Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Clued In Kids

I am always on the lookout for fun and easy things to do to break up our home school routine and spice up life a bit. As soon as I saw these treasure hunts from Clued In Kids, I just knew it would be something my children would LOVE! Though there are many different types of hunts available on the website, we were given the opportunity to review two of the treasure hunts: the Thanksgiving Printable Treasure Hunt and the Soccer Printable Treasure Hunt.  Both of these hunts are simple downloads that sell for $5.99 each. 

What is Clued In Kids? Clued In Kids produces treasure hunts for all ages. It was created by a mom when her daughter was recovering from a lengthy illness, and she strives to make the hunts both fun and educational.

What types of hunts are available? There is a wide variety of topics, ranging from multiplication table practice to seasonal hunts that can be used at holidays. There are fun sports themes also. There is pretty much a theme to interest anyone!  While I only reviewed printable hunts that I downloaded from the website, there are also hunts available that come as a physical product.

I am going to show you how we used our treasure hunts in four easy steps:

The Clued In Kids website is very easy to navigate. If you purchase a printable treasure hunt, you can have immediate access to it by downloading it to your computer, and then printing the pages. There are eight pages total, with two clues per page. There is also an "answer key" to help you navigate where to hide all the clues.

Here is what a typical "clue" looks like:

This is the first clue in the soccer treasure hunt

As you can see, there is a spot at the top of the page to write names, assigning each clue to a child if multiple children will be completing the hunt together. I did this, as the author suggested, and it really helped the children to work together well and not fight over who got to solve the next clue.

After printing the clues and cutting them apart, I set out to hide the clues in their assigned places. Some were pretty obvious, others took a little creativity. This took me about 10-15 minutes to complete.

I handed the first clue to the children and sat down with a cup of tea, listening as they giggled and excitedly worked together to decipher the clues. Some were very easy, such as holding the clue up to a mirror to read the backwards image, and others were a little harder, like filling in answers to questions about the pilgrims (for the Thanksgiving hunt) or solving simple math problems. Each hunt had one "action" clue, where the children had to complete a fun demonstration in front of me in order to earn their next clue. The soccer action had to do with dribbling a ball, and the Thanksgiving activity had them flapping their 'wings' and gobbling loudly like a flock of wild turkeys. It was hysterical!

At the end of both of our hunts, I hid some special candy that I had gotten as a treat for the girls. They were very excited to find it and share it. 

How long did it take?  The treasure hunts took me about 10-15 minutes to set up, and both of them took exactly 12 minutes for the kids to solve. They timed themselves, and literally ran from clue to clue with extreme excitement. I wish it would have taken them a little longer, but with three of them working the clues, they were able to do it quickly.

What ages are these hunts for? The website says that these hunts would be from ages 4-104. I definitely think the target age range would be 4-10. Older children will definitely enjoy doing them, as mine so aptly demonstrated, but the clues are fairly easy for them to solve. I would love to see some 'advanced' treasure hunts with harder clues for high school age kids to solve. My children are ages 9, 13, and 17, and all of them declared these treasure hunts to be REALLY Fun. Once they completed the first one, they literally begged me to do the second one. I had to schedule it a week ahead to give them something to look forward to!

What are my thoughts? I think these treasure hunts are really fun, and I love that they are so easy to implement. They are creative activities for a not-so-creative mom. The fact that these have an educational component with a tiny bit of extra math and spelling practice also appeals to my home school mom nature.

Extras: The Clued In Kids website currently has an offer to sign up for their newsletter  and receive a free treasure hunt. There is also a special Christmas to Treasure Set that is available for purchase, that seems like it would be a fun activity for Christmas.

Social Media: You can connect with Clued In Kids at the following sites:

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