Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Learn language skills with a treasure hunt!

Last week we shared ideas about how to modify our Centsible Kids game, and with the modification seed planted in our brains, we've decided to continue with a spring bent on it....

An Easter egg or basket hunt!

Many families already put together a treasure hunt for this holiday.  We're proposing modifying it a bit to challenge children's language skills.  Instead of just going out to look for the eggs, give verbal or written clues for each hiding place.  For example, you might say to a younger child, "I spy a yellow egg under a short plant with lots of buds on it, and this plant is by the porch."  The child should look under the bushes.  Using descriptive language like in the example allows for 2 important things:

1. You are providing the pattern of definitions.  Stating the category (plant) and important attributes (lots of buds, short) as well as function, are the keys to clear definitions.

2. Children have to listen to longer pieces of information.  Since the hunt is motivating, children will listen to more complex bits of information.

For children who are able to read, you can put clues inside the eggs to lead them through the hunt.  Again, descriptive language can be a nice challenge for any child - typically developing or with language learning issues.  As older kids start to lose interest in the hunt, engage them in creating and giving clues to the younger ones.

Whatever your traditions are at this time of year, a treasure hunt outside can be great fun!

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