Friday, October 12, 2012

modern medieval family : Activity Hunt Follow Up

Since I last posted, we've had an opportunity to try my Event Activity Hunt twice, first with my 2-year old daughter, then with my 4-year old son. The second time we also had my baby in tow, though he's still too young to get much out of the premise behind it- he just enjoyed the walks and the new sights and sounds.

It took a few tries before she got the hang of pulling just one card from the bag.
We started in the morning once we began hearing the noises from the list fields and noticed more people moving about the site. The first time, I had forgotten to pull out the cards I knew we weren't going to find that day, so the first couple she pulled were actually duds. I corrected this the second time with my son. In his case, there was one that had been pulled (the Scribe's Room card) that my mom decided to skip because of where it was located.

With my daughter, when we got to the activity, we had a hard time getting the card back to read the little blurb, but it didn't really seem to matter anyway. Just pointing out the activity and getting her to see why it was unique seemed to work. For my son, we interacted more, particularly when we found the Rapier List. He wanted to see their swords and armor and the fencers were gracious enough to let him touch them.

For both "runs", when we pulled the Royalty card, we spoke with the Queen. Interestingly, there was a Coronation between the two events, so we didn't talk with the same Queen twice! I was teaching a class when my son found the Queen, but my mom tells me she was very welcoming and open to talking with him, and even let him touch her crown as he counted the dragons and roses.

She liked seeing the pictures on each, even if she didn't understand them.
I've decided to remove two of the cards from the deck, the Troll card and the Scribes Room card. Finding these "activities" is a little awkward, and the kids don't get much of a chance to really see and understand what's going on with them.

She insisted on carrying the card as we walked to find it.
We discovered that the cards really helped up get out and see the event. We were always on the move, as we moved from one activity to the next, but we lingered long enough at each to see what was going on and share that with the kids. At the end of the day it was a lot of walking, but it was truly worth it.  In the second run, the cards were used up fairly quickly, even with a break for lunch, and when there was no more hunt, my son began to act up in the same manner he always did. He did not, however, act up while the hunt was still going on, which is very telling. Adding in shape and color cards will help extend the hunt for him, and I may even brainstorm some mini games that we can play when their card is pulled that allow us to take a break from walking, but don't stop the hunt.

Overall, I say the Event Activity Hunt is a success, and I'm excited about how adaptable it was to the two different ages and temperaments. It will be interesting to try it in the winter at an indoor event to see if it still works.

Oh, and make sure you have something handy to put the cards you pull into as you do your hunt!