Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clued In Kids Treasure Hunts

Do your kids love treasure hunts?
Do you want to bring some fun into your days?
Do you desire to have activities that are exciting and require very little setup?
Do you want your kids to see the fun in learning?

If so, then this review is for you!

We recently were sent some fun resources from Clued In Kids. This company offers treasure and scavenger hunts that meet all of the above criteria. They're exciting, they require little setup, and they show how learning is fun! They have all sorts of hunts to meet your needs: holiday/seasonal, nutrition, educational, sports, party, and more. We chose a printable Homework Reward Treasure Hunt  and the Pirate Treasure Hunt Clue Book.

Clued In Kids is a fairly new company, but the dream started decades ago. The founder has been creating hunts for many years. She revived the dream in order to give her girls a memorable way of learning, encourage them to stay healthy by moving, and instill the motto "Treasure The Journey" because life is precious.

The hunts themselves are extremely easy to use because all the work has been done for you. The only thing you have to do is hide the 12 clues. The clues are numbered, contain activities and puzzles that lead to the location of the next clue, and have a place at the bottom where it tells you exactly where to hide that particular clue. They claim that it is an 8-minute setup, but, honestly, I'm not sure it even took that long!

The first hunt we did was the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt. This hunt comes as a printable PDF and costs $5.99 (currently FREE with a newsletter subscription). It's designed to get the school-aged kids through the day and give them a way of getting their wiggles out at the end. All I had to do was download the file, print, cut, and hide. Simple. There is a line at the top of each clue to add a child's name. Assigning specific clues to each kid can save some frustration during the activity. After I looked through the clues, I determined that most were a little difficult for my 6- and 4-year-old by themselves. I left the name lines blank and encouraged my oldest (8) to include his younger siblings. That didn't stop him from pushing past them or grabbing the clues first though. He may have been a little excited, ha. It was a good lesson about teamwork and taking turns.

The second hunt was the Pirate Treasure Hunt Clue Book. Not only do my kids love treasure hunts (who doesn't?), they love all things pirate. I knew this hunt would definitely be a hit with them. This hunt comes as a booklet that you simply tear the pages out and costs $8.99. Since I understand the nature of children (especially my 2-year-old who collected all the clues from the first hunt and enjoyed crumbling them), and wanted to be able to use these again, I took the time to laminate them to ensure that they'd last more than one hunt. (Actually, my sweet husband laminated and cut them for me while I finished making dinner. I think I'll keep him.) Now the dry erase markings can be wiped off and the activity used again. This particular hunt is labeled for kids ages 4+ and contains some easier clues, like finding the hidden picture and simple dot-to-dots. I knew that this hunt would be perfect to assign clues to specific kids. Each of the 3 older children had 3 of their own clues, while the remaining 3 clues were action-based (saying aaaarrrr! in your best pirate voice, hopping around like you have a wooden leg, etc.) and were to be completed by all.

Since this was our second hunt, the kids knew exactly what to expect and were extremely excited. Having the names on the clues helped tremendously. Even our 8-year-old was completely content letting the other two kids figure out their assigned clues. Of course, they all helped search for each clue. Since this hunt had easier clue activities and had specific names on the clues, it went more smoothly for us than the first one.

The only negative thing I have to say about this product is regarding the formatting of the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt. If you look at the above picture, you'll notice that the spacing of many of the letters is off. Either the letters are overlapping or there is too big of a space separating the letters in a single word. While this is not a huge issue, it is like this on every clue and made it somewhat difficult for the children to read in places. I think if the formatting is redone to be a bit more professional, the product would be perfect.

My kids absolutely loved these hunts! Of course, they loved their treasures (a package of Oreo cookies the first time and make-your-own ice cream sundae the second), but I think they would have had just as much fun on the hunt even without a tangible prize at the end. It was cute watching their creativity as they made their own clues for treasure hunts afterward. The hunts themselves last about 30 minutes. The kids had so much fun that they've asked multiple times when we can do another one.

If you're looking for a fun, simple activity, I highly recommend these treasure hunts. I have a feeling we'll be purchasing more in the future, too. They would be a fun addition to a party or a sleepover. There's even a puzzlemaker tool on the website where you can input your own questions and answers and it will generate a clue for you. Fun!

There are so many different hunts that they offer. You can read more fun reviews of  Clued In Kids on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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