Thursday, October 30, 2014

Educational Treasure Hunts from Clued In Kids {A TOS Review}

Clued In KidsReview

Since the girls were younger we have done different types of scavenger hunts to enhance our learning experience.  We hunted for letters, shapes, and colors to name a few of our fun hunts. Recently, I introduced the children to hunts that are more of a treasure hunt variety, hunts where clues have to be solved to find the treasure. When I learned about Clued In Kids I thought it would be a great opportunity to have fun together while learning. Clued in Kids is a new company that was launched by Helen Bertelli just last year. It was her childhood dream to create hunts and I think it is wonderful that she has been able to fulfill that dream with these fun hunts. There are a wide variety to choose from, and thanks to being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was able to choose 2 to review. With the girls' help I selected the Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book and the Baseball Treasure Hunt.

Clued in Kids offers several different kinds of products. We were able to try out one of their PDF printable hunts (Baseball) and a Clue Pad hunt (Princess Treasure). They have hunts is several different categories, including: Holiday/Seasonal, Nutrition-Themed, Sports, and Education Related. Additionally, they have Greeting Cards and actually sell treasure chests filled with "treasure." We did not use their treasure, though I could see it being really fun for a party. I went to the store and purchased hunt-related prizes I thought the children would enjoy. I'll share what prizes I chose later on in this review. 

The PDF Printable Hunts are downloaded onto your computer and you can print them out multiple times. The only supplies needed to enjoy these hunts are a computer with printer (and ink of course) plus a pen or pencil for the children to write their answers down. The Baseball Treasure Hunt was 8 pages in length, though I only printed out the 7 pages that had the clues and the answer key. There are 2 clues per page, equaling 12 clues in all. I just had to cut them apart on the dotted line. 

The picture below shows 2 sheets of clues.

As you can see, there are several different kinds of clues in each hunt, and some are easier to solve than others. The Baseball Hunt contained several different baseball-related decoding clues (some involving math problems), hidden picture clues, answer the question clues and more. Once, instead of trying to decode a clue, the children had to sing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" to receive the clue directly from me. All of the answers to the clues lead to the next clue and ultimately to the treasure. 

There is a space on the top of each clue to write a child's name, so each child gets an equal amount of play time and to ensure harder clues go to older children. On the bottom of the clue the parent/hunt leader is told where to hide the clue. This is what makes it a snap to set up the hunt. All you have to do after cutting the clues apart is go hide the clues. This takes less than 10 minutes. Your job is then over and the children's fun can begin. 

As this was a baseball hunt I decided to get the children some bouncy balls as their treasure. We had a fun-filled afternoon that started with the hunt and continued on into the park to play with the balls. 

The Clue Pad Hunts are softcover physical books where you tear out the clues. Like the PDF Printable version we have 12 clues with a place to add a name, clues/activities, and instructions detailing where to hide each clue. The setup instructions and answer key are also included. The major difference in these clue pads is that they can only be used once. They are slightly smaller than the half-page printed clues, but it really isn't noticeable. Of course, you will not need to have a computer or printer to use these hunts; however, you do still need a pen or pencil for use while decoding.

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book is full of princess-themed clues that are similar in type to the Baseball Hunt. There were lots of fun clues to solve: decoding, patterns, mirror image, hidden picture, telling time and more. We also had two princess activities. The children got to practice their curtsying (bowing in Harold's case), and they got to work on their posture by balancing a book on their heads while walking.

We made an adventure out of the Princess hunt. The girls were all princesses and their brother was a knight complete with sword and shield. Daddy was the dragon who stole their treasure and they had to follow the clues to get the treasure back.  Technically, daddy has multiple personalities. He alternated between helpful daddy and roaring dragon keeping them from the treasure. Like the Baseball hunt, I alternated the clues between the children, trying to give the easier ones to Hannah and Harold (who was quite adamant that he wanted clues as well). Each time a clue was found it was brought back to the royal dining room so we could figure it out. As we headed up the stairs to retrieve the treasure (on the washing machine) we encountered the dragon again. Fortunately, Harold vanquished him with a few swings of his sword and we were able to go and get the treasure.

The children are enjoying their new stickers and albums. 

The Clued in Kids Hunts are suitable for children in a wide age range. The two we reviewed are labeled as being for ages 4 and up. Some of the activities in the Baseball Hunt were a bit more advanced (mainly the math decoding clues), so it is beneficial to have older children involved in the hunt who can help the younger children. Of course, as homeschoolers, we are used to having the older children help the younger children, so it worked perfectly. Even teens in the family could get involved by coordinating and helping out. Younger children will definitely need the instructions on each clue explained, where older children can take off and go with it. 

The children have really enjoyed these hunts, as did their father and I. They loved finding the clues and decoding them. They seemed to be at just the right age (7, 6, and 4) to solve the clues. Even though Harold participated, he really didn't understand the clues, but he did get a kick out of having his own clues and circling the correct answer when I showed him what to do. Not only were they exercising their brains, they were getting a physical workout in as well. The children were up and moving, running up and down the stairs for the Princess Hunt, not quite so much for the Baseball Hunt. (The amount of exercise your children receive would depend on the layout of your house of course.) Mom and dad were following right along. This was mainly to get pictures. I do feel they would have been able to have completed the hunt by themselves as long as they worked together. Having the names on the clues also helped the children to not fight over who would go and get the clue. The one who was deciphering the clue would be the one to physically pick up the next clue and hand it to the one named on it. 

I did want to mention that when you print out you hunts you may want to make sure you don't have your printer set to "fast draft" as I did. There was a hidden picture clue in the Baseball Hunt that didn't come up dark enough to be able to find the object, and I didn't realize until it was too late to reprint it. It is situations like this that made me thankful there is an answer key.

I would definitely recommend these hunts for an afternoon of fun or for an exciting addition to a party. It takes about 8 minutes to set up the hunt and then we spent between 20 and 30 minutes enjoying the hunts each day. Of course, that wasn't the end of the fun, as they were then able to spend some time enjoying their treasure. 

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book sells for $8.99 and the Baseball Printable Treasure Hunt is $5.99. I do have to say, I wish all of the hunts had a printable option. I am not usually one who likes to use my printer ink, so I will opt for receiving/purchasing a physical product; however, the ability to use the PDF Printable hunt again in the future is definitely a bonus in this situation. 

How would you like to try out one of these hunts for yourself? Clued In Kids is offering a free Homework Reward Printable Treasure Hunt if you sign up for their newsletter.

You can also stop by the Clued In Kids blog to discover their Christmas offerings and a treasure chest giveaway!

In addition, you can find Clued In Kids on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My fellow Crew Mates have been reviewing a wide variety of these Treasure Hunts. Don't forget to stop by and check out their reviews.

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  1. Replies
    1. Oh, they were! We all had a blast! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love this for my kids, looks like a lot of fun and very educational. They get more involved when it's fun stuff like this. Love!

    1. I love that these are fun and that the children are using skills to decode the clues. Definitely recommend these. Thanks for stopping by.


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