While I don’t homeschool, I was bound and determined that the kids would learn something on this trip. Of course, it had to be fun at the same time. I read an idea about having the kids do a faery hunt but I could just imagine the eye rolls from my teenage daughter and tween sons. I decided to make the world’s largest scavenger hunt.
I quietly compiled questions. Some I knew the answers to, some I didn’t. I printed out the questions and glued them in two blank artists’ books. I kept them a surprise until we were waiting at our departure gate. This was not a competition between the kids but rather the challenge was for them to work together to complete the task. It was meant to help them look more closely at things and to ask questions. It did that and so much more. We learned about traditional methods of smoking salmon from a man that truly loves doing things the old fashioned way. We learned that civil war occurred in other countries. We toured the Dunbrody and were shocked by some of the conditions and courage that it took for starving Irish to emigrate to the USA & Canada. We spent time talking to Irish families and learned that schools are structured differently in other countries. We had fun shopping for groceries and now have a new favorite ice cream (Honeycomb) that we can’t get here. We taught the kids to read a map and help us navigate from town to town…the kids think that Lynchburg, Virginia needs more roundabouts!
The kids enjoyed having a reason to listen, to research and to learn.
I will post some of the questions that I used for our scavenger hunt but if you do make one for your family, customize it. Make some of the question personal for your family. If you want to know any of the answers that our kids came up with, let me know!
Find a sign with your name on it.
Why is there paint on sheep?
Your great-grandpa Ken came to America in 1925 from the largest emigration port in Ireland. What is its name?
Picture of you with a Tam O’Shanter.
Get a recipe for a dessert, main dish, breakfast or tea item?
When is typical tea time?
Picture of each of you doing an Irish jig.
Autograph from a musician.
Picture with a musician.
What is the significance of the claddagh ring?
How many counties are in the Republic of Ireland? Northern Ireland?
Was there any special reason that Peter Lyon Bowie would have wanted to leave Ireland in 1915?
Irish butter and cheese is better than Wal-Mart’s. What could be some reasons?
Find sea glass.
Why is turf or peat (from bogs) able to be used for heat when regular dirt can’t be?
Why are there so many round towers? Who built them?
How many roundabouts did we go through in one day? Which day?
Unique town name? Pictures.
What region of Ireland was hardest hit by the Potato Famine?
Picture of a post box.
Find a different kind of candy bar that you’ve never tried.
Are Irish biscuits the same as ours? Find them in the store.
What was your favorite hike?
Play an instrument.
Learn a new expression (and its meaning)
Top 5 pub/shop signs or names
What are two other words/names that also mean Ireland?
What is a Bank Holiday?
The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. What is the original significance of the shamrock?
Play tag in a ruined castle.
Touch the sky
Find a Celtic cross taller than you. Smaller than you.
What are the names of some famous Irish poets/authors?
Find a poem by an Irish person. Write it here.
What is a limerick?
How many days was there rain?
What is another word for lake?
Ireland is full of characters, real and imagined, pick one and write a short story.
What was the pirate queen’s name?
What is your favorite Irish song?
What is the smallest car you saw?
How much did a gallon of gas cost? 1 gallon = 3.78541 liters
What do they call gas in Ireland?
Get a picture of heather
How long was the trip to American during the famine? Was it shorter when great-grandpa Ken came over?
What were some levels in ancient Irish society?
Who would have lived in castles?
What type of houses existed outside of castles?
Did most Irishmen in the mid-1800’s own their own farms?
Our tenant pays money for renting our house. What did tenants in Ireland in the mid-1800’s pay with?
Ireland is located further north than New York. Why doesn’t it get as cold?