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Since homeschooling allows for a lot of flexibility, why not take advantage of it and have some fun?
I wanted to start the school year off with a bang so I put together a treasure hunt for the kids to find some of their school supplies and other items we’ll be using this school year.
Rest assured that up until this school year there was no way in this world I would have had the time or energy to put this together. Now that all three children are a little older and more independent it gives me a bit more margin to put time into things like this. If you are in a season of life that does not give you that flexibility then please skip this post!
Even though it was a lot of work I had just as much fun with it as the kids did and I would totally do it again. And I don’t say that for everything we do. There are plenty of things I’ve tried with the kids and afterwards vowed to never attempt again in my lifetime. Like allowing two-year-olds to play with a sensory bin of just dry beans and some cups. But that’s another story, which includes an enormous mess and tears (all of which were my own) so we’ll just move on.
This piratey little idea could be used at any time of the year and in a variety of different ways. Here are some suggestions:
- Back-to-homeschool – that’s what we did!
- Holiday themed – Christmas, Valentine’s day, etc.
- As a reward for doing something above and beyond what’s expected
- Celebrate the beginning of summer
- Just for fun!
Here are the steps for creating your very own treasure hunt:
- Determine the number of “treasures” or items you want to include. You might prefer to have one big treasure at the end, and in that case then decide how many clues/locations you want to include before that final big treasure is found. I decided to include a “treasure” in each of 11 locations. There were actually 12 boxes because the very first clue did not include a treasure.
- Make a list of the locations inside or outside the house where you want to put your clues. We kept our treasure hunt inside.
- Start creating your clues. You can write riddles, take photos of the locations and cut them into pieces to make a puzzle, create rebus puzzles or a combination of these. I decided to write riddles and our son read them aloud so that his sisters could participate too.
- Use fun paper to write your clues on if you want! I tried aging some scrapbook paper with fire and quickly realized that was not a good idea for me. It made me too nervous. So I just tore the edges instead and they turned out good enough.
- Put your clues in a treasure box or some other type of envelope or container. I ordered these little treasure boxes to put the clues in.
- Write the number and location on the bottom of each box before you put in the clue so it’s easier when it’s time to put the boxes (or envelopes) in the correct locations.
- Wrap up your “treasure(s)” and put them in designated locations along with the clues. I put all our treasures in gift bags and then set the treasure box with the clue inside next to the gift bag.
Here are the clues I created, in case you are interested. Yes, they are corny, but the kids didn’t care and it was the best I could come up with. 🙂
#1 Welcome to this scavenger hunt
Where you will find treasure after treasure
Work hard to figure out the clues
It will be a pleasure
Barbie lives here with her friends
They always have such fun
Make sure you check high and low
And then you’ll have to run
(this clue was placed in the middle of the dining room table & they went to the Barbie house)
#2 This device makes so much noise
But it really is quite handy
It sucks the dirt up off the floor
So it’s no longer gritty or sandy
(they went to the closet with the vacuum cleaner)
#3 Paintings can be created here
Or writing with some chalk
Go quickly, don’t delay
Get there and then you can talk
(they went to the art easel)
#4 Kellan’s favorite thing to do
Lives in this little place
It’s where the discs are put in
So you can see Mario’s face
(they went to the stereo cabinet where the Wii is located)
#5 All About Spelling, there is a board
To help you learn some words
The tiles sometimes get mixed up
But here you’ll find a reward
(they went to our AAS/AAR board)
#6 It’s the biggest LEGO head I’ve ever seen
I’m certain you’ll agree
It’s large and yellow and keeps the blocks
There’s probably even some that are green
(they went to the LEGO head storage container)
#7 This is where you’ll find ABC Mouse
and many other games.
Keep looking and don’t give up,
You know it’s somewhere in the house!
(they went behind the iPad on the counter)
#8 Strum and play to hear the music
It’s what Daddy loves to do
This is where it stands
And where you’ll find the next clue
(they went to the guitar)
#9 Bubble bath makes bathtime fun
It also gets you clean
Look in the cabinet where it’s at
Don’t worry, there’s nothing mean
(they went in the bathroom cabinet)
#10 Movies, movies in the cabinet
You will find them here
You will also find a treasure
And the end of the hunt is near
(they went to the DVD cabinet)
#11 Here we do coloring, arts and crafts and activities,
It’s a fun place
And a work space
And a place we make memories.
(they found it under our school room table)
#12 This is where your treasure hunt ends
It was a lot of fun
Now take your bag of goodies and
Run, run, run!
Enjoy the school year my little sweeties!!
What a fun idea!!! Such a creative way to spark curiosity and excitement at the beginning of the year. Great job! And thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Michelle!
Betsy Strauss says
I love this! What a fun way to build excitement for the new school year. Your kids are precious too. Looks like they are excited to start back.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Yes, they were really excited to start back up which makes it such a joy for me! 🙂