Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt? For years children’s librarians have been incorporating them into activities to help kids navigate the collection or teach them the intricacies of the Dewey Decimal System.
During our tech series last year I decided to add my affinity for scavenger hunts to the mix. To celebrate the end of the iKids program, a weekly tech class for tweens, I transferred the activities to the touch screen. Since it was a small class each child had their own iPad to use for the challenge, but one could always have kids work in teams.
Using an array of apps that we had previously recommended for both preschoolers and school-age children, I also wanted to borrow some adult selections from the library’s adult Appy Hour events. This would make the activity a bit more comprehensive, not to mention more of a challenge.
Before the big hunt I handed out the iPads and explained that some of the tasks would be answered within the app itself, while others required using the app to perform other tasks like taking photos or manipulating images. I felt this would allow for a variety of tech skills to be used, specifically what we had been exploring throughout the rest of the session. I limited the number of questions to ten which lasted about 45 minutes with time afterwards for discussion. Below are some of the selected apps and their matched questions.
Hickory Dickory Dock by Mind Shapes Limited
Question — What did the mouse do when the clock struck four?
Google Translate by Google, Inc.
Question — Use this app to translate the phrase my name is … in four different languages. Make sure you use Afrikaans as one of the languages.
Mars Globe by Midnight Martian
Question — Open this app and explore the red planet. Find the dark area that is known as Syrtis Major Planum. What was the year of its discovery? Please list the coordinates for its position.
Photogene by Omer Shoor
Question — Use Photogene to take a photo of the librarians at each desk: Children’s, Welcome, and Tech Lab. Use the collage option to make a collage of all the librarians. Make sure they do not see you — it’s top secret!
Toca Band by Toca Boca AB
Question — Open this app and see which musician plays the guitar. What color is their hat?
Some of the questions required promptings from the librarians. When all the kids were finished we regrouped to share answers and discuss challenges. There were also prizes, of course!
This activity was a great way to introduce kids to new apps while also allowing them to use their creativity in a timed challenge format. As you begin to develop your own list of digital scavenger hunt questions, simply use the apps you have already purchased or tested in previous programs. Much of the fun was spent in composing the list and searching within the apps for hidden possibilities.
Claire Moore is a member of ALSC’s Digital Content Task Force. She is also the Assistant Head of Children’s Services at Darien Library. Contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.