As I mentioned in my previous blog, sequencing and memory activities are important for people of all ages. These skills help to keep our minds sharp and active and allow us remember old skills as well as learn new patterns and routines. A “treasure hunt” is a fun way to work on these two skills, all wrapped into one child-friendly activity!
How To Create A Treasure Hunt For Your Family!
Materials: construction paper, markers, equipment needed within treasure hunt (e.g. ball; scissors etc)
- First, talk out loud together with your child about how many steps you are going to include in your treasure hunt.
- Next, determine what these steps are going to be (e.g. dribble a tennis ball 10 times, cut out a circle, copy a block design, balance on one leg etc).
- Make sure that you include age appropriate tasks that your child needs to be working on.
- Some of these tasks should be ones that are easier and your child can be more successful with, and some should be more challenging to help work on a novel skill and/or skills your child has a harder time with.
- After you have verbally determined what will be in the treasure hunt, have your child repeat these steps back to you, first verbally, and then by copying the steps onto construction paper in a treasure map format (e.g. working towards the “X” which signifies the ‘treasure’ and the end of the treasure hunt). Lastly, help your child to implement the treasure hunt by having him tell you which step he will be completing first (e.g. first I will ______, and then I will ______).
- If your child is having a hard time recalling which step comes next, have him refer to his treasure map to visually study the steps again, and then have him state the steps out loud again to help the information stick in his mind. Feel free to do this as often as needed throughout the activity.
- Your child will show progress in his memory and sequencing skills by requiring less and less visual and/or verbal cues for the sequence of activities. Provide a small reward of your choosing for the “treasure” that your child will enjoy after he has completed the hunt!
Skills addressed in a Treasure Hunt:
- Fine motor (to draw/write out the treasure map)
- Auditory processing and memory (to listen to and repeat back the steps of the treasure hunt)
- Sequencing (to complete the treasure hunt in the correct order)
- Following directions
- Attention (staying on task throughout the activity)