language arts teacher Emily Stockwell created indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts for her sons to help keep them engaged while they're staying home to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
She wanted to replicate the experiences she enjoyed as a child, when her father would create similar scavenger hunts for her. Stockwell posted the scavenger hunt lists to Facebook on Monday morning so her friends and their families could participate as well.
She made the post public after a few friends asked her. As of Friday morning, more than 153,000 Facebook pages had shared Stockwell's post.
"It just took off," Stockwell said. "So many people are just simply saying 'thank you.' Parents, myself included, are looking for things we can do with our kids that are going to be engaging. People have been posting pictures of their kids with their items all gathered, saying how much fun they're having with it."
A library in Massachusetts has shared Stockwell's lists, as have preschools from all over the country. The indoor scavenger hunt asks for items such as "a toy smaller than your hand" and "a photo of someone you love," while the outdoor one seeks items such as "five leaves that look different" and "something that starts with the letter 'm.'"
Stockwell said she has fielded requests to create more scavenger hunts and has produced one for adults and a literary one for middle- and high-schoolers.
Her children are eagerly awaiting their next list as well.
"It brings me so much happiness to know that something so simple is making other people happy," Stockwell said. "It's really cool to think that my kids don't get to play with anyone else but, at the same time, they're doing this same hunt with hundreds of thousands of kids. Together."