Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Family Fun

The Impromptu Treasure Hunt


It's been really cold these past few days, too cold to go outside. There's no snow on the ground so going outside would not be much fun anyway. Even though it's not raining, it's gray and damp. These are the kind of days when no one wants to go out, and everyone get's drawn to the TV or video games.

Of course mom's always have things to do, so it's easy enough for us to stay busy. However, in NH winter is long, too long to be spending that much time in front of the TV or playing video games. So I had to be creative
in finding different activities for my family.

Sometimes baking can be a great winter activity. It warms the home and the stomach and fills the air with a lovely aroma. Unfortunately, once the cookies or cakes come out of the oven the big and little ones tend to grab them and go, back to their screen time.

One cold and gloomy day I devised a plan to keep them moving, having fun, and getting things done all at the same time. I told them there was hidden treasure around the house left by pirates long ago (we have a very old house), and I sent them off to hunt for it. While they were hunting I began to hide little things like candy, stickers, party toys, etc. When they came running back to tell me they couldn't find anything I said I would give them a clue but they had to pay for it. The fee was a small chore like putting away some toys, taking laundry to the basement, putting some dishes in the dishwasher, dusting shelves, and other small ways of organizing and tidying the house. While they did the chore I would write a clue about where to find a hidden treasure. Then I would go and hide another treasure somewhere.

You can imagine that this was a long process. I played the part of an old pirate, too old to find the treasure myself. They were entertained enough by the searching, figuring out the clues, and the novelty treasures, that they didn't mind helping me with the chores. This turned out to be a family fun day that the kids wanted their dad to be part of. So I had to hide some treasure for him too and write him a clue. Since he'd been at work all day we counted that as the payment.

Anything can be fun, it's all in how you do it. Share your impromptu fun below in a comment.

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