Learning through play: Treasure hunt.

Lately since it is my oldest daughters (age 6) summer break I’ve been trying to keep learning simple to avoid the summer slide all awhile not overwhelming her. Also allowing myself a break from the learning meltdowns that occur when she has to do scheduled school work in which she isn’t interested in. Over the summer we’ve adapted a learning through play approach in which I ask my daughters what they want to play and then we quickly get to it. In which I haven’t had to plan ahead.

My oldest decided she wanted to go on a treasure hunt. I gathered old fashion jewelry my kids already own, paper money and placed it within an old basket. In which she chose where to hide it because my oldest feels best when she is in control of an activity. Therefore she hid the bucket from her little sister (age 2) and we both began to make maps to find the treasure.

To make our maps we grabbed paper, pencils, markers, and scissors then got to work. We also made clues, and our own fake coins because my daughters insisted no treasure is complete without coins.

Maps and clues…
-writing practice
-reading practice as my oldest read my map and clues
-shape recognition because I used basic shapes to make the images on the map
-imagination and creativity
-scissor practice my oldest cut her map up and hid it around the house

Making paper coins…
-color recognition
-scissor practice

A map my youngest and I made together.

I used simple captions on the treasure map for my oldest to read. I tried to incorporate shapes. For example I went with the typical house drawing using a square and a triangle in order to work in shape recognition for my youngest

I wrote down simple sentences for my daughters to follow.

I kept the sentences simple for my oldest daughter that is learning to read. I didn’t plan ahead for the activity therefore I wrote out the sentences on plain paper. Of course you could always print out clues/directions to make it look more fancy. Recently I have just been keeping our activities simple and saving time not over planning.

Treasure map my oldest made.
A clue that a map piece was hidden under a chair in the shape of a fox.
Colorful coins to point out colors to my youngest daughter. A treasure isn’t complete without coins of course.
Coins my oldest made.

For added scissor practice kids can make their own treasure coins to find. I simply drew them on a piece of paper using a variety of colors and we cut them out together. You could draw coins in various shapes for additional shape recognition. I didn’t think about it till after I drew traditional circle coins. As I stated before I didn’t plan ahead. I’ve been keeping learning fun, engaging and allowing my daughters to use their imagination by picking an activity and going with it. When they pick the activity I have found they are more willing to learn and stick with it.

My youngest daughters coins.
Looking for treasure in the ball pit.
They found the treasure! Time to dig in.

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