Today, daylight savings started. Lucky for us, no one got up unusually early, but we still managed to make it to the early service at church and finish our weekly groceries run before 11 AM, so we really gained an hour to play. I wracked my brain trying to come up with a low cost, high energy (we always look for opportunities to tire the kiddos out), fun way to pass the time, while Connor napped. Cailee is often in explore mode these days, with her magnifying lens in tow, so I decided to make it worth her while and legitimatize her efforts with a real treasure hunt.

My initial idea was to take pictures of well known spots/objects around the house and then print them out and place them strategically at the various location – starting with one clue that gave her a picture of her next stop and so on til she got to the treasure. Almost as soon as I started down this path – I reconsidered. Printing 27 full color images = a lot of ink and I really wasn’t certain how intelligible the iphone pictures would turn out on my inkjet – so I decided to go a little more high tech. It proved to be more efficient and more authentic – if I do say so myself. Ultimately, I still took pictures of objects around the house (27 to be exact) and then saved them online. Then I created a QR code that pointed to the URL of the image. Cailee had to find each clue, then use the iPhone to scan the clue with the QR reader app, thus revealing the next image (location).

Once it was all set up, I handed Cailee the first clue and it was on. She and JJ (her assistant) ran all over the house/yard in search of clues – I purposely didn’t put any of them close to each other – so they were up and down the stairs, up the driveway, inside, outside, around the backyard (repeat). At the end of it all, Cailee found every clue and finally, the treasure! (some more art supplies).

She had a lot of fun through about clue #20 – in fact it was always more about finding the clues then it was ever about the treasure. She got a little distracted towards the end, but she pulled it out (now I know what her attention span is, I didn’t want it to be too short or too long). She turned out to be a pro at scanning the codes and finding the clues. (I never had any doubt, she has always been very tech savvy).

Now, only a few hours later she is asking for another treasure hunt. Mommy’s gonna have to wait a while before taking that on again, but it was certainly fun while it lasted.

Here were a few of the picture clues