It’s probably the hibernating teacher within that brings me round to setting up riddles and scavenger hunts for my kids. Yes, after all these years of standing in slippers wiping butts and noses, there are moments when that alter-ego is dusted off and put to use. My hands start scrawling notes with time stamps and abbreviations, planning out each section of our night and crossing my fingers for a normal bedtime. I stay awake into the wee hours of silver moonlight thinking about how it will unfold and try to convince myself that this is all very normal.
This Valentine’s Day, having already delivered the cookies, we planned for some family time that centered around a hunt. The goal was to come up with a creative way to unveil their gifts and cards instead of looking at them all and saying in a benign tone, “Here you go. Happy Valentine’s Day.” [cue pink cards and wrapping paper flopping weakly on the table].
- kids will find hidden riddles and mini-gift bags accompanying each clue [one bag per kid]
- run riddles and gifts one-at-a-time back to living room and start a pile
- continue searching
- once all 6 cards are found, sit as a group to solve each riddle
- riddles are intentionally scrambled and kids will have to unscramble “clue” words [below in bold caps] to form a coherent sentence which will tell them what to do
SCAVENGER HUNT CLUES:
- Look up Genesis 8:16. What did God tell Noah to do? [“COME out of the ark…”
- Look up John 14:1. Write down the word before “hearts”: [YOUR]
- Look up John 3:16. Write the first word here: [FOR]
- Write down the missing homophone: two, too, [TO]
- Look up Genesis 43:26. What was presented to Joseph? [GIFTS]
- Look up Exodus 20:12. Whom must you honor? [YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER]
The kids worked together to form: Come to your father and mother for your gifts –or–For your gifts, come to your father and mother. They got it! Running downstairs they found their gifts laid out in three piles: nothing special, but something to let them know they were thought of. A small card, a little candy, lots of love.
So it was a great Valentine’s Day at the Graham household. We didn’t get to the Bingo game or The Story of St. Valentine as I had wanted, but the kids enjoyed the challenge and the mystery of the hunt nonetheless.
Try it next time you want to send your family a creative message–maybe even something like “pick up your disgusting clothes pile” will turn into a fun!