Kids looking a little stir crazy. How about a treasure hunt? What do you mean, what sort of hunt? A nature treasure hunt. Give me 5 minutes, then come outside. 3 egg cartons for three kids - after a quick wander around the garden they were filled with treasures to find - about 20 bits and pieces. Instruction - when you have two of everything you're finished. Middle one worked in a team with his friend. Little one stuck with me.
This 2 year old knows her garden really well, she was great at finding things.
Friends exploring the garden together
A rest stop
Eating the treasure - tasty sweet broccoli heads.
At the end of the hunt we checked the treasures matched their original, they took it very seriously and when a mistake was made they studiously looked for the true treasure. They took a hint when really stuck but didn't want anything pointed out to them. They were keen on knowing the names of things and many objects launched a little story. Have you ever found a four leaf clover? Did you know you can eat calendula? A violet leaf is shaped like a heart, Black currant leaves smell like black currants, Why are forget me nots called forget me nots?......I gave them a chocolate freckle prize and later heard my middle one exclaim to his friend - huh a prize for doing something that's fun! Highly unnecessary chocolate.
They so loved the hunt they were ready for more. The big one found the treasures this time. She also helped the little one with the finding. Little one filled that wheel barrow with grass when helping daddy with the lawn clean up.
I've seen a few versions of nature treasure hunts. You can play it like a memory game, you can paint your egg carton cells different colours and find nature objects to match the colours, you can hold up items to find one by one on a nature walk, you can laminate pictures of things to find..... The beauty of this technique was the independence it allowed the participants and the simplicity of setting it up. Such wholesome cuteness was a delight to watch, I was sorry to return to the much needed task of cleaning.
A totally unrelated yet profound quote I heard from Steve Jobs today, on the day of his death.