Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treasure Hunt

I found that sometimes you just have to put a little thought into the fun activities and really get the kids involved. this is the only way you can make it fun and exciting. One of my favorite things to do when I am babysitting is to have a surprise activity for the kids. But first I like to create an exciting game to go along with it. At one point in my "babysitting" career I had to watch three boys and that was a nightmare because I had no idea how to entertain little boys. I began thinking outside the box a little and figured out a really fun way to keep them excited. I call this the Treasure Hunt.... It's about a two day activity plan...

First Day
First you start out with a shoe box or any box that has a cover on top, you could if you wanted to use a large storage container. On the first day I got a box and lots of crafting items, you could use stickers, little gems, construction paper, shells, anything really and glue them on with a glue gun. Now of course you would not let the kids use the glue gun, if they are really little but you can have them pick out what they want on the box and you can have them put stickers on the box so they feel like they are helping. The point of all these items is to cover the box top to bottom so the kids would not be able to know what was inside the box. That alone should keep them entertained for a few hours. After that you can create a little treasure map story of the "lost treasure", read it to the kids ( I made one up I'll have pictures of it up soon).
I used a box similar to this one or you can use a standard shoe box as the Treasure box.

I found these wooden letters at an art store. You can paint them, I had the kids arrange the letters Treasure box, so I had to make sure I had enough letters to spell the words Treasure box so I bought two bags of these wooden letters.

These are the letters that come in the bag of wooden letters.
After I painted the wooden letters I hot glued them, but you can hot glue anything. If you don't have wooden letters go to the dollar store and get a pack of sea shells, you can even find little jewels at the dollar store too. Remember to be safe and keep young children away from hot glue.


Second Day
Okay the second day of the treasure hunt, use an activity as your "Lost Treasure" and place it in the box. For younger kids you can have paper and old magazines, markers, stickers, safety scissors and glue sticks, use these materials to make a collage. Basically have them cut out their favorite pictures in the magazine, this is a great opportunity to have them practice their scissors cutting skills. Have them glue the pictures onto white paper, they can also make their own shapes using their markers and put stickers to personalize their own collage.

Here is another way you can make this activity fun, I would hide the treasure box around the house somewhere and leave little hints on note cards taped around the house for them to find that would eventually lead them to the "Lost Treasure". You can use notecards to write clues or ask them questions that would lead them to the next clue. For older kids why not hide the treasure outside, create a short story and a map to go with the story to help them toward the lost treasure. Don't forget to include points on the map where they can get clues that will lead them closer to the lost treasure.

This Treasure Hunt activity could take up a few hours, after they have made the treasure box, I like to always change up a new activity in the box for them to find. Sometimes it's just painting, sometimes it's baking. Really the sky's the limit here so you can really do anything. Don't forget to have fun.

Update
Tip: You could always find fun pirate hats, eye patches or even gold coins at party stores, or the dollar store to make this game more interesting. I have skulls that I purchased from the dollar store around Halloween, they had small skulls and a few big skulls, they also had gold coins in the party section of the dollar store. Little kids can look for the gold coins while the older kids read the clues that will lead them to the coins. You can even turn this treasure hunt activity into something they will do as a reward for good behavior and place toys, stickers, pencils whatever the reward you want to give them. The ideas to this activity can go on forever for kids of all ages.
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