Barneblad: Springtime skattejakt
Head out on a heritage scavanger hunt
A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids
Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall
Spring is here, and it’s time to head outdoors again. Birds are chirping and flowers are blooming: it’s a time to celebrate and have fun.
Whether someone has a birthday to celebrate or some kids just want to get together with some friends, there is no better way to have fun and learn new things than with an old-fashioned scavenger hunt.
The word “scavenger” is very old. It goes back to the junk collectors who kept the streets clean by picking up things that other people no longer wanted. The scavengers of olden days went out and looked for things they could use or sell. There is a saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” and this was certainly true for the old scavengers.
Today, a scavenger hunt is a party game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants seek to gather or complete all items on the list. It’s a popular game in Norway, too, and we love the Norwegian name for a scavenger hunt, skattejakt, or literally, “treasure hunt.”
There are many ways to set up a scavenger or treasure hunt, but it doesn’t need to be complicated at all. There are many lists or items available on the internet that you can buy or download for free. In spring or summer, a nature scavenger hunt is especially fun, as kids learn about the names of trees, flowers, and birds.
But for Norwegian Americans, there is really nothing more fun that a heritage skattejakt in which your kids and grandkids search for hidden items related to Norway and Norwegian culture. We all have our own Norwegian treasure trove of gift items and souvenirs, and now is the time to take them out and share them with our friends.
To start, you will need to first gather up 10 items or so for your treasure hunt list. If there will be a larger number of players, you may need more items. The best resources are parents and grandparents. If I think about my own home, here are the things that I would gather together:
Once your list is complete, you will be ready to set up your game. You can start by typing up the list to distribute to the players. Each one of them will also need a bag to put things in.
You will have to distribute the items in the area where you plan to play the game. It’s important to put them in places where they are not too easy to find, but not too hard either. (Make sure you note where you put them, so they can be found again). And if it’s raining, it’s no problem: you can just move your skattejakt indoors.
Distribute the bags and let everyone set out on the hunt. Make sure everyone understands what they are looking for, and depending on how old everyone is, the kids may want to work in pairs. Make sure everyone knows that the person or team that finds the most items first will be the winner.
Once everyone has been found, it’s time to gather together and talk about the treasures that have been gathered. You can talk about how people live in Norway, what the items are, how they are used, and what they mean. It’s especially fun to include edibles because they can be shared. If the items don’t cost too much, you can let the finders keep them, too. It’s also important to have prizes for the winners—and make sure they are related to Norway to go along with our theme.
All in all, this game is about your love for Norwegian heritage. It is great activity for kids and adults together. With your Norwegian heritage scavenger hunt or skattejakt, you can be creative, explore and learn something new, and above all, have fun!
This article originally appeared in the May 31, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.