School Holidays: 5 Treasure Hunts For The Family

Not taking the kids on vacation? There’s plenty of opportunity for discovery—right here at home.

Street Art

Don’t conflate “street art” with “vandalism”—in Singapore, painting on public property is legal if permission is obtained through the official channels.

The nature of street art lends itself to rich discussions, especially if you have older children. You can talk to them about restrictions on an art form that celebrates unbridled expression, and discuss how (or whether) street artists can still push boundaries while staying on the right side of the law. Alternatively, use our art guide to engage with the works.

To search for local street art, follow the links in this article or use this Google map to plan your route.

“Love Seeds”

Those who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s might remember saga seed collecting as one of their childhood pastimes, and some of us will still gladly indulge in seed picking should we encounter a saga tree. It’s a simple pleasure that today’s kids should experience firsthand, and this map ensures you won’t walk away empty handed.

Don’t forget to share the story of how these seeds came to be associated with love and romance.

Virtual Critters

Granted, it’s a time stealer and overzealous players have crossed the line of sensibility and safety, but as with all things, when used wisely and in moderation, Pokémon Go has its benefits—connecting families and encouraging outdoor exploration, just to name two. Use maps to track down new creatures for the family collection while weaving in other plans.

Old-School Playgrounds

In recent years, the proliferation of plastic playground structures has triggered a wave of nostalgia for the quirky old playgrounds built by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, notable for their mosaic designs and retro charm. Sadly, some of these “vintage playgrounds” have either been laid to rest or are slated for demolition, but you can use this map to visit the ones that remain standing.

Everyday Magic

This is one crucial life lesson to impart to the kids: If you’re willing to look hard, you’ll always find something of value no matter where you’re at. Writer-illustrator Keri Smith believes we can all be “explorers of the world,” and anyone, regardless of age and location, can use her list to sharpen their observational skills. All you’ll need is free time, a notebook, and an open mind.