Monday, December 8, 2008


Treasure hunting too can be a wonderful weekend activity for the entire family. This activity is not only fun and exciting, it provides an avenue to enhance family bonding and interaction, and can be an educational experience for the entire family. Besides picking up exciting new words and improving their general knowledge, urban children may also get the opportunity to explore and experience the countryside by participating in treasure hunts.

However, before you go rushing off signing up for the next available treasure hunt, please take note that some amount of planning is required to ensure that you and your family will have an enjoyable time-out.

If like me, the thought of bringing along the family for treasure hunts occasionally crosses your mind, you may find these tips useful.

Before the Hunt

Do select the right type of hunt for the family
Not all types of hunts are suitable for the family. If you have young family members for example, it may not be wise to take part in a walk hunt because lugging them around during the hunt could end up being a real chore. Keep an eye out for hunts with family themes or hunts that have separate categories for family teams. The noble Hunt Master of these family orientated hunts usually puts in an extra effort to ensure that the event is family-friendly eg. providing generous amount of hunting time, crafting questions with names or pictures of cartoon characters that the kids can relate to, and/or designing puzzles or riddles that are children-friendly and educational to keep them busy in the car.

Do discuss roles and responsibilities with the kids
Once you have made up your mind and signed up for a treasure hunt, you can start preparing the family by discussing roles and responsibilities during the event. By making known to the kids that they have important roles within the team, they are less likely to be distracted during the hunt. Giving the kids a clipboard and a pen each may help further strengthen this point.

Do bring the family along to the pre-event briefing or clinic
I don't know about you, but I generally find that kids are readily more willing to accept what others tell them. Ten words from a school teacher is equivalent to a hundred words from a parent. It is not uncommon to hear this occasional grouse from a parent.
By taking the family along to the pre-event briefing or clinic, the kids will get to familiarize themselves with the hunt mechanics (do's and don'ts) directly from the Hunt Master.

Do pack some food and drinks for the hunt day
Bringing along your kids' favourite drinks and finger food could end up being your trump card to keep them happy and satisfied for the entire journey of the hunt.

Do have a back up plan
Do pack some books and/or travel games for the trip. And for those who can afford it, consider installing a portable DVD player in the car. These items may come in handy during the long stretches on the highway.

During the Hunt

Do get the kids involved right from the startUpon receiving the hunting materials, organize and distribute some of the required work to the kids. The younger kids can help out in the car by reading aloud the treasure riddles while the older kids can work on the word-search puzzles or research the available brochures to answer the bonus questions or work on the treasure riddles, for example.

Do keep the flame of desire burning
Kids being kids have very short attention spans. Give them new tasks or rotate the tasks every now and then in order to keep them interested. You can get them to read through the route questions to identify any familiar names or pictures of cartoon or movie characters, or have them write down possible answers next to each route question. Another suggestion would be to have them look up the dictionary or thesaurus for unfamiliar words.

Do utilise those extra pairs of eyes
Getting the kids involved to look out for signboards could be rewarding. An extra pair of eyes will come in handy in a long sector littered with signboards.

Do allow the kids some time-off to break the monotony
Should there be tell tale signs that your kids are getting bored or restless, have them do other activities to break the monotony. Activites like watching a short cartoon on the portable DVD player, reading a book, playing a travel game or even taking nap will help keep the children occupied until the next hunting sector.

Happy hunting with the family!

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