X Marks the Spot

Ahoy, matey!

There be somethin’ gloriously delightful about huntin’ for a treasure. The anticipation. The excitement. The mystery. So look to a treasure hunt to spice up the learnin’ in your day.

Doing a treasure hunt doesn’t have to be a lot of work.

  1. Start by separating your facts into bite-size pieces–a word, a sentence, a math problem.
  2. Write down, in order, six to ten places around your house that will be easy to describe and find. You want one less place than the number of facts that you have–nine facts . . . eight places. (I love to make my kids go up and down the stairs several times during this activity to help get some of their energy out!)
  3. Hide your facts in each of those places. (I find it easiest to start with the last place and work my way backwards.) Be wary of watchful, sneaky eyes. (If you have more than one kid doing the treasure hunt, hide one fact for each kid in each place.)
  4. If you want, leave a small treat at the last clue to reward your treasure hunters.
  5. Proclaim that the treasure hunt is ready! Verbally give each clue as your kid runs from place to place. (This saves you lots of prep time.) You can make these clues up on the fly, basing the difficulty on how old your kid is. (A four-year-old’s clue might be “where do you sleep at night?” but your ten-year-old’s might be “soft . . . fluffy . . . Oh, I’m tired!”) (If several kids are doing the treasure hunt, alternate who you give the clue to and give each kid a chance to find the next bundle of facts.)
  6. Follow your kid around as they hunt for their facts. Or, if you’re feeling particularly lazy (as I often am), you can even sit in one spot and make the kid bring their fact to you after finding each clue.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can also wear your three-cornered hat and use your best pirate language. Here’s a website with some great examples.

Arrrrgh, now THAT be the way to be doin’ some learnin’!


Filed under Games, Learning Activities

2 responses to “X Marks the Spot

  1. Dani

    What do you mean by saying that you should place a “fact” in the hiding spot (or Easter egg)? Can you give an example of a fact and how finding the fact helps the kids learn it? I’m having a hard time understanding how this works in practice.

    I’m loving the site, by the way.

    • taperkey

      Good question. A fact is a small piece of information. It could be a word to read or spell, or a sentence, or a math problem, or a date. So if you have a worksheet with 20 math problems, or a spelling list with 10 words, you would take each piece of the list and put it in an egg, or use it for one stop on the treasure hunt.

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