Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

By Amy Latta | Children

Believe it or not, friends, August is almost halfway over!  And for most of us, that means it’s time to start thinking about the new school year!  Maybe your kids have already headed back to the classroom, or maybe they have a few more weeks to wait, like my little man does.  But no matter what the schedule, it’s a good time to start reviewing and practicing some academic skills in a fun way!

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

The family that plays together, stays together, right?

Here is a fun family activity you can adapt for kids of all ages to help reinforce some of the skills they need to succeed in school.  Or, if you homeschool, you can work it right into your curriculum!

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

Materials:

– index cards
– coins or other small “treasures”
– tape {I used decorative washi tape for fun}
– marker
– pirate costumes {optional}

STEP 1: Label ten index cards with numbers.  Starting with card #1, write a clue on each card through #9  for where the next treasure/clue can be found.  Then, tape a coin or another small treasure {like a chocolate coin, a lollipop, a ring, or something else your child would enjoy} to cards 2-10.  Card 10 should not have a clue because it is the last one, just a treasure and a “Well done, matey!”

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

STEP 2: Beginning with card #2, hide each card based on the clue written on the previous card.  For example, if card #1 says “Look in a cold place,” you can put #2 in the refrigerator.  If #2 says, “Look near books,” hide #3 on the bookshelf, and so on.

STEP 3: Hand card #1 to the child and let him/her begin the search!

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

STEP 4: Once all the treasure has been found, remove it from the cards and have your child sort and count it.  Since we used money, we had him sort the coins by type and size, count how many of each coin type he found, and finally count up the value of the money.  If you used a different type of treasure, you can do your own variation; sorting by candy type, color, etc.

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

This fun activity reinforces a number of different skills…and your child probably won’t even realize it’s educational!  Here are the things my son practiced as he searched for and found his treasures:

Sight words, Reading, Reading aloud, Sequencing, Following Directions, Counting, Sorting, Adding, Money values

If you have an older child, you can try variations to make the game age-appropriate, like incorporating vocabulary words into the directions on the cards.  You could also ask him/her to solve a math problem or spell a particular word before finding the next clue.  It might be fun to scramble a word in the clues too, like, “Look near the hocuc” and ask them to unscramble it {“couch”} to know where to search.  If your child is learning geography, you can incorporate things like north, south, east, and west and have them plot the location of each clue on a map of the house.  There are tons of ways you can personalize this basic activity, and I promise your kids will enjoy it!  For extra fun, locate a few props like a bandana, a scarf, or some face paint and get the whole family in on the fun by dressing up like pirates.

Academic Skills Treasure Hunt

What are your family’s favorite ways to play together?

Hugs & Glitter,

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About the Author

Amy Latta is the author of One Artsy Mama, where she shares a variety of project types including home decor, kids' crafts, sewing, jewelry, and more. Recently, she published her first e-book, Crochet 101, to help beginners learn basic crochet stitches and techniques. She is happiest when creating something and enjoys making all kinds of projects with her 4 year old "Little Crafter." In her spare time, Amy is a professional ballroom, latin, and swing dancer. When not on the dance floor or crafting, you can probably find her at Starbucks.