When you’re teaching young children a new set of responsibilities, it can sometimes feel like you’ve suddenly become a task-master, constantly nagging them to hang their coats over here, or get their dishes to the sink, or put their toys away when they’re done. If you’ve told them once, you’ve told them eleventy million times, right?
Well, here’s a fun game to reinforce some of those new responsibilities. And this time, you get to be the good guy, not the task-master. It’s called Treasure Task, and it combines a treasure hunt with practicing these new responsibilities.
Just as with any great treasure hunt, hide the prize and then work backwards with your clues. Your clues should remind them of their responsibilities and give them an opportunity to practice. Here are a few examples:
Where do toys go when you’re done playing? Put away 2 toys.
Where does garbage go? Find some garbage to throw away.
Where do your shoes go when you come home? Straighten your shoes.
Where do your teeth get cleaned? Brush and rinse.
As the children complete the task, they find the next clue because it is hidden in that toy cupboard or on the garbage can and so on.
This activity helps to really teach these new responsibilities, rather than simply assume the children already know how to complete them. As you join in the hunt with your children, you’ll notice if they really don’t know where the garbage can is or if their toy shelf is actually too high for them to put toys away independently.
This activity can also be really great when you’re working with children in a new environment- whether that’s a new classroom, or a new home. You can play a Treasure Task game to orient them to their new surroundings.
Enjoy turning your child’s work into play!
Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski.