Our little guy has always had a flair for letters. I blame (maybe thank?) PBS and that pesky little show called Word World. He has even dabbled in writing a few of those letters, although he is only two so its mostly O’s and I’s. But for some reason his stubborn little personality has zero interest in numbers. Specifically the number 3. I don’t know what it is but no matter how hard we try, he refuses to count in order.
Lately I feel like the days have started to be pretty routine and uneventful in our house. We play the same games over and over. We color, we play hide and seek, we play sandbox. I’m ashamed to admit it but I don’t really have my day planned out even a little. I have decided to come up with a theme for each week, and this week we have been circling around the theme of pirates. I know it sounds kind of like a silly and limited theme, but just hear me out for a second. You can learn about boats, counting dubloons, parrots, the ocean, and the classic pirate treasure. I decided to take that treasure and turn it in to a little game for the little man.
Obviously a treasure hunt is the first thing that comes to mind, but toddlers can’t typically read a treasure map. I figured that I would have him find this by following clues, except toddlers can’t really read clues either. But one thing they do understand is pictures! I decided that we would have a him follow picture clues that were inside number envelopes. It was super easy to do and could be modified if you don’t have everything to make them exactly like I did. So lets get started!
What you need:
- Plain envelopes
- Felt stick on numbers
- pictures or clip art of items around your house
- notecards or cardstock
First thing I did was think of things around that house that were easily recognizable for little FEZ. I tried find clip art for each item and I wanted them to be as simple as the Googling powers of the internet would allow me to find.
- trash can
I made sure that I had more than 10 items just in case we wanted to play the game again and wanted something new. I sized them up and printed them off on just regular paper. Next, I cut out the “clues and just for extra durability I glued them on to thick cardstock. This isn’t really a necessary step, but I figured if we wanted to reuse them it couldn’t hurt.
Next up, I simply peeled the backing off of the felt numbers and stuck them to the outside of the envelopes. I only numbered them 1-10 but you could easily do more. Obviously felt numbers aren’t a requirement for this project, you could easily write the numbers on the envelopes. I just happened to have some stick on numbers gathering dust in the craft room and was thrilled that I finally found a use for them!
To play the game you just need to leave the clues in the envelopes. In the first envelope you will put the picture card with the location of the second envelope. For example, envelope 1 had the picture of the fridge in it. Envelope number 2 was taped to the side of the fridge. Inside envelope 2 was a picture of an easel. Taped to the easel was envelope number 3. You get the idea. To start the game you simply give your little one the first envelope. I helped FEZ out the first few envelopes but once he got the hang of it he was all over the house hunting clues. The last clue led the little guy to a little “treasure chest” that had a pack of fruit snacks and a cookie.
He immediately wanted to play again, probably because he wanted more cookies, but I would like to think it was because he loved following the numbers. We did eventually play a few more rounds and he seemed to be content with just finding a cool book to read or a game to play at the end. Overall I would say that it was success!