Treasure Hunting with Children

IMG_5471Treasure hunting with children is a fascinating game of exploration, discovery and science all wrapped into a walk around the neighborhood, forest or beach. It has been a long time joy of mine to take small children on walks and see what sort of “treasures” they find.

To go treasure hunting, you will need:

1. A bag

2. A child

3. A sense of respect for Mother Earth (take only those things that won’t hurt Her)

4. Patience (sometimes treasure hunting can take a LONG time when you are with a two-year old. Bring coffee, and a friend!)

After your child has gathered all their treasures, take them home and dump them on the kitchen table. What did they find? Ask your child to use their hands to investigate. Ask open-ended questions, and explore your treasures like a child would–like a scientist, not yet concrete in their thinking. Make observations and give in to fiction and stories if your child leads that direction. Most of all savor; savor your scientist and all the world that lies before them full of adventure and observation and discovery.

Here are some other links for exciting treasure hunts: Backyard Treasure Hunt, and the Ultimate Guide to Treasure Hunts .

5. Keep out the things you’ve found for young visitors to touch and speculate. Rotate out often with new treasures…when you have permission! Enjoy.

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