Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clued in Kids Review

Now this is a really exciting product to review! Clued in Kids sent us the Halloween Printable Treasure Hunt and the Thanksgiving Printable Treasure Hunt. Do you enjoy scavenger hunts? We certainly do! But let me tell you, it is sometimes quite a chore to prepare them. So it is certainly awesome to have a scavenger hunt already made and ready to go. These scavenger hunts are also created to be done inside a house, so they are perfect for rainy days, snow days, or even parties! Go ahead and gather up the kids and show them the scavenger hunt. It will keep them excited and busy at a family or holiday party.

We chose the Halloween and Thanksgiving Treasure Hunts, because those are the two holidays coming up, however we did also grab the Homework Reward and Winter Treasure Hunts. We plan to purchase the Christmas Greeting Card Treasure Hunt as a stocking stuffer. If you purchase the printable treasure hunts, you will need a color printer. I'll be honest that I decided on a time-consuming process of cutting them out (two cards per page) and laminating them, so they can now be used with a dry-erase marker and reused as often as the kids want. Having a laminated copy is good to have around the house, but if I was creating the scavenger hunt for a large party (5-10 kids), I'd print out a couple copies and break the kids into small grounds (mix of younger and older kids). Most of the scavenger hunts are suitable for children as young as 4, and younger kids may still tag along for the fun.

Here's what the scavenger hunts look like laminated and in order (12 activity pages, plus the cover and answer key). On the left side are the scavenger hunt pages for the kids. It takes a couple of minutes (5-15) to set up the scavenger hunt. And on the right side is mums (or a caregivers, a grandparents, an older siblings, etc.) copy of the scavenger hunt. This way if they need help I have it on hand to check it, just in case I have forgotten where I put the next piece of the scavenger hunt. If you happen to have a large group of kids broken into groups completing the scavenger hunt, we have found it to be helpful to leave one copy (the loose copy) around the house in the hiding places, while one member of each team holds onto a copy of the complete set (the one with the ring). This way when they come across the clue, they can turn the page, complete the activity and move on to the next clue, while leaving the clue behind for someone else to discover.

The Halloween Treasure Hunt was really fun, and we plan to bring it with us when we visit our cousins house on Halloween. You'll find riddles, fill-in-the-blank words, picture searches, decoding messages and even an opportunity to pretend to be a werewolf, among other fun activities! For the most part, my kids were able to complete the majority of the activities on their own, with only minor help from me, like reading the activity. But there were a few that were above their abilities, like the math problem activity and the unscramble letters activity. The one downside to this particular scavenger hunt is that one of the hiding places is a dishwasher and I don't own one. I feel like because most of the hiding places aren't actually related to the theme that they should have put a more general hiding place. And since that final clue's answer is "pumpkin," a pumpkin should have been the hiding place. Even if you didn't have a real pumpkin, you could have printed a picture of one or used a decoration and just placed the clue behind it. 

Clued In KidsReview

Here's what the Halloween Treasure hunt looks like when it's printed out. This treasure hunt consists of 12 clues and is suitable for children 4 and older.

One of the clues was a fork, which meant the hiding place was in the utensils drawer. (Bean's pointing to the fork in the picture.)

The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt consists of 12 clues. The activities include hidden images, deciphering messages using a mirror, answering questions about the Mayflower's voyage. and math problems, among others. Older, school age children, might even find some of the activities challenging! Similar to the Halloween set, the Thanksgiving set included a location we do not own, this time a clothes dryer. My opinion stands that the locations should be more generalized. And it might make it more interesting if the locations of the clues tied into the theme, or at least the final one. 

Clued In KidsReview

The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt is suitable for children ages 4 and older, but I found many of them to be better suited for school age children (based on the difficulty level of the activity). Like the Halloween Treasure Hunt, we will be bringing this scavenger hunt along with us to our cousins house on Thanksgiving to enjoy with the other kids.

Homeschoolers who create unit studies will love both of these scavenger hunts and can easily add them into their schedule. The scavenger hunts only take a few minutes to set up and kids will enjoy completing them in their own time. The scavenger hunts were meant to be done the same day, but you don't need to worry about timing them. Just let them have fun and they will come to you if they need any help.

I feel like I should mention that the editor needs to go back and correct the typo in the line for the Hunt Leader section; it reads: Give the clue to the kids to being their hunt

An example for one of the clues was to unscramble the word bike. I don't know too many people who store their bikes inside, because they are usually left outside, in a shed, or under a porch. Perhaps they were thinking that people stored them in an attached garage, but it will be different for everyone. 

Well, luckily we store ours in our hallway. One way to present the clues is to just leave them in the open like this, but typically they are rolled up or hidden slightly better. Had this not been our laminated copy, I would have folded it up and hidden the clue in the bike-purse.

If you sign up for the Newsletter, they will send you a free copy of the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt! We bought our copy, not realizing that, so don't make our mistake! We also laminated two copies of the Homework Reward and Winter Treasure hunts. I'm thinking of creating special pouches for them, but for now we just hang them from a hook on the wall. 

I wasn't required to tell you about the other treasure hunts that we own, but I felt like I should. Personally, I feel like this is more of a one-shot product. With younger kids, you could get away with using it multiple times, if you brought it out maybe once a month. For the Homework Reward Treasure Hunt, it would make a great "back-to-school" gift, or even a progress report gift. We don't do homework, being homeschoolers and unschoolers to boot, but it was still a fun treasure hunt!

The Winter Treasure Hunt was also a great addition and we will be saving it for the first day of December. Around here, we typically have a 24 Days of Christmas advent calendar. We spice it up each year as the kids get older. So this year I was thinking, kick-start the advent calendar with the winter scavenger hunt and end the advent calendar on Christmas Morning with the Christmas Greeting Card Treasure Hunt.
I personally really liked this product and so did the kids and their friends who joined us for the first round of the scavenger hunt. Since then my kids have used the scavenger hunt a half dozen times, and each time they get better at solving the clues. The Clued in Kids scavenger hunts would make wonderful holiday gifts, but they also have other themes, like princess, pirate, sports, play date, and slumber party, which would be good as gifts at birthday parties, and health and sports for more educational fun. I think they would be great to add to a unit study or if you are busy (with a new baby, cleaning, or just trying to get some work done) and need to keep the kids occupied for an hour. I feel like this product will be fun to bring out next year when it's autumn again. And since it is laminated, it will keep well.

One thing to note is that you do not have to actually place a treasure at the end of the scavenger hunt, although you certainly can! For the Halloween Treasure Hunt, I had set up a table with pumpkins ready for carving and for the Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt, I will have a wooden turkey ready to be painted and made into a homemade decoration.

The treasure hunts also happen to be affordable! The printable sets that I received were each $5.99 and since they are printable, you can save the file and print up however many copies you might need. Since we typically attend many holiday parties each year, all with a handful kids, this will be a really fun product to bring along to engage them. Then, they can all go home with their own copy so their parents can set it up for them at home. It's like a two-in-one gift.


Clued In KidsReview

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