Encourage Kids to Scurry, Scavenge and Scatter

by Mandy B. Fernandez

Ahoy matey parents! Are ye young pirates bored? Or are ye feeling like a tired wench stuck in a mundane routine?

Yo, ho, ho! Don’t be a scurvy dog. Create your own swashbuckling family adventures using these simple suggestions: scurry, scavenge and scatter about.

Scurry With Words

As busy moms and dads, we dash about the day in a hurry. We rush off to school and work followed by evening activities so time can easily fade from dawn until dusk. While dressing, driving or waiting in line, play a few games with your kids. You can find innovative ways to add creativity into a packed schedule. Besides talking like buccaneers, my two children and I like to play rhyming word phrases. My 3-year-old and my 8-year-old love to conjure up words that end in the same sound. I will start a sentence and they will finish it. We take turns reading books in loud or whispered voices, acting out the scenes in dramatic manners. Be storytellers while in the grocery store line. Have your child jump in with a new plot or scene. Who knows where the voyage will lead.

Scavenge the House

On rainy days, I love to encourage my children to go on a scavenger hunt. I have found great suggestions through internet searches. From locating a toothbrush to a penny to a stuffed animal, my kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they mark each item off their quest list. If the weather is nice outside, have your hunters go exploring for leaves, rocks, bird feathers and more. Google searches and Pinterest boards have produced great ideas for me to share with my family and we  have also made up our own lists too. Making a pursuit together can be fun. We’ve even added in riddles or clues to help each other locate certain objects. These
hunts can be a quick mental break from chores and homework. If creative enough, they can even be included as part of the daily tasks. Try it and see how entertaining it can be.

Scatter the Adventures

After you scurry and scavenge about, be sure to scatter the adventures in other spaces and new places. My oldest child and I will routinely make an obstacle course in our back yard. We will grab random objects like a hula hoop, baseball bat, jump rope, lawn chairs, buckets and anything else we can find. Our family
members take turns setting up the course. The rules might include duties like running backwards around the chair three times or balancing the baseball bat in the left hand while hopping on the right foot. These races involve critical thinking and physical activity, the best of both worlds for children to expand their minds and limbs. After an obstacle course, my family and I may play scientist and examine the objects we find during a walk or skip around the neighborhood. We may visit the park in search of fresh jungles to climb and vast ships to conquer.

Blimey! The possibilities are endless when you are open to resourcefulness and imagination. Do more than just walk the plank each day. Be brave lads and lassies all year long with pirate inspired games and expeditions.

Mandy Fernandez is a writer living and working in Pensacola. She is mother to two girls, ages 3 and 8. You can learn more about her and see all of her published works at

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