Scavenger hunts are right up my children’s street – on their own at home, as a party game with friends or to keep them going on a long walk when spirits flag. All children have a natural urge to explore and hunts have the added advantage of giving parents a perfect opportunity to teach their children a few things about the outdoors and taking a few calculated risks in a fun way. Scavenger hunts can easily be adapted for any occasion or location and be as simple or complex as you like. So when one of the boys and I found ourselves home alone for a few days we decided that a trek around nearby Stourhead, scavenger hunting was just what we needed.

When making up a scavenger hunt keeping the interest of your hunters is the main priority, along with keeping them safe, whilst allowing the vital ‘free range’ element. Older kids like a bit of competition too.

We’ve tried Alphabet Hunts (find something beginning with as many letters of the alphabet as you can) and experiential ones (doing everything on your list eg climbing a hill, skimming stones…) as well as the more straightforward finding all the items on your list. This time, as it was just the two of us, we opted for a photographic challenge. (No arguing over who was going to take the next pic. Bliss!) All we had to do was find everything on our list and snap it.

All it all it turned out rather well. Peter got a chance to practise his landscape photography, climb trees and hunt for mushrooms round the backs of old buildings whilst Mum had an excuse to explore the walled garden again.

We spotted plenty of evidence of a move towards  gardening with wildlife in mind and  plenty of edible treats in the fruit garden. I have to admit to having walled garden envy. What a brilliant space.

Having roamed around for a couple of hours we were hard pressed to find a piece of litter which could be recycled – but our luck held. We stumbled upon the start of a sculpture trail designed and built from junk by ‘The Scraptors’. It’s due to open at the start of  September but here’s a little taste of things to come.