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Treasure hunts

2014 June 12

The weather is starting to look quite fine so it’s time to get outdoors! Treasure hunts are a brilliant activity for all ages. that can easily be adapted to the interests and abilities of each child. You can theme your hunt around nature or a colour, or include an element of imaginative play such as pirates searching for treasure, survivors stranded on an island who need to recover all the missing pieces of their vessel before they can leave or rescuers on the trail of a kidnapped teddy. Treasure hunts are also a very low cost activity – you just need paper and some ‘treasure’!


For tinies

Even toddlers can participate in a treasure hunt by following picture clues. They’ll obviously need careful supervision but you’ll be amazed how soon they get the hang of it. If you’re doing this alongside older children it’s probably best to have a 1 easy:3 harder clues ratio to prevent older children from racing through their clues too quickly.

For early readers

As soon as they can recognise letters you can start to incoporate them into clues. If the clue is ‘b’ then the next clue might be found near an object that begins with ‘b’. You can quickly progress onto simple words and it will give their confidence a boost too.

For confident readers

Confident readers can have more complicated words or whole phrases as clues, including simple rhymes and easy puzzles.

For older kids

Older children who may find words or phrases simplistic can be engaged by using word puzzles and riddles. Try creating anagrams of the next clue’s location, mirror writing or a secret code that they have to break.

You need a few moments in private to place your clues, so get your bosses in on the secret so you can hide them in the garden before work, or team up with another nanny and go to a park or some woodland – one nanny can look after the children while the other runs around to plant clues. Just make sure you have your employers’ permission before leaving your charges with someone else.

Treasure hunts can be a great competition with a race to find the clue or a way to encourage teamwork and get older ones to help by reading the clue but encouraging younger ones to answer the riddle. They encourage all-important problem solving skills and independence so don’t leap to give them the answer when they’re struggling and let them go off after clues by themselves.


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