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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clued In Kids - Review

I LOVE a good treasure hunt.  I mean, who doesn't?

Clued In Kids let's you have the fun of putting on a treasure hunt for your kids without having to do all the thinking and work for clever clues.

Clued In Kids

We got to try out a few version of the treasure hunts for "kids of all ages".

First we got a series of ones that help kids with their multiplication tables.  It has 5 treasure hunts and each one focuses on a different number.  2x,3x,4x,5x, and 6x.  They are called Multiplication Dragons.

The other fun one we got to try is the Gluten Free Treasure Hunt

I asked to try this one specifically, because someone special in our lives.....

.....has Celiac Disease and we are still trying to figure out what things we can feed her that doesn't have gluten. 

But, we still aren't sure what we can feed her, so, having some things on hand that she can actually consume will be a good thing.  Having a greater understanding, by my littles, of what things they can offer her is good too.  I am sure she is getting tired of them saying, "Do you want ____________?  Wait!  Does it have gluten?" 

And, now, if she turns them down, they will understand the "why" behind her answer and not just have their feelings hurt.  So, this fun little 12 clue treasure hunt even taught me a little bit about gluten and why some people's bodies respond the way they do when they eat it.

One of the clues in the Gluten Free treasure hunt said:

The wheat we eat today is not the wheat our grandparents ate.  Through cross-breeding and genetic engineering, since the 1950's scientists have been changing wheat to make it hardier.  It is estimated that 5 percent of the proteins found in wheat today are new to the human body.  This may be another reason why more people than ever are having trouble digesting gluten. 

Interesting fact, isn't it?

You can read a little bit about the creator (Helen Bertelli) very personal reasons for creating her Gluten Free treasure hunt and the Happy Tummy treasure hunt.

Now, for the treasure hunts themselves.  

It is super easy to start.  All you do is download your hunt and print it.  There are 2 clues per page, so you just cut the page in half.  Then, you read where you need to hide them.  Hide the clues...including their treasure.  Keep the cheat sheet for yourself.  Hand the kids the first clue and off they go.

They are awesome for numerous reasons. 

 (Ready for their first clue)

The first being.....seriously.....who doesn't like a treasure hunt? 



Second, as a mom, I love having treasure hunts for the kids, but I don't always like the mental work required to create clues and figure out the best place to hide them. 

Third, even if I do get to that point in my treasure hunts, I don't think I have ever "taught" my kids anything (I do come up with a pretty clever rhyme here and there, though!). 

Fourth, the prep time for a Clued In Kids treasure hunt is minimal.  Minimal, I said.  Because not only do they have all the clues ready for you, but they also tell you exactly where to hide them.  They are even smart enough to know that you might even forget where you hide a clue and provides you with a little cheat sheet as a reminder for yourself, in case the kids get stuck and need help finding the clue. (And, for the record, yes, this happened once for the cheat sheet came in very handy!)

 (Big brother explaining to V-girl how to spot the pattern in the jewels)

They advertise the set up time as being 8 minutes.  I would agree with that for your first treasure hunt, but the time decreases once you get the hang of it, and aren't as nervous about screwing it up!  So, we are down to about a 5 minute prep time here at our house! 

I also really appreciated the "Tips" section.  The one that came in the most handy was writing a kid's name on top of different clues, so there wasn't squabbling about who got "to do" the clue when they found it.  In my case, I was afraid A-man would beat everyone to the clue and have it figured out before S-girl and V-girl caught up.  So, I went through and put his name on the harder clues and the girls' names on the easier ones.

It worked great.  There were almost no fights.  The biggest fight was  one time when there was a hidden picture and they were all trying to figure out what it was....which meant that they all wanted to be the one holding it.  They ended up ripping the picture.....which resulted in a lecture from me on working together.  We pieced the picture back together and moved on.

 (They were still cooperating at this point.....)

One day, I had a treasure hunt set up, and when they were about 3 clues in, our neighbor boys showed up and wanted to do the treasure hunt too.  I explained to them that they could certainly join in, but since I didn't know that they were coming, I didn't have enough "treasure" (treats) hidden at the end.  They said they didn't care and joined in on the excitement.  They had a blast helping figure out the clues, running from place to place looking for the next clue.  But, even though I had warned them, they were sorely disappointed that they didn't get any of the bounty!  I have promised them that the next treasure hunt I do, I will plan ahead and make sure I have enough treats for them too.

 (The final clue that had the "treasure")

I cannot describe to you the joy and excitement that being on the hunt caused for all the kids.  The big kids and I were also smiling as we watched them tear from place to place.  They had a blast.  They ran from clue to clue...stopping only when they needed to really think or figure something out.  I loved how my older kids took the time to teach/explain to the younger ones how to figure out the answer.  Because, I mean, obviously, V-girl has not studied multiplication yet.  It was interesting to hear them repeat some of the tips and tricks that Rainman and I have used in teaching them multiplication.  Sneaky learning is the best, isn't it?

 (Photo bomb courtesy of J-boy, our neighbor, with his "It Wasn't Me!" t-shirt)

You can try out some of Clued In Kids awesome treasure hunts for yourself.   The Gluten Free treasure hunt is $5.99 and the Multiplication Dragon series is $19.99.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you get a copy of their Homework Reward Treasure Hunt, for free!

We loved, loved, loved the Clued In Kids Treasure Hunts.  Plain and simple.  That is all.

The TOS Review Crew got to try out some of their other treasure hunts, so go take a look at those and what they thought.  There are seasonal ones, holiday ones, sports ones, plus all the educational ones.