Truth be told, we aren’t huge on holidays or anniversaries around here (with the exception of Christmas—which we call XMAS XMAS!!!). But Father’s Day is this weekend, and I wanted to involve my kids in doing something special for Eric, who is truly a phenomenal dad. The trick: Their attention spans are short. Kiwi is a disaster with paint, which rules out most Father’s Day crafts. And they’re much more interested in doing stuff with their dad than spending an afternoon making him a photo frame out of popsicle sticks. So this year, we devised a Father’s Day scavenger hunt.
One reason I’m excited about a Father’s Day scavenger hunt is that it doesn’t take a ton of commitment or prepping. All I needed to do was take a few photos of the kids (which in itself is no small feat, considering their semi-disastrous history with photo shoots). The girls didn’t have to do a ton. They can save their Father’s Day enthusiasm for the day-of, when they’ll get to “help” their dad find his prize!
So if you’re looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, this scavenger hunt—made with just a few photos, lots of chalk and a little imagination—is the perfect way to tell dad “I love you!”
Chalk: Art supplies with heart
My kids and I draw with chalk a ton—nearly every non-rainy day, they ask to blow bubbles and play with chalk outside. So when I found all the different kinds on Yoobi chalk one day at Target, I bought nearly one of everything. When I looked a little closer at the packaging, I learned that for every item of art supplies you buy, Yoobi donates one to a school in need—sort of like a Tom’s model. So of course I fell even farther in love with this chalk!
I decided to incorporate chalk into our Father’s Day gift for a bunch of reasons: It’s fun. The cleanup is near zero. It’s washable. And it gets the whole family outside. (Even Finn joined us for our project! He stayed in the fenced yard most of the time, but he escaped at one point and wandered the neighborhood while the kids and I colored in the driveway. Little stinker!)
My girls were beyond excited about the different kinds of chalk we got to use. There were awesome chalk holders (so Kiwi, who doesn’t like her hands to get messy as much as Big Sister does, could color daintily), a three-in-one chalk holder to make rainbow stripes, chalk paint rollers, stencils and the crazy-vibrant chalk paints (which I used for the We love you Dad sign—just look at that color!). The girls’ favorite chalk was a tossup between the sparkly gems and the popsicles, though I had to remind Kiwi that those were for coloring, not eating!
A (mostly) successful Father’s Day project
I’m known around these parts for planning and attempting semi-elaborate projects, like in-house photo shoots with a dozen heart balloons. Unfortunately, these grand visions nearly always collide with my kids’
stubborn strong-willed ideas of what they do and don’t want to do. (Gotta love kids who know their own minds. Sort of.)
So when it came time to prep the part of the Father’s Day scavenger hunt that involved my kids, I was worried about how it’d go. I had everything we needed ready so I didn’t waste precious attention spans running inside for something I forgot. And I told the girls exactly what I needed them to do (“We’re taking four pictures, then we can play as much as you want!”). And I was fully prepared to bribe them with popsicles—the kind you can eat, not the Yoobi chalk, of course.
The project went well for the most part! The kids smeared the chalk paint a bit, but whatever. And “Dad” isn’t super-readable, but Peeper wrote it herself. The best part: I averted multiple Peeper meltdowns, and she didn’t give in until the very end. Evidence:
Just look at Kiwi’s expression here! I die!
Fun + family: A Father’s Day scavenger hunt
Without further ado, then, let’s get crackin’!
What you’ll need:
- a camera/your phone
- a printer or access to a photo processing store
- chalk (we used Yoobi chalks) or chalk paint
- a small chalkboard
- Choose a four-word message for your photo. We picked “We heart you Dad.” Using chalk or chalk paint, write the first word on the small chalkboard.
- Take a photo of your kids holding the chalkboard. **Take the photo using the square format on your phone or make sure to leave enough space on either side of your kids so you can crop the image to a square.**
- Wipe the chalkboard clean. (You may need both a wet and dry rag so the chalkboard isn’t smeared with leftover chalk.)
- Repeat photos for the second, third and final words of your message.
- Using an app such as Instagram Layout or a computer-based service such as Canva, assemble the four photos into a square grid. Print it at home or at a photo processing center.
- Write the clues for your scavenger hunt on paper or cards. These should lead the lucky dad around the yard or neighborhood. Invite your kids to help come up with the clues and where to hide them. Bonus: Incorporate dad-centric details in the clues, like “Next, go to the spot where we buried my Leap Year time capsule,” or “Now go to the place where we’ll harvest salad ingredients this summer.” Double bonus: Get creative and rhyme! I recommend doing 4 or 5 clues, but use your best judgment and gauge your kids’ interest—older kids may want to do more.
- Enlist your kids to help you hide the clues. Make sure that you keep the first clue—he’ll need it to get started on the scavenger hunt!
- At the final scavenger hunt spot, hide your “treasure”—the photo of your kids with the message! You may want to frame it. Using chalk, decorate the spot around the treasure place.
- Finally, invite the lucky dad to go on his Father’s Day scavenger hunt!
Chances are, your kids will be just as excited about the hunt (if not more) than their dad is.
I received samples of Yoobi chalk (after I bought a bunch myself) but was not otherwise compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.