Thursday, October 21, 2010


On a camping trip years ago my mother and Aunt and Uncle created a scavenger hunt. It was a hunt that had the group of us cousins walking in circles for an hour to be rewarded with some jelly fruit slices. The joy was in the adventure more then in the reward. 

We have done one such adventure hunt in our own yard this year. We had a group of kids at the house this summer for a weekend camp out. All the moms contributed some "goodies" for a treasure box that we hid in the yard. We then made clues all around the yard that the children had to work together to solve. Here were some of the styles of clues that we created:

 ::Rhyming Clues
Create a rhyming sentence or poem and then leave a blank that the children can fill in for their clue.

 ::Secret Code
Spell out a clue with numbers and leave a key that shows what letter each number represents.

::Photo Clues
Take a close up photo of something distinctive near where the next clue is hidden. As a spin on this we selected a leaf from one of our trees and asked the kids to search near the tree from where the leaf had come.

::Puzzle Clues
Write or draw out a clue and then cut it into puzzle shapes and let the kids assemble the puzzle for their clue.

At the end the hidden treasure was up in our apple tree and the kids had a good time rooting around in the loot together!

The other fun adventure hunt we recently tried out is Letterboxing. Have you tried this yet? If you liked treasure hunts as a kid you will enjoy this. It is a fun activity that requires little prep work, the whole family can enjoy, and typically you get out in nature for a while. 
We thought this stump was a great place for our letterbox to be hiding but we found something else hiding there instead!
::What you will need::
- Printed directions to locate your hidden letterbox
- Pen or pencil
- Rubber stamp (homemade or store bought)
- Ink Pad
- Small Notebook

There are letterboxes hidden all over the country. All you have to do is see if there is one near to you...we even check the list before we travel. This is a fun and inexpensive activity to add to a road trip or other getaway. So before you head out - head to the Letterboxing North America website and search to see if there are any boxes in your area. 
See the corner of the plastic box - under that rock?
As for the boxes, most seem to be a plastic food storage container. When you find it - open it up! Inside you will find a rubber stamp (homemade or store bought) and a small notebook.  Flip through the pages of the book and see all the people that have found this treasure before you. Then leave your stamp and name (feel free to use a code name) on a blank page. With the stamp you find in the it up and stamp it into your small letterboxing notebook. We also indicate the date, who we were with, and where we found the box. Feel free to leave room in your page for photos or other mementos. 

  • This page is a seriously fun resource for all you could want to know on rubber stamping. Geninne's Art Blog is a super colorful and whimsical place to check out - when I go there I want to make something. She even has included video of her stamp carving.

  • Need more inspiration for scavenger hunt clues? For more great clue ideas check out this page.

  • Not sure you want to make your own stamp - but want to support someone who does? Check out Sugarskull7's Hand carved Stamp shop on etsy. Seriously a bacon strip stamper...need I say more? Ok - I will - they take custom requests.
image from Sugarskull7"s etsy listing - see links above

  • As for journals - we just bought a small hard cover artist sketch book. If you were feeling crafty you can make a journal book yourself. Check out these book making tutorials on Making Books With Children.