Monday, April 5, 2010

Treasure Hunting With Kids

The time for hunting for Easter eggs has passed, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop hunting. We hunt daily for things around the house. Mommies and childcare takers seem to have an innate "lost finder." Sometimes I even have to hunt for the children. (Naughty girl who hid in the culvert pipe!) But who doesn't love a treasure hunt!?
Easter Egg Hunt 2007 (Woo Hoo...our former house and then rental is now for sale!)

Treasure hunts are a great way to get the kids involved in a variety of activities.

Let’s see....here's 5 indoor TREASURE HUNTING ideas:

1) The typical hide and seek.
2) Hide a certain number of toys (say…Polly Pockets or Hot Wheels Cars) and see if the kids can find them. (I think this is sometimes called “Picking Up Your Toys.")
3) Hide a snack (in a reusable container) and play “Hot, Cold” to find the snack.
4) Draw a map of your house and put an X or sticker on it where you hid a “surprise.” Reuse the map for another time. Great for helping with map reading skills.
5) If you’ve got loads of time, make a scavenger hunt. (Fun when it’s time to find birthday or Christmas gifts.)
Hide and Seek in the great outdoors in May 2008
Or take it into the great outdoors! Give the kids a bag or bucket and maybe a shovel. Go “hunting” for something in your yard or the park. Please make sure you’re able to remove and take whatever objects you’re hunting for. Or take a camera and take a picture instead. Make a photo book of your “treasure hunts.”
Diggin' in the dirt in May 2008

So what can you find…..rocks, acorns, flowers, leaves, sticks, insects, birds, animals, and such?
Insect hunting in June 2009 (Whoa!  Our yard has come a long way since then!)

We happen to live where there use to be an ancient shallow sea running right through the U.S. (I read lots of dinosaur books to Scooter.) We go on “dinosaur digs” in the yard. Chewy just looks for “fossils,” which is pretty much any rock she thinks looks interesting to her. Scooter wants to find a mosasaur skeleton, but is happy with our other fossil finds. Yep, we’ve found fossils. If they aren’t….don’t tell us….we’re blissfully happy to think they are. We just have fun digging in the dirt and rocks. The kids like to call our exploration in the yard, “adventures.”

Take a look at what we've found....
We display some of the rocks and fossils we have found.

Two small crinoid stems we've found in the yard.

Our most recent find...see it on the bottom right top part of the rock.  Yep.

See the shell imprint?  We have this lining an arroyo and garden outside.

Another shell imprint.  Fun stuff!

Do you see it?  This one has loads of little sea life things, not all are visible in the picture.

We're not actually sure if these are fossils, but we thought it was pretty cool. 

Any other ideas for treasure hunts?  What are you hunting this week?  Enjoy!

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