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Indoor Treasure Hunt for Children

Rollicking Fun for Housebound Grands

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Indoor treasure hunts are great fun for grandchildren when the weather is bad.

Search low, search high, to find the next clue!

Photo © Siri Stafford / Getty

The grandchildren are in the house, and bad weather is keeping them there. You need something fun to get them moving. Try a classic treasure hunt. Create (or print out) clues. Distribute them so that one clue leads to another. Place some "treasure" -- a toy or treat -- at the final destination. Hand the first clue to a grandchild, and get out of the way!

You may have to set some rules ahead of time, such as no running. If more than grandchild is on hand, let them take turns reading the clues. Make your treasure hunt a workout for the brain with clues that require some thinking. Rhyming clues have built-in kid appeal. A version for preschoolers can be created with pictures that you draw or print out from the computer.

I've created a list of clues about ordinary indoor objects. Copy and print these to save time. (Be sure to delete the answers.) You may also use these clues as inspiration for your own list. Since your home may have more than one of some of these objects, the grandchildren may have to check out more than one location before they find the next clue. That makes the game last longer, gives them more exercise and adds to the fun.

  1. Dining table: I have four legs, but I don't have feet.
    I come in handy when it's time to eat.
  2. Alarm clock: My job is to put an end to sleep,
    Which I do with music, a buzz or a beep.
  3. Microwave: For fast heating or cooking, I am tops.
    And, oh, that good smell when my popcorn pops!
  4. Pantry: I'm packed really full of boxes and cans.
    I may hold a broom or a mop or a dustpan.
  5. Kitchen canisters: Flour and sugar and coffee and tea,
    I keep these handy but hard to see.
  6. Computer: I can take you to places you've never seen,
    But first type your password in on my screen.
  7. Dishwasher: I'm loaded and unloaded, but I'm not a truck.
    Having a helper like me is a great piece of luck.
  8. Shower: I rain on you when you need a scrub.
    I'm very much like my friend the tub.
  9. Refrigerator: I make it possible to have fresh food.
    Everyone agrees, I'm one cool dude.
  10. Television: Watching your favorites is lots of fun.
    But don't watch too much! Kids need to run.
  11. Kitchen stove: I never get angry but I do get hot.
    I'm the perfect place for a pan or a pot.
  12. Clothes dryer: It's my job to give all your clothes a tumble,
    Which I do while making a bit of a rumble.
  13. Front door: I have a round knob and also a lock.
    Visitors and salesmen may give me a knock.
  14. Recliner: I'm one part chair and one part bed.
    Up with your feet and down with your head.
  15. Clothes washer: I take your clothes for quite a spin.
    But first they get wet. That's how I begin.
  16. Bed pillow: I'm filled with feathers or other soft fluff.
    To sleep without me can be quite tough.
  17. Lamp: Turn me on and I'll give you a light.
    I'm used some in the daytime but mostly at night.
  18. Bookshelf: A story, they say, can take you away,
    But a book still needs a place to stay.
  19. Desk: I have drawers and also a nice flat top.
    For homework I'm helpful -- Keep working. Don't stop!
  20. Toaster: I'm hungry! I'm hungry! Please feed me a slice.
    I'll spit it back out all brown and nice.

You can create another type of treasure hunt by taking pictures of odd nooks and crannies in your home. Print out the pictures and place them as you would any other clues. When you and the grands tire of treasure hunts, play some favorite board games. I also have a list of games that can be played with a standard deck of cards. And when the weather clears, treat the grands to an outdoor treasure hunt.

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