Children love treasure hunts. During my teaching tenure, I would often start the year out with a classroom scavenger hunt by arranging my students in small groups and placing various clue cards throughout the room. The cards would lead them to a bag of goodies at the end of their search. It was a great way to familiarize them with the various centers within the room while, at the same time, enabling them to become comfortable with each other as well as with their new teacher.
May and two of her friends were visiting our house on Cape Cod while my husband and I were away. I wanted to leave a part of me behind, sort of “grammy in absentia.” I decided that a scavenger would be just the thing.
Since none of the children could read, I adapted the hunt by using pictures taken with my digital camera, which I printed out in color and glued to index cards. Every hunt needs a goal and May’s was no exception. What could I place as the ultimate reward for their efforts?
After much thought, I decided to buy three of May’s favorite lollipops at Ben and Bill’s, the ice cream/candy store that is a frequent stop of ours whenever May and her family come to visit. Although Eloise was too young to participate in the hunt, a special treat was included for her, giving May an opportunity to share with her little sister. I then took a picture of the treats and placed the picture on the index card containing the first clue, serving as an added incentive to go off on the hunt (not that any additional enticement was needed).
What fun they must have had running throughout the entire house from basement to second floor in search for the next clue. Although I wasn’t there to witness the hunt, May’s retelling of the event time and again substantiates just how memorable it was.
Last weekend, while May, Eloise and their parents were visiting, May wanted to do something special for Father’s Day. She had purchased two coffee mugs from Coonamessett Farms, but somehow giving the mugs to her daddy and grandfather didn’t quite measure up to her desire to make the gifts extra special. May had an idea! Why not send daddy and grampy on a treasure hunt?
Since it was the morning of Father’s Day and I didn’t have time to take photos, May contented herself with Grammy drawing the pictures on index cards. My crudely drawn clues were barely discernible, but there was no need to fret. May in her unbridled enthusiasm happily led the men to each clue as soon as they looked at the card.
The advance preparation required for scavenger hunts is well worth the effort. While we observed May run from clue to clue on Father’s Day, we all shared the pure, unadulterated joy that is inherent in the nature of a four-year-old, making this Father’s Day an especially unforgettable one for her daddy and her grampy.