– by Mary May Larmoyeux –
Have you heard about Tricky Treasure Hunts? Well, I hadn’t … until I read about them years ago in the August 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine.
In the magazine, Patrica and Paul Slaga of North Carolina shared their unique idea for a creative scavenger hunt. They hide several wrapped, inexpensive treasures around their house and yard—such as small toys, art supplies, gummy bears, stickers, etc. The tricky part is that their grandchildren have to work together to solve brainteasers to locate each prize.
Patricia and Paul give creative clues using verses with missing rhymes, symbols or pictures taking the place of words, or numeric codes. Here are some examples of ways tricky clues could be written:
- Use a Verse: “Jack and Jill went up the _________.” Answer: hill. So the next clue or prize will be on whatever your child or grandchild will recognize as the “hill.”
- Draw a Picture: Have a picture of where the next clue will be. Example: Draw a refrigerator (or cut out a picture of one from an ad) and either tape the next clue on your refrigerator’s door or put a small prize inside your refrigerator.
- Give a Numeric Code Clue: Assign each letter of the alphabet a number. (A would be 1 … Z would be 26). So, for the word BLUE the numbers would be B = 2, L = 12 , U= 21, E = 5. If your first clue says “The next clue will be by the 2 12 21 5 chair,” then the answer would be BLUE. So, the next clue would be by the blue chair.
And here’s another idea for a Tricky Treasure Hunt—use magazines or newspapers: Choose several articles and jot down some age-appropriate questions about them. You could ask little ones to circle particular words in headlines, find photos, etc. You could ask the older kids to find answers to some questions about the content in the articles. After the kids finish their magazine/newspaper hunt, reward them with some type of wrapped prize or treat.
Out-of-Town Loved Ones: It would be pretty easy for us to prepare these types of scavenger hunts for out-of-town grandchildren or for stepchildren, nieces or nephews who live in another city. We could send the clues to the kids in the mail, along with small wrapped prizes or extra money for an ice cream cone, etc.
Photo © Ikeg Pidodnya / Dreamstime.com
Is It Time for an Indoor Picnic
Would you like some creative ideas listed by month that can help you connect with your kids or grandkids? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart by Nancy Downing and Mary May Larmoyeux.