Hunting for Treasure with Grandchildren

Treasure HuntingOur grandchildren know that when this Grandma visits, this Grandma brings presents.  Sometimes when I am able to arrive before the grandchildren come home from school or camp, I will hide the presents and small M & M packets (my candy of choice for them to associate with me) around the house.  When they come home, we play the “Hot and Cold” game until they find all the presents, trinkets and M & M packets hidden around the house.  Such great fun!

Parents forgot that this is such an easy game to pass some time either inside or outside the house.  Remind them to play “Hot and Cold” with their children or make it the game you play with your grandchildren when you visit.

You can vary the game by drawing a treasure map, hiding clues (in rhymes or drawings on each clue) instead of trinkets along the way, and seeing if the children can find clues to reach one big surprise at the end.  Here are some great directions from Parent’s Connect.

Hidden item: Anything small and easy to hide, including an item that becomes a prize for the successful searcher (say a set of stickers. You can never have too many!). If Dad is the searcher, Mom should hide the remote! Although, that might not be too pretty.

Searcher: Your child

Hider: Mom, Dad, Grandparents, an older sibling

Hiding place and play area: This game can be played indoors in any room of the house, or outside.

Send the searcher out of the room.

While he’s gone, the hider stashes the item in a safe, age-appropriate place. In other words, don’t hide the prize on top of the fridge if your searcher is only 36-inches tall! It’s also a good idea to avoid hiding things like eggs or other breakable or degradable items. What if your Mommy-brain kicks in and you can’t remember where it’s located? You don’t want to accidentally sit in a pile of yolk!

Call the searcher back into the room and have him start searching.

The hider helps the searcher by yelling out, “warm” when he is headed in the right direction and “cold” when he isn’t. Make the game more fun by coming up with extreme adjectives, rather than just “warm,” “hot,” “cool” and “cold.” Here are some more words to use that just may improve your child’s vocabulary:

Frigid or freezing: When he’s strayed very far away.

Scalding, sweltering, scorching, searing: All these “s” words are great for when he’s practically stepping on the item.

Subzero: Means he’s headed in the wrong direction.

Antarctic: When he’s left the “continent” and isn’t even in the general vicinity of the item.

Caliente: Teach your kids some Español while you’re at it!

Ice Cubes: Nowhere near it.

Glacier: Absolutely nowhere near it.

Tropical: In the general vicinity.

Boiling: It’s right under his nose.

When he finds the item, have him do a little victory dance.

Swap places. The searcher becomes the hider and vice versa. Before you know it, hours have passed and it’s time for night-night (yay!)

I love the above directions.  You can teach vocabulary.  You can do this treasure hunting hopping or skipping or required walking sideways or backwards or even crawling!  Even the youngest grandchildren can participate by teaming them up with a sibling or parent.  This game requires little advance planning and provides lots of family



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