Are you struggling to provide activities for your kids while they are stuck at home? Here are a couple ideas to help get them moving, having fun and maybe even help Mom and Dad!
A TREASURE HUNT
All children love a good expedition! A day of being Blackbeard, Indiana Jones, or in our daughter’s case, Josh Gates.
First things first, you need treasure. Aarrrghh, but wha’ loot will ye choose? Treasure can be anything that they will be excited to discover, for us, this was a big lot of foreign coins I purchased on ebay for $9.99. The coins came in all shapes, sizes and colors and were different enough from our coins that she truly believed she had discovered something ancient and mysterious.
Next, you need to plan how the treasure will be discovered. If you have a metal detector at home, this is a great time to bust that out! My daughter is positive that she is Josh Gates’ protege, so we have a metal detector at home already for her to use. If you are thinking of purchasing a metal detector, we have the Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector that is currently $67.55 on Amazon and it has served us well for years.
However, I know that purchasing a metal detector right now is not feasible for many. Another fun way to discover treasure is always with a map. Creating a map is easy and can be a lot of fun! Find a good piece of blank paper. I have found that watercolor paper works great, but regular office paper works amazingly as well. Now, to make this paper look like a map, all you really need are teabags and a lighter. Make a very strong batch of concentrated tea, way stronger than you would make to drink. Take out any sort of pan that can hold this liquid as well as your paper; I have a large brownie pan that works great for this. Place your paper into the container and cover with the tea concentrate. Let that soak in the liquid until it starts to take on a yellowish-brown color. You may also want to flip the paper a few times. After that has soaked and started to take on an “aged” appearance, you will open one of the teabags and rub the tea grounds directly onto the paper. Do the same for the other side of the paper. Now you want to lightly crumble your paper to give it creases throughout. Lay it back out so the paper is smooth again but not too tight. You want there to be some creases remaining. Lay out your paper and let it dry; as it dries it will start to warp a little, don’t fear… that is exactly what you want! Once dry, you will take a black sharpie and create your map. Choose where you are burying your treasure and then draw out your yard’s landmarks, for example, that big tree in the front yard, the house, the garage, whatever features your area offers with a big X to mark the spot of the treasure! Finally, take a lighter and slightly burn the edges of the paper in sections around all four sides. Viola, you just created a map that will leave your child in amazement!
For us, creating a treasure map didn’t really fit with the theme we were going for. We wanted something a bit more realistic, as opposed to a pirate-type fantasy; and somehow suddenly finding 50+ coins in one metal detecting adventure was more realistic in our 8-year-old daughter’s mind! Haha! While she slept, we went outside and buried the treasure all over the yard, we kept it contained to a certain area that we softly guided her to. Armed with nothing more than her trusty metal detector, a spade and a small bowl, she spent the next two hours exploring the yard with her metal detector… jumping up and down with excitement every time there was a beep.
After finding all the coins, we went inside, gave them a thorough cleaning, and laid them all out. Once they were dry a great little history lesson began. We looked up where every coin was from and briefly talked about each country and coin.
After that fun adventure is a great time to suggest a bit of cleaning. We broke out our handy bottle of Scorpion Foaming Glass Cleaner and some paper towels and I let her go to town. The amazing part is that she loved it!! She thought that it smelled “delicious” and loved the foam. My advice is to show your kiddo how far away to hold the bottle, to make sure the nozzle is facing the window and then show them how to wipe. From that point on, let go and let them do it themselves. Being able to complete a project on their own gives them a sense of independence and responsibility. Our daughter cleaned windows for close to half an hour on her own and had a blast. Even though there were a few missed spots here and there, with Scorpion’s streak-free and ammonia-free formula, they still looked (and smelled) amazing!
Join me tomorrow for another fun project with the kiddos! I know these are currently trying times, but just remember, we are all in this together!