Hello! It’s Amy Robison here again. I am so glad to be back, and this time I’m sharing a fun outdoor compass treasure hunt you can do with your family. I have to tell you a quick story about how I came up with this game at our house.
One night after I told my kids to go to bed for the 5,000th time and they weren’t listening, I decided to get clever. My 5-year-old boys were playing with a lantern they had received from their grandma, and on top of the lantern was a compass. They had been asking me all night how to work a compass while I was telling them to go get ready for bed and that they could play with the compass tomorrow. Sound familiar to anyone else? I had just read through some Instagram posts about parenting tips, patience all that good stuff, so I wasn’t losing my cool like I normally would at this point. Quickly I realized I could get them to go to bed while teaching them about the compass. I gave them brief instructions about lining up the N on the compass with the red, moving dial. That would show them the direction of north. Then I pointed to the other letters on the dial and told them about east, south, and west.
Before they could get too excited about learning that part and completely losing control again, I quickly gave them instructions to go north 5 steps. Then go east 10 steps. This continued on until all the directions I gave them led them right to their room. Haha! Tricked them right into going to bed and they didn’t get there kicking and screaming. They went to bed with big smiles on their face and a promise from me that we would play the game again.
I kept my promise and made it a lot more fun the second go around. This time, we were outside (so there was no chance they would be led to their bed) and there was a hidden treasure involved.
- paper and marker to write instructions.
How to make a compass treasure hunt:
- Map out your course. You can do this mentally, but I recommend actually walking the course of the map so you can get an accurate count of how many steps it will take. Remember, kids have shorter distances in-between steps than adults, so take small steps.
- Write it out on a piece of paper. I’m going to tell you a secret I learned from my mom to making treasure hunts more fun. Instead of just have the kids go from place to place and find the next clue, give them a riddle to solve, or in this case, an action to do before moving on to the next clue. My kids LOVED spinning, jumping, climbing and more after they finished counting their steps. It breaks everything up and keeps them guessing and excited for not just the treasure at the end, but the hunt to get there.
- Hid the treasure at the last location on their map of instructions. Ours was hidden in the sandbox and contained seed planting kits for our garden. My kids love gardening and were so excited for this treasure. They love gardening so much that I threw them a garden party with their friends last month to plant some seeds. It was adorable!
- Send the kids on the treasure hunt and watch the smiles on their faces as they giggle with excitement completing the path to the treasure.
As soon as we finished the treasure hunt my kids immediately asked to do it again. Luckily they are having a camping themed birthday party this summer and we will be doing it again there.
Grab your compass and some paper and go on adventurous treasure hunt today. I promise your kids will love it!
For more Nature check this out!