Literacy at Home: Pictorial Treasure Hunt

After weeks away from school, Cindy and J were ready for a new way to play together. Cindy knows J likes solving mysteries as well as hiding and finding things. So she invented a treasure hunt. First, Cindy drew pictures of household items on individual sticky notes. She hid each note with a drawing of an object behind that actual object in their home.  Each time J discovered a note, he’d decipher the clue to determine where to look for the next clue. Each time J found a note, he was rewarded with the thrill of another clue. He loved it.

Later, when Cindy had trouble enticing J to play outdoors, she created another treasure hunt drawing clues of items in their yard. J eagerly ventured outside to solve the mystery and find the treasure.

  

Photo: J finds the final treasure inside a rain boot!

This decoding of symbols, pictures and letters is literacy development at it’s finest– fun, relevant and integrated into meaningful interaction. Thanks for sharing your rewarding experience, Cindy!

Variations:

A) Invite child to draw/write some of the clues and/or set-up a treasure hunt for an adult.

B) Number each clue and add a word to each of the notes that will make a message. At the end of the hunt, read the words in order to decode a message.

C) Hide clues a bit farther out venturing into the neighborhood/walking around the block.

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