I love to set up treasure hunts because it’s awesome and fun. But did you know you can actually use them to help kids work on social skills?
What social skills can a kid work on by doing a treasure hunt?
It’s a great way to work on picking up on clues around us. It’s also wonderful practice for kids to work cooperatively, take turns, and problem solve.
Why do kids need to be able to pick up on social clues?
Kids need to practice picking up on clues from others in different social scenarios. For instance, they need to be able to pick up on the social rules for playgrounds and at recess. They need to understand that they shouldn’t walk through a basketball game or cut the line in a four square game. What are the social rules for swings? Where do you wait for your turn to go on the swings?
It’s also helpful for kids to be able to pick up on clues in school. If all the kids in class are sitting quietly working in their math book, your child would benefit from picking up on those clues, take out their math book, look at the board for page numbers and start working.
My kids often ask me to set up treasure hunts for them, so I created a printable treasure hunt to make set up easier and quicker. While they were doing homework, I wrote in the specific spots where to find the clues - on clue #1, I wrote the location of clue #2, on clue #2, I wrote the location of clue #3, etc. Then I hung the clues all over the house and set up a treasure to find at the end. In order to make it easier to locate a clue, I also put a color hint on the clue.
Initially my son was not interested, but my daughter was totally gung ho. But my son loves to play anytime he can with my daughter, so as soon as she picked up the first clue, he joined right in. While for the most part, it went well, at one point my daughter got frustrated with my son, and she used her words to tell him. They ran all through the house together and finally came to the treasure - a spy kit :-) Then they spent a little time working on secret messages. It was a fun activity for the kids to do for an after school activity.
PLAYFULLY WORKING ON social SKILLS
While working on the treasure hunt together, my kids practiced problem solving by figuring out who was going to pick up the clue. My daughter practiced using her words when she was frustrated with her excited little brother. Only one of them knows how to read at this point, so they were quickly able to solve the problem of who would read the clues. They also practiced cooperating and working together as they were looking for clues, by figuring out who will pick up the next clue and suggesting other places to check for the clues.
What a playful way to work on such important skills!
Do you want to use our printable treasure hunt? Click below!