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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coded Treasure

I tried to make last week as fun as possible for Gabriel. I let him choose all our activities, and tried to do his favorite things. Unfortunately after just the first day, he came down with some kind of a virus and got a high fever. For 3 days, he was sick, and even came down with an infection in his eyes.

The one thing he wanted to do so badly was visit the Shawnee Lake swim beach. However, with an eye infection, it wasn't a possibility.

He was so beyond sad, that I knew I had to come up with something extra special that he would be able to do. It had to be something spectacular because he was talking about the swim beach for months.

Gabe loves to read and write, and he especially enjoys treasure hunts. I think every boy loves to hunt for a good prize. I have been on several treasure hunts that Gabriel has put together, however, I've never given a hunt for him.

He was thrilled with the hunt, and I wanted to share it with you. It was so simple to do, yet so rewarding for him. I found this great website full of already made clues. All I had to do was come up with the end clue for the big grand prize. If I had more time I would have made all the clues myself, but this was a last minute cheering up activity.

I also wanted to make it a little more challenging than just finding the answer. I wanted him to have to do a little bit of brain work. He loves this kind of stuff. I found a simple code and translated the clues into it. I gave him his first clue, the code, and then he set to work.

substitution code for a treasure hunt for kids
To figure out the code, you simply look for the letter written down and then find the corresponding one, either below it or above it. For instance if it's an A the real letter is N, or if it's an N the correct letter would be A. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

After he figured out the code and could read the question, I helped him out by telling him the rhyming word. He caught on really quickly and was even better than I was expecting. The rhymes and code made the clues really fun for him to figure out.

The first clue was "Don't be a slouch, go check the ___________."

2.) No need to rush, go check by a ___________.

3.) You don't need to think twice, go check by some ___________.

4.) This isn't a chore, go check by the ___________.

5.) This is the plan, go check by a ____________.

6.) Take a look, go look in a ____________.

7.) There is hope, go check by some ____________.

8.) You are a big shot, go check by a big ___________.

9.) Don't stop and chat, go check by a ___________.

10.) Go fast or slow, check by some play ___________.

11.) Something cold might be a relief, let's pack up everything and go to _________ ________.

Gabe had wanted to visit Orange Leaf all summer, so this was a big treat for him. He didn't get to do the swim beach, but he told me the treasure hunt was even better. He loved figuring out the code! I'm sure from now on, we're going to be doing a lot more code treasure hunts, and we'll be using rhyming words. It was such simple fun but made such a big impact.

Shortly after we had our afternoon fun, it was time to welcome home Ariel. Mikaela spent a large amount of time with us since her dad was also at Kids Camp. It's been a tradition since Ariel's first year to welcome her home with a sign, and we didn't want to disappoint.

We actually pulled up minutes after the bus arrived, so the kids all flew out of the car, and ran to the door of the bus to welcome our family back home.

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