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Katrina Parsons - 01 Feb 2021

ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS - Treasure Hunt
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Getting outside has become more important than ever but we've found that besides the play equipment our daughter gets bored very easily. During the summer it was a lot easier as we could splash in the stream, sit down for a picnic, kick the football around in the sun and roll down the hills...

But when the cold weather hits you have lots of factors now not on your side. 
1) It's FREEZING
2) It's muddy
3) The play equipment is cold and wet
4) I find I have less patience in the park in winter
5) Maeve never really wants to go out or is excited about the park/ woods in the cold

So one time I told Maeve that we were going on a treasure hunt and for once she couldn't wait to get her boots on. I had printed out a list of all the things I knew we could see on the way, as well as in the park, and she held this as well as a coloured crayon to tick things off.

activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt

BE PREPARED

I came prepared with a kinder surprise egg to hide at the final thing she ticked off her list. You don't have to have chocolate at the end, you could have a little toy, a healthy snack or if you use coins or tokens for them to collect them bring one of those!!

As well as the treasure map and the treasure I also made sure she had gloves and a spare crayon, plus all the usual bits we would take in her pram. 
Activities for kids, things to do with toddlers at home, activities to do with toddlers at home

GREAT FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

These treasure hunts are not only a great activity for kids outdoors but they're a great learning and sensory experience. 

If there's anything you want them to learn about you, for example about types of animals, you can make your own hunt and add these animals to them. 

Or if you wanted to create a purely sensory experience you could have them find "something wet" "something bumpy" or "something cold". 

If you wanted the activity to continue at home you could have them collect things, sticks, leaves etc. in a bag and have them bring them home and glue them into an adventure book. 

The options are limitless!!! 
activities for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt

CHOOSE YOUR OWN TREASURE MAP

Activities for kids are best when it is tailored to their likes and this works best when the treasure map suits your journey. 

We've created the original map I used for Maeve as well as some other variations so that you can pick which one works best for you. 

activities for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt

SEASONAL TREASURE HUNTS

Another idea to keep this activity for kids an all year round activity is to change it up by season. 

Summer - look out for everything in nature that would reflect this in your park. Dried leaves, specific plants and anything that people might be bringing in the summer e.g. BBQs, beach towels and birds.

Autumn/ Fall - red and orange leaves, crunchy leaves, pinecones and snails.

Winter - puddles, snow, clouds, boots and perhaps even some hot chocolate at the end!

Spring - this is the most fun for plants and animals. Think colours of flowers, ladybugs, butterflies and feathers. 

activities for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt

HOW WE MADE IT WORK

I let Maeve hold the map and prompted her to find things along the way. I had mapped out in my head the route we would take in the park so that the hunt would work. Also to make sure that we wouldn't see everything at once, or that we would be there for hours. 

Where does the treasure come in to play?
When we came to the last item I secretly hid the treasure near it and when she ticked the item off I said "well the treasure must be near by!". She then searched and easily found it. 

WHAT DID MAEVE THINK??

She absolutely loved it! The whole journey in the park she was engaged in the activity and keenly looking for items. 

Finding the treasure was obviously the most exciting part for her and she couldn't believe that she found it. 

She's continued to talk about treasure hunts and is excited whenever I get a new sheet out and we go to a different park or go on a different walk. 

Also for me it was a relief to have an activity in the park to do in the cooler weather and was an easy game to do alone. She stayed in the pram for a lot of the time and it saved a lot of aggravation trying to explain to her why she couldn't go on the wet slide. 

FREE DOWNLOADS!!!

activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt
activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt
activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt
activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt
activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt
activites for kids at home. things to do with kids. things to do with toddlers. outdoor treasure hunt. outdoor scavenger hunt


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