One of the positive side effects of my extended time at home is the ability to reconnect with my family and my hometown. Although I can’t travel right now or be with groups of people, I’m trying to take the opportunity to walk in the neighborhood. Not only am I getting fresh air and exercise, I’m also passing the time and clearing my mind.
During this past week, I took some time to do family neighborhood walks with my son. We walked over five miles on one day, and about two miles on another walk (which was unfortunately cut short by rain). Both of these walks were a great physical and mental reboot for both of us.
As we explored the neighborhood at a brisk pace, we discovered some new things that we hadn’t seen before. We’re usually entirely too busy to do this in our regular life, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to stop and enjoy our surroundings.
If you find yourself taking some neighborhood walks with your family, here’s a fun list of things to look for. You can either just search of these items casually, or take photos as you see them. You can download the printable here.
Neighborhood Walk Family Scavenger Hunt (Printable)
Find signs of spring (flowers, buds, mulch, etc)
I usually find so much hope in the first signs of spring. Whether it’s the landscaping trucks in the neighborhood, buds growing on trees, or fresh mulch being spread on flower beds, these signs show that winter is over and the weather will be improving.
To easily find these, look at trees and flower beds of the houses you walk by.
Find something you didn’t know about your neighborhood (a shortcut, new sign, etc)
During our first walk, we noticed a shortcut through the woods that we had never seen before. These are the types of things you’d normally never notice or point out, but they are fun exploring during your neighborhood walk.
Look for new paths, stores, trees, or other landmarks as you walk.
Find flowers in bloom
Thanks to the relatively mild winter we’ve had here in New England, some flowers are already blooming. In the past, we’ve seen early bloomers like crocuses popping out of the snow. This year, we have no snow on the ground.
I’ve been so happy to see some flowers blooming during our walks – adding some much-needed color to our landscape.
Discover a cool thing in nature – a unique rock, a fun tree, etc
As is probably obvious, much of this scavenger hunt is really to get us to stop and explore the space around us – something that is easy to forget to do when you are busy with life. When you stop and look, you are likely to find some cool things in nature – like the tree growing out of a wall pictured above. We found several fun things – unique trees, fun rock formations, and more.
Wave to a neighbor (from a distance)
One of the things that I love about our walks is the chance to see other people while we are out. We spend so much time in our house seeing no one. Of course, we wave from a safe distance, but it’s nice to see others out and about exploring the town and enjoying the nice weather.
Find a place of worship
I added this one, not because places of worship are difficult to find, but because this may add a little detour to your standard route. It’s always good to mix up your walks so that you have several different routes.
Find a house with seasonal decorations
I’ve always loved seeing decorations and now it’s even more cheerful. You may find some decorations from holidays past or decorations for an upcoming holiday.
On our walk, we saw a few leftover St. Patrick’s Day decorations, as well as some bright and colorful Easter eggs for the upcoming holiday.
Find an interesting bird
This is another thing that will require you to be extra observant. During our two-mile walk, we saw a red cardinal fly by.
Spot a cute neighborhood dog
Family dogs are the winners with the whole family at home. I know that my dog is very obviously thrilled to have her family with her during the day. With nicer weather, lots of families are walking their dogs.
During even our shortest walk, we saw at least a dozen adorable dogs. They definitely brightened things up.
Find sporting equipment – a basketball net, a soccer goal, etc.
Even though spring sports are delayed or postponed, some kids are still practicing in their yards. My daughter has been practicing softball throughout our time at home. Spot some sporting equipment during your walk – we found tons of basketball hoops, soccer goals, and batting tees.