City centres are, much to my dismay at times, places that seem to exist purely for commerce they are not generally somewhere where you go to play but they are full of all sorts of building, objects and people and so in many ways they are perfect places if you think of them in different ways. Doing the photo fun projects that we do has helped me look at my city through different eyes as I try to interpret the themes set by my kids. I cycle through the city most days which odd as it may sound enables me to turn the streets into my own private play ground, not in the stunt cycling way, but just in the way that cycling instantly transports me back to my childhood.
Today we used the city centre as a different type of playground as we undertook a family scavenger hunt. I’d been chatting to my kids recently about a scavenger hunt I’d done when I was a kid and they liked the idea of this. One of them said could we do one and perhaps could we go into Leeds to do it so this morning we split up into two family teams and standing outside the city museum we were handed our list of things to find that one of my kids had created and set off to see what we could find.
It was a great list, split between photographs of things and objects: The full list was this
We needed to find the following photographs:
- One of the team in front of something that begins with a J
- Something that sums up the best thing about Leeds
- A woman wearing a green shirt
- One of the team in a window
- Something spotty
- The adult of the team in front of a well known building
- Something that is American themed
- Something that sums up the worst thing about Leeds
- The number 82
- One of the team stood on / in front of a statue
- Something beautiful
- One of you with a hand dryer
Objects to collect / find
- A leaf
- A takeout menu
- A receipt with the letter ‘k’ on it
- A sample of a product
- A stranger’s autograph
- A leaflet
- A train ticket
Some of these were relatively straight forward but the task was not just to find and/ or photograph the things but to try and interpret them in the best way we could. I completely loved the variety of tasks we had, some of which asked us to potentially go up and talk to strangers, not something that I (perhaps like many of us) are totally sure of but hey most people are lovely and we got an autograph and photos of women in green shirts. Also by not stopping for the first thing we thought of but keeping that as an option we moved on to better things, the yellow American school bus being a great example. It was so nice to explore the city centre with one of my kids chatting away, getting their ideas for things we could interpret and seeing the city through their eyes as well.
When I asked what photo we could take that best sums up Leeds she simple said this here on Briggate right now, all sorts of people from all different cultures eating all sorts of street food from all over the world. There’s hope for us yet.
I can hugely recommend this as a great way to turn the city into your own playground and have some fun. Feel free to use the list one of my kids came up with and interpret it how you want or come up with your own list – put the kids in charge it’s great fun. Do let us know if you go on a hunt and what you found.