Scavenger hunts are so much fun! It’s the excitement and anticipation of the what you might find, using creativity to find something that fits in the category, and the challenge of completing or finding all the items on the list.
Now of course, scavenger hunts are not just something to kill time, they need to be grounded in theory and tied to the goals you are working on with the client. Essentially – the golden thread!
However, what is so great about scavenger hunts is that they lend themselves to working on SO MANY goals and skills young people may be working on and most can be flexible enough to fit into a wide range of theories! AND the most important of those might be that when children are having FUN they are able to stay in their prefrontal cortex, in their window of tolerance, and this is where learning and growing happens! Wooo Hoo! And this is so important because the fun and joy we bring to our sessions allows us to connect with our clients and develop relationships, and research shows HERE that of the factors we have control over as therapists, the relationship is the number one factor for client change. Sit with that for a minute.
Let’s talk about goals – depending on what and how you are hunting you may be working on mindfulness, self esteem, self talk or self statements, regulation skills, impulse control, rule following, or rapport building – just to name a few!
There are so many interesting and unique ways to do a scavenger hunt. I have found that sometimes the first prompt takes us to the end of the session even when the client has found all the items in under a couple of minutes! The processing about the items is so rich and because the client is in their own environment you get another window into their lives that you might not with other activities.
Now, what about the prompts? I’ve include a FREE download HERE of 5 different therapeutic scavenger hunts! It includes scavenger hunt items and prompting and processing questions as well as a therapist guide. Scavenger hunt topics include mindfulness and grounding, gratitude, nature, emotions, and self esteem. However, this is the absolutely tip of the ice burg of scavenger hunts of what you can create for or collaboratively with your client! Below are some pro tips and extra layers of challenges you can add in to make things interesting!
Drop a comment to let me know if you have used scavenger hunts in your work (in office and in Tele-Play) with clients! How did it go and what are your best pro tips?
Download the worksheet bundle HERE!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC, RPT-S, and EMDR Consultant. I help other therapists grow in their passions as play therapists, trauma therapists,and child and adolescent therapists.