Thursday, 9 October 2014

Simple Treasure Hunt

I love simple activities that can squeeze into that precious time before bedtime routines begin.  It lets me shake off office-mode and more importantly, get me into my child's world and reconnect.

But it has to be really simple - frankly, we'd never play on weekdays otherwise.  Like this:

All you need is a box of "treasure" (or whatever) and a map.

We drew this map together - which back then at three years old meant I drew while she guided me and chattered about it.  I used this chance to talk about spatial dimensions while I drew: round table, rectangle bed, curvy lines, and all.

A map of her room

It's worth mentioning that spatial skills training in this way starts around that age.   I may have started her on difficult puzzles too early because she shied away from them when she couldn't figure them out.  It was only later that I found out that puzzles should also progress from straight-sided ones, to the common jigsaw ones, to the cube ones.  So for a while, doing activities like this treasure hunt was the only thing that clicked for her.  

Spatial skills are also one of the intelligences that are neglected in traditional school.  I should know - those were my lowest test scores when I took aptitude tests in high school.  If like me, your curiosity makes you want to read more about spatial intelligence and activities, this article was helpful.

I asked her to go outside the room while I hid the treasure and marked the spot where I hid it

 You can make this as hard or as easy as you like to adjust to your child.
"Can you find where the treasure is?"


I let her lead, too.  She hid the treasure, marked the spot and called me back into the room to hunt:

X marks her spot.  In her trademark purple.

And that was our floor-time for the day.  

You can read more about floor-time as a "hands-on working mom hack" in the article I wrote for The Learning Basket.   And then head on back here to check out the growing gallery of after-work play ideas in the archives:

Click HERE or head to the galleries buttons on the upper right side of the blog.

My list is short so I'd love to learn with you.  How do you squeeze in play with your kids?

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