Have you ever had the opportunity to go on a scavenger hunt? Did you like the challenge of finding different objects? Did you go alone or with friends?

A scavenger hunt is a game in which organizers prepare a list of specific items for one or more persons to find, not buy. The person or group that finds all the items first is the winner.

In the summer heat of Arizona, many parents may be wondering what they can do to keep their children occupied (instead of video games) when children must be inside much of the time. If families are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool of their own, there might not be a problem. When the children finish their chores, they can play in the pool, but even then, too much sun and water may not be good for your children. Try a scavenger hunt!

www.fatherly.com/play/activities/scavengerhuntclues/ has “64 Scavenger Hunt Clues to Keep Kids Busy in Quarantine.” Some ideas on this site are something you can use to carry things, something soft (or hard), something that smells good (or bad), something spiky or something you can see through (or not see through).

goodhousekeeping.com has “22 Fun Scavenger Hunt Ideas to Keep Your Kids Guessing.” Some of these are Stay-at-Home Scavenger Hunt, Things-I-Love Scavenger Hunt, Secret Code Scavenger Hunt (for siblings to work together), ABC or Sight Word Scavenger Hunt (for young learners.) Scavenger hunts can be outdoors also; art or flashlight scavenger hunts may provide challenge and entertainment.

Scavenger hunts (also called treasure hunts) should be a workout for the brain with hints that require some thinking (www.thespruce.com). Rhyming ideas or riddles provide time to figure out what the object is. “I have four legs, but I don’t have feet. I come in handy when it’s time to eat.” or “I’m filled with feathers or other soft fluff. To sleep without me can be quite tough.” Such objects can easily be brought for confirmation of the actual object. There are 28 more rhymes for you to consider if you can’t think of ones on your own. This website also suggests scavenger ideas for tweens and sleepovers.

Becky on her website — thisreadingmama.com — has lists and ideas for math number hunts, 2D shapes, 3D shapes, measurement and telling time. There are alphabet, sight word and summer hunts. You must subscribe to use these hunts, but with your name and email, you can join Becky and print hunts and other great ideas free.

Scavenger hunts give parents or an older sibling a chance to be creative. These games also give the parents time to do their own work or have some quiet time. Children can find these things mostly on their own and develop their problem-solving skills while they figure out what they need to find. For younger children, older children might find pictures on the computer or cut them out of magazines or newspapers. For older children, you may need to give an incentive, like extra screen time if they are the first to find all the objects.

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at bettemroz@gmail.com