Thursday, November 20, 2014

Decoding Messages Scavenger Hunt - On Beyond Zombie Linky Party #10

Black Widow is a super spy and sometimes Nick Fury has to send her on Top Secret Missions. So one of the fun superhero inspired activities that we love to do is to decode messages and go on scavenger hunts.  I often spring scavenger hunts on my kids spontaneously. For instance, my son has been sick for four days now and my daughter is feeling pretty bummed about not having a play buddy again. So each day I have found an activity for my daughter that keeps her busy and lets her enjoy some independent time. So I surprised her with a scavenger hunt. 

Ours are still fairly simple, as I gear them more towards preschoolers and problems that my children can easily work out, although some are still challenging. We always create our scavenger hunts from scratch and I tailor them to each child. So sometimes I'll split the clues in half, so each has a set of their own. Today's set was made specifically for Bean. 

I started off our game with some reading lessons, which got her in the mood to decode. I simply wrote out the words in black marker with an underline for each letter. The missing letters are written in white crayon on white paper. Use a light colored marker to uncover the letter. Typically we will sound out the letters and then look at the available letters and match the letters to the empty space. Then they can color in the space to see if they are correct. 

Another option is to write the words and have the available letters nearby to draw a line to match them. We would normally write a message, but in this case we were just practicing to read a handful of words. Once again we wrote in the missing letters in white crayon, which is almost invisible unless you look at the paper from a certain angle.

Draw a line to the letter you believe belongs there.

And check your answers. 

For the scavenger hunt I wrote questions and riddles similar to this one. We write the answer in white crayon somewhere on the slip of paper (either on the back, under the question or riddle, or on a flap that you fold back). 

The answers were written in a fairly simple code that consists of shapes and symbols. The answers are usually one word, but occasionally two. It's nothing fancy, but it's unique each time we create a scavenger hunt, so Bean never knows what to except. And you can definitely write themed riddles, but I usually write riddles that I know they will understand. The prize is what fits the overall theme.  

The first clue was found behind the clock! See, it has hands that can't lift anything... Also I totally failed because I forgot this clock actually has a third hand when all our other clocks only have two. Luckily Bean did not notice!

You can ring this outside and hear it inside. The doorbell! Ours is electric, so the plug on the bottom is actually our doorbell. Bean found it easily.

There was no need to find the clues in any particular order, so I just left them in a bowl and let Bean choose which one she wanted next. There were eight total and each one led to a clue. The clues each had one letter. The letters were scrambled, so she had to unscramble them to find the answer. That answer led to the hidden prize.

I wrote the first letter of each word in uppercase and the rest of the letters in lowercase. She knew that the letters formed two words. "Under Map" was the answer. When she realized this, she ran into the living room and checked under our wall map (which is cloth and lifts easily). She found a Ziploc of goodies for her! Inside was a new comic book, a packet of superhero stickers, printed coloring pages of her favorite heroes, and a temporary tattoo of Black Widow. 

While there were only eight clues to find, this whole scavenger hunt took about an hour to complete. It was really fun for Bean to complete the scavenger hunt on her own and she loved the prize! I helped her by reading the questions and riddles and if she didn't know the answer, she could decode the answer and then go find the clue. Sure, I can't imagine Black Widow goes on crazy scavenger hunts like this, but it's still fun to pretend to go on super secret spy missions!

Here are my feature's from last weeks' linky party:

Lego Math from The Science Kiddo
75 Of The Best Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers (Readers) from Inspiring 2 N.H. Kids

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