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taking picturesLooking for something fun to do as a family? These final days of summer and early fall are a perfect time to head outside for some bonding and togetherness, and a scavenger hunt is the perfect activity for all ages.

There are all types of scavenger hunts to be had, but my favorite is the photo scavenger hunt. Everyone loves taking pictures; you can do it anywhere; and the biggest bonus -- you don't have to figure out what to do with all the stuff you collect in a typical scavenger hunt. Win. Win.

Here are some tips for organizing a great one.

1. Gather the Equipment

To start, you'll need cameras, of course. From phone cameras, to regular old digital ones or Polaroids, anything that takes a picture works. Film cameras should be avoided, however, since you won't be able to see the photos right away. Depending on the ages of players and number of cameras available, you may want to break up into teams.

2. Make a list.

From colors, to items beginning with specific letters,  to a list of random items, there are limitless ideas for which to hunt. If you're outside, nature items, various streets signs, or pictures of players in various locations are good ones. If weather doesn't cooperate outdoors, an indoor mall provides all sorts of inspiration.

3. Lay Out the Rules

Make sure everyone knows ahead of time what it takes to win. Whether it's the first person to make it back to a set location with his pictures, or the first one to post theirs to Instagram, or whatever you decide, make sure the rules are clear.

4. Safety First

The quest for the perfect pictures shouldn't get in the way of common sense safety, and remind players that everything should be legal (no trespassing, etc.).

5. Pick a Prize

Whether it's a silly paper crown you make, letting the winner pick where you all go for ice cream afterwards, or a small monetary prize, a little reward at the end can make the competition fun.

6. Capture the Memories

Now that you have all those pictures, you can use them to make a great scrapbook page, collage, or online slide show.

Does your family do scavenger hunts?

 

Image via alaina buzas/Flickr