I found a lovely idea on http://theimaginationtree.com/ a few days ago and promptly tried it out. The boys are totally into the idea of pirates and treasure thanks to a book we have been reading called Here Be Monsters…about a pirate who is looking for treasure.
While i was looking at the http://theimaginationtree.com/ blog I came across a treasure hunt activity which encourages kids to read words. So i made a little treasure chest using an empty washing powder carton and foam sheets (decorated it with some glitter foam circles and a big silver foam lock). For the treasure coins I used glitter foam sheets in gold, silver and blue. I cut up circles (about the same size as a 2 rupees coin or maybe a tad bit bigger). One surface of this paper was glittery and the other surface plain. I used a black permanent marker to write on the plain sides of the coin. One the blue circles I had numbers (between 0 and 10) – one number per coin. On the silver cirlces I put 3 letter phonic words and on the gold I had 4 and 5 letter phonic words. I hid the “coins” all over the family room and when the boys woke up I told them that they had to find all the treasure. I showed them the chest and told them that the “coins” they found could only go in if they could read what was on the back.
The boys were most excited and set of with great gusto, peering behind curtains, under chairs and tables, between cushions…squealing with delight every time they found one. It was amazing and I have never seen them so excited about reading. I picked as many ship and sea related words as I could and that made it more fun. I had put the numbers in for my youngest fellow (2 1/2) who can recognize numbers upto 5 so that he would not feel left out of the adventure. They managed to find and read all and were super excited by the whole concept.
The following day when they woke up form their afternoon nap, Nish immediately asked if he could start looking for more treasure but sadly I had not made any more coins. Will work on more over the next few days and do another treasure hunt over the weekend I guess.
Definitely something to try…can do it with sight words, just alphabets, numbers, math sums, etc.