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Summer may have only just started by the calendar’s estimation, but here in Arkansas we’ve been sweltering for a few weeks now and we parents are already looking for ways to entertain the kids inside that don’t involve television and ice cream sandwiches (or is that just in my house?).
The Bit loves using flashlights and looking for things that get lost under the furniture, so I thought it would be fun to set up an indoor treasure hunt she could do with the help of an Energizer headlight.
It turned out to be a lot of fun. Here’s how we did it if you want to try it for yourself. (Check out more of our adventure over on Google +.)
1. Buy Energizer headlights for everyone. There are several different options you’ll find in the store, so I went with a smaller one for the Bit and bright headlights for the grownups. Of course she ended up wanting to use one of the bigger ones, and it worked out just fine.
2. Buy/find some treasures. You could do this with toys the kids don’t play with much or that have been out of rotation if you rotate toys, with homemade craft supplies, some homemade playdough and cookie cutters from the dollar store, or whatever you like. I ended up mostly with craft supplies from Walmart, as well as a giant coloring book and some purple nail polish, just for fun.
3. Plot your course. I divided the goods up to make four stops — five with hiding the headlights — and decided to hide them in somewhat dark places like closets, under furniture and under the bathroom sink.
4. Make an adventure guide. This is optional, and borders on craftiness for craftiness’ sake (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but a lot of fun, especially if your kid can read. I made a little book out of paper lunch bags that had all the clues and a little map inside. This is what I left out for her to discover to start the adventure.
5. Hide the goods. Prepare the headlights. Do not leave them in the package when your kids find them, unless you want them to hear all the swearing.
7. Let the hunt begin! Get your headlights and your adventure guide and be on your way. (Of course you can also just have one clue lead to another if you don’t want to do a book.) Expect your kid to have the energy of the Energizer bunny while the hunt is on.
8. Play with your treasure. We painted and put stickers on suncatchers and made beaded necklaces. She found her headlamp to be a great work headlight — even though she didn’t always wear it on her head — and said she liked it for beading because with the bright light she didn’t have to “crouch down” to see what she was doing.
In all this activity probably took an hour and a half or so, which is time we didn’t have to spend outside sweating. And we only got through two of her five “treasures,” so there’s still plenty of indoor play to be had. And of course we still have our beam headlights, so we can play some more with them any time we like.
What do you do indoors to entertain the kids when it’s hot? I’d love to hear your ideas!