My grandchildren and I decided we should begin their summer vacation from school with a special celebration. I decided to create a clue hunt for them, mixed in with some of the fun things we always love to do together in the summer. One of the first things the kids always do at my house is to check their mailboxes. I have small plastic mailboxes in their bedrooms at my house, and I try to remember to put notes, candy or small toys inside that they can find when they come over. (Sometimes I forget!) Today they found a small bag of M & Ms and this alphabet chart.
When I started to make up the clues for the children to find I had to do some thinking about what they could all do successfully. I didn’t want to overwhelm them, or make it too easy. I know Owen – who just finished 1st grade, would be able to read the clues to the girls, but I wanted them to all be able to help solve them. I started with this alphabet chart because I knew they could all do it, and then use it later to help solve clues. I asked them to write a number next to each alphabet letter, starting with 1 for A through 26 for Z. Then we talked about the rules of the clue hunt.
I showed them a set of 6 envelopes – I decided that the order did not matter, so they could take turns choosing an envelope to open. These contained the clues that led them to different places inside and outside our house. When they solved the clue and went to that location they found a bag containing a small prize for each of them.
The bags contained things like small bottles of bubbles, tattoos, bracelets, stickers, whistles, rings; any small toys would work fine.
In order to make our celebration last longer and to include some time to move around and play I told the children they would be choosing a summer activity to do in between solving each clue.
They took turns choosing these fun activities.
Then they chose the first envelope they wanted to open. Their job was to do the math problem, then match the answer with an alphabet letter.
The answer to this clue was CAMPER. They loved going out to our old camper to find the first prize bag! I asked them to bring the prize bag back to our living room so they would all be together, and then ready to choose a fun activity before the next clue. They chose to go outside and play bubbles.
Next Anna opened a clue envelope.
I printed this clipart picture on a piece of blue card stock, and on the reverse side I printed the clue. Then I cut the pieces into puzzle shapes. The children assembled the picture, we taped it together then they flipped it over to read the clue.
The next clue they solved was simply to write the letters for each number. This one sent them out to the upper level of Papa’s barn (Top of barn.)
I didn’t even need to give them any help with the next clue. Right away they got the idea of writing down the red letters to find the message. I loved how the girls read off the letters while Owen wrote them on the bottom. This sent them out to our Little Free Library in front of our house.
This clue was fun for them to solve. They wrote the first letter of the name of each animal to get the message. We have a crawl space under a small part of our house that we use for storage – the kids love to go up there!
The last clue they solved was a very simple story I wrote about them. All they had to do was look at the first letter of each row.
The hint at the bottom was enough to give them the idea. I was ready to help if they needed it.
It was a fun way to start our summer celebration! Hope your summer is great too!