like “Dad does this on weekends,” (which could lead them to a hobby store, or a place with sporting goods, etc) so that your children don’t have to try and gain some higher insight into your person-hood (which can be very difficult for younger kids). It should still help with bonding, just this time it’ll be between you and your child. It’ll take knowledge that they have and put it to good use, moving it from the back of their minds to the front.
Making Your Weekend Shopping List a part of the Scavenger Hunt
Some people do a lot of their shopping in the mall. You can find so much there that it just becomes more convenient to get it all in one place than to go from shopping center to shopping center in search of the correct items that you want or need.
But when you have to bring your kids on a regular shopping trip they often get bored. Who wants to watch their parents hunt for the right brand of something? Who wants to passively watch two authority figures decide what goes into dinner that evening? Few children – if any – will find such a thing enjoyable.
So why not try and mix your shopping list into a scavenger hunt list? Don’t just read down a list and drag them along. Write the list in the form of clues and challenge them to figure out what needs to be purchased. This will have several positive effects. First and foremost it will make them feel active and engaged, as opposed to passive and bored. Secondarily, it will give them a sense of worth and importance, as if you couldn’t be getting your weekly shopping trip done without them.
So, for example, try turning a regular list item like “Eggs” into a riddle like “What is quick to lay but never rises? What cracks under pressure but takes no damage from boiling water?” You’re going to need to make sure the riddles are appropriate for the age of the child(ren) solving them, so take that into consideration. You don’t want to frustrate anyone and make the shopping experience even more uncomfortable.
And, if the challenge and boost in self worth is not enough for your kids, then you can always implement a reward system for solving each riddle. Maybe it’ll earn them a piece of candy, or perhaps you’ll buy them something enjoyable as a treat for their cooperation. A trinket, a toy, or a food item that you don’t let them eat too often. Don’t spoil them, of course. Keep it relatively inexpensive. But consider the merits of a more material reward all the same.