Monday, October 27, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Clued in Kids

Who wants to hunt for treasure? Maybe a better question would be, who doesn't? Treasure hunts are lots of fun and my recent review had us doing two of them. Clued in Kids was created by a mom who realized that hunting for treasure is a great hands-on way to teach a concept. It is not only fun, but healthy too because it allows the child to get up and move around. For the purpose of my review we received two PDF printable hunts: Homework Reward Treasure Hunt and Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt.

When you get your printable hunt, it is in a PDF booklet form. Both of mine were 8 pages in length. They came with easy to follow directions and the clues were divided into two per page. At the bottom of each clue it tells you exactly where to hide it, so set up is really a breeze!  All you have to worry about is finding something for a prize at the end. While these were beautiful, full color photos, I printed mine in black and white.

Each page has an activity that you must do to find the next clue. You might have word puzzles, scrambled words, math problems, fill in the blanks, deciphers, and other things like that. They also have fun activities like make a paper airplane or cluck like a turkey. Once you finish the puzzle it has a word to help you figure out where your next clue is. It might be one word like milk so you have to think about where that item would be kept. Other times it will say a specific phrase like "look beneath a bedside table." You start by handing the child their first clue. Then it is off!

The first hunt we did was the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt. I have blogged on here a couple of times how I have trouble motivating my Gess to do her "homework" independently. Part of her struggle is due to her special needs, but part of it is just lack of motivation. Well, this turned out to be a great motivator. I told her if she completed all of her tasks in one week she could go on a treasure hunt! The first week after I mentioned it, she was not successful. I was actually glad because I think that failing first gave her even more incentive to try harder the next week.  Finally, her tasks were done so on that Saturday, she went hunting!

I started by placing her first activity clue on the table with her bucket of colored pencils. Every time her clue had an activity to complete she would come back there to do it. It was fun to watch her finish and then run off to the find the next one!  She really enjoyed hunting for them!

For her prize I got her a new CD that I knew she was wanting really badly. Of course your prizes can be much smaller. A page of stickers, a coloring book, or whatever special thing your child will enjoy. I just wanted an excuse to get her something cool.

You can actually try this hunt for free if you sign up for their newsletter!

The next hunt was the Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt. This was a little tricky because it is not quite Thanksgiving season yet, but we are getting there. What I did was wait a little closer to the end of October and made my prize a pumpkin with a carving kit. Granted the carving part is not a traditional Thanksgiving item, but the pumpkin can be! Since we will start studying the Pilgrim story this was a fun way to review and prepare for the upcoming holiday!

Gess struggled a little bit with the dates of when certain events happened but otherwise they were easy enough. That was good though because knowing what she has down and where she struggles will help me know what to focus on as we study it this year.

My only problem with the hunts were that some of the puzzles were a little hard to make out. It was only a couple of them, like the leaves that spelled scarves. It probably would have been easier if they had been in color so keep that in mind. Otherwise they were fun and as I said, easy to follow. I had no trouble with set up and Gess had no trouble with figuring out where the clue was. She had trouble finding a few though, even when they were right in her face, but that is part of the fun!

The Homework Reward Treasure Hunt and Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt are for ages 4 and up and sell for $5.99 each. Kids of all ages will have fun with these. They say they only take about 8 minutes to set up and that is pretty much accurate. With only one child doing them they lasted about 20 to 30 minutes to complete so it made for some fun random family time. I asked Gess if she enjoyed it and she said yes. I think she wants more!

To learn more visit the Clued in Kids website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below. And don't forget, you can also try one for FREE if you sign up for their newsletter.

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