A Fun, Cheap, and Easy Treasure Hunt

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Lots of "treasures" here to be found!
We're on vacation now, staying in an apartment by the seaside. It's great fun when we're at the beach (who doesn't enjoy water fun in the sun and building sand sculptures and digging holes in the sand), but to be honest, each day coming home from the beach is an ordeal. It means changing at the beach, showering when we get home to take off the residual sand, changing again because the clothes you wore back from the beach are now full of sand, doing the wash to clean your clothes from the sand, sweeping the place and cleaning the bathtub/shower from all the excess sand, rinse, lather, repeat. Yea- the beach is fun, but coming back is not. So I'll be honest, I'm not exactly in a rush to go to the beach with the kids yet again today- 3 days in a row has been enough for me...

But since we're away from home and away from their friends, and not exactly rolling in toys, my kids are getting bored. Antsy. And the thing about beach town is it's hot, sticky, and humid- not exactly so conducive to being in good moods with excess patience, especially when your kids are on your case.
So I decided that the way to make everyone less grumpy was by giving them something to do. First we played Uno with our homemade Uno game (more on that in a future post), but then I wanted something else...
What better than a treasure hunt? And I had the perfect idea for a treasure hunt that wouldn't take any work to prepare, but would take more than a few minutes to complete.

The first treasure hunt was an animal treasure hunt.
We went around the place where we are staying and tried to find as many animals as we could. We made a list of each animal we saw, and counted how many of those we could find. The rules were that the animals had to be visible without moving anything, picking up anything, etc... Just what could be seen from the floor, etc...
We found so many more animals than we expected, discovered them in places we wouldn't think we'd find them, and it kept the kids busy for quite a while.

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When that was finished, they wanted to continue treasure hunting, so I gave them more things to look for. First I had them count how many stars they could find, and tally them up. Then circles, and rectangles, crescents, squares, and triangles. Each time they went off and had fun looking for them, then came back and asked for a new mission.

If your kids are bored, or even if you're just looking for a cheap, easy to prepare, fun activity for them- try a treasure hunt in your own home! Look for animals, shapes, etc... You can come up with more topics of things to look for, and find ways to make it more challenging, etc... if you choose.
But now my kids finished their treasure hunt, and they want me again, so toodeloo for now.

Are you a fan of treasure hunts? Are your kids? Have you made any creative treasure hunts for your family to keep them entertained? What types of treasure hunts were they? Does this sound like an activity your kids would enjoy?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Awesome Penny, what a great idea!

    An alphabet hunt is great fun too, even for older kids. I did this last year with a group of 10 year olds - split them into two groups, gave them a camera each to document their finds, and the fastest ones back won a prize. I let them go around their neighbourhood, with boundaries of where they could go. I was amazed by their creativity, and they had a blast!

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