You can use the task cards in a number of different ways, from bringing one or two cards along when going walking or camping, to preparing and running a full amazing race for the kids and their friends.
Considerations when running a full race:
Visit the area you wish to bring your kids alone, or do some research on the features. Make sure you choose an area which is safe, with clearly marked routes and which isn't too long. We suggest racing for between 60 minutes and 2 hours, (with a break) depending on your childs age.
Read through the list of tasks and choose approximately 4 - 7 which will work well with the age of your children and the area you intend to run the race. Try to use a mix of active and leisurely challenges that take advantage of interesting terrain.
Also consider whether there is sufficient access for the locations you intend to hold the race, especially if they require equipment.
Print out your selected task cards, separating the parent information from the task cards. Laminate the cards if possible, to be able to reuse them.
Read through the parent information for each task. Purchase or acquire any required resources to run the race.
Consider also how you wish to present the clues. If the area you are visiting is reasonably quiet, or if you have another adult on hand to assist, you may be able to place the clues ahead of time in locked boxes or tied to trees. If so, you will need the appropriate locks or rope.
Plan the route using map, visit or knowledge of the area. Take a photograph of each clue location, mark it on a map or describe how to get there. The racers will need to know where to go next. Keep the location clues you create with the relevant cards so you know where to place everything.
Each activity will need a task card to be given to the team before they start, and a clue to be given to the team when they complete each challenge, to direct them to find the location of the next activity. Some activities will have built in clues to find the next one, such as finding instructions with binoculars and decoding clue cards.
If you have more than one child, or your child has a friend or family member they can form a team, otherwise you can be their teammate yourself.
If the area is reasonably isolated, and laws allow, you can set up the race clues beforehand, placing them in spots that won't be disturbed by passersby such as tree hollows or small clearings off the trail (make sure you don't leave anything behind)
Otherwise (or if you don't have the time/ ability) you can hold onto the clues, follow the team/s and distribute them when they complete each task successfully.
If equipment is needed and be placed in advance by a responsible person, place it into a sturdy backpack to take along with the teams. If doing it this way you will need one set of equipment for each team.
If you don't have several teams involved to create competition, then set an an appropriate amount of challenge time to give the kids something to aim for.
Included in your Amazing race party packages are a set of circular designs, which can be used in a variety of ways to decorate your Amazing Race party. Here are 5 examples of how you can use them:
In the minds of my children, the boundary between fun and boredom so often lies at the end of the device charger. Sometimes, it seems like I’m at war with the wifi - an endless series of battles to push back against this addiction to devices.
With this period of isolation, we've needed fresh air, exercise and vitamin D more than ever, but the mere mention of such socially isolating fitness endeavours such as hiking or a mountain bike ride through the bush has been met with either blunt refusal, persistent debate or the opportunity to ‘make a deal’( which generally includes the bargain of semi-willing cooperation in return for… more time on electronics. )
Well, at least they can deliver a sales pitch?
So as I sat alone in the forest, enjoying the sunshine or the trickle of running water, I wondered what it would take to get my kids out and about. As I child I was surrounded by bush, and we spent hours exploring our echoes, learning how to whistle on gumleaves and finding new paths to our neighbours properties. Why were my own children so immune to nature?
And when I stopped wondering, I began thinking of ways around. I continued my walk, considering the spots that could provide entertainment for children; the small beaches beside the river, the distance the current took floating leaves, the places you could swim or sunbake on a sunny day and the unusual things you could find in the scrub when you looked a little closer. I noted them down, I pondered over them, and then I turned them into a game.
That weekend we ran the Amazing Isolation Race adventure, with my own teenagers and a couple of family members and friends, aged between 12 and 18 around a 6km long bush track nearby.
The competition made them fierce. They struck flint, dug up worms for bait, raced through an obstacle course several times and took selfies with some local sheep. But most of all, they enjoyed being outdoors, and then asked when they could do the next one.
Finally, I’d beaten the x-box.
I've shared an updated version here online, for anyone else battling boredom boundaries. It's appropriate for age 6+. You can get your copy here.
If you do run it yourself, please leave us a comment and/ or tag us on social media - we'd love to know how it went for your family!