We are looking at ways to make city exploration fun with the kids on 31 Days of Learning. Our guest blogger today is Nikki from Best Things to do in York, and she is sharing her tips for exploring that city with us today. We have a twist though! Treasure Hunts are a great way to explore your city with children, but what about doing so from the comfort of your own chairs? We have a great idea here for how to create a virtual treasure hunt from Nikki thanks to the power of Google Maps and Google Streetview!
With the aid of Google streetview, making up a treasure hunt becomes easy.
How to set one up with Google Streetview
Start at a familiar point in your city and then ‘walk’ from there. We have picked a few places in your for this – how about the wall there, which is easy to spot throughout the city?
Other examples might be to seek out statues, plaques on walls, or unusual architecture.
Churches are a good place to look for this sort of thing, as they have so many interesting and quirky details.
Don’t forget to look up while you are “searching” too; you will be surprised what you might find if you do!
Make a list of directions to use while you do your virtual treasure hunt, and then perhaps some clues to look out for. You can even take screenshots of interesting bits for the children to find.
How to make a virtual treasure hunt a learning experience
As they explore, you can discuss what you find, and the history behind why things are the way they are.
For example, who was the person depicted on the statue and why was a statue made of them?
Are virtual treasure hunts for all ages?
You can plot the route and clues according to the ages your children. If they are little, choose a more straightforward route and easier clues. With older ones you can be a little more adventurous and make the clues more difficult.
We recently made up a Treasure Map of the Museum Gardens in York. There are lots of historic sites of interest and ruins contained within.
Virtual treasure hunts could be an excellent way to ‘travel’ from their tablets or desks and see the sights of Paris, Athens or San Francisco even!
You don’t even need personal knowledge of the city, just a bit of forward planning.
How to get friends involved in a virtual treasure hunt
Another idea would be to swap treasure clues with someone in a different city. A whole group of you could set one map each and then all complete each others’ maps.
I think it’s an excellent idea for a world schooling group.
An added bonus is that if you ever manage to get to the city – you can always do the hunt again in the real world. Google Streetview is, of course, almost just like being there, so why not give it a bash when you can head out there again?
You can make your virtual route into a real treasure map later. The kids are bound to have loads of fun both virtually and for real!
We hope you have loads of fun with your virtual treasure hunts. Yellow Days also has a great article on things to do in York with kids as well for when you are able to get to the city itself! If you are looking for other geographical ideas for the kids, do take a look at these.
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See you again,