A scavenger hunt while hiking is the perfect bilingual activity for this Summer!
It is also fun, free, and great exercise!
This Summer I would strongly recommend you to go hiking as a family. There are many reasons why you should do such an activity, but did you know that hiking can be the perfect opportunity to introduce, review, and/or reinforce a foreign language?
Here are some tips on how to go about it.
1. Together, create a scavenger hunt list in the target language.
Before my children and I met grandma’ to go on a hike, they both wrote and drew 5 things that they expected to see during our hiking adventures. Since Spanish is our target language, we wrote everything in Spanish.
The list included the following six items:
- Una araña (a spider)
- Una oruga (a caterpillar)
- Muchas hormigas (many ants)
- Un árbol caído (a fallen tree)
- Muchas bancas (many benches)
- _________________ ***We left number six blank so that the children could add something unique to their list, something that sparked their curiosity.***
NOTE: I like to keep the list short so that children can also use this time to observe and discuss whatever interests them through out the hike.
2. Make a video. It is their time to shine!
My children really like to play Minecraft and they also like to watch Minecraft tutorial videos. Well, these videos -along with America’sFunniest Home Videos- have motivated my children to try to create their own.
Soooo, in order to encourage them to practice their minority language, we also made a short video where they were empowered with the task to try to inform friends around the world what they were up to on this day.
This was their very first one! I am very proud of their efforts.
3. Let the hiking begin!
Observing, analyzing, and much much more… all in the target language!
This is a wonderful way to allow children to use the language in order to describe what they see (animals, trees, etc), how they feel (thirsty, tired, etc), and whatever else goes through their amazing little minds.
Lucky for us, grandma is not fluent in Spanish so my children were given the task to teach grandma certain words and expression in Spanish. What a fun and cute way to get them going!
4. Time to focus!
Every once in a while I reminded my children what they were looking for during the hike. They challenge was to fill in number six in their scavenger hunt lists.
Guess what Alex picked?
Una mano! (A hand!)
Yes, it was soooo weird… He found a small’s doll hand laying on the trail, in the middle of our path. See it?
Guess what Contessa picked?
Un venado! (A deer!)
Yes, we saw one!
We also found some deer tracks by the creek…
5. Time to go home
By the end of our hike, we had found it all and more!
And some other interesting things caught our interest:
Contessa was fascinated with the contrast of color in the picture below. She proceeded to tell me all about camouflage and how these mushrooms stand out too much compared to other kinds of mushrooms. All in Spanish! Loved it!
See? Hiking as a family is a wonderful bilingual activity, isn’t it? Tell me what you love the most about your hiking adventures!
Tips for Hiking with Kids is a short and sweet article that provides the basic information for all of you who are wondering what to take along on a family friendly hike.
The 10 Best Hiking Spots in the United States is a pretty good article with wonderful information about various hiking spots. This article makes me want to hop on an RV and travel the country!