Its raining…and we had planned to swim today!


Sometimes it happens we must change our plans .

It is still summervacation and we have about 13 children at school of different ages, with more or less need of running.
It is difficult to get them to be quiet inside, we need to find something for them to do.
We had planned a masquerade party and everyone could dress up if they wanted, it was not required. Most students did dress up, I was Fridolf, one of Efraim Longstocking’s sailors.

Since it was raining I wanted to test a new idea, but actually it is not a new idea, but a new twist on an idea.
I wanted to make a classic treasure hunt with a map and everything.
In order to have this work, we need to make a map of the school. There is no map of the school, so I sit down and draw one from a top view.
Because if it’s raining outside and we have access to an entire school and we will not interfere with anyone, then I think we should take the time and make use of the school.

Now it’s time to think out all the steps to make it so interesting and fun as possible. We need a map that we are copying for every team. We write down riddles which we believe they are able to solve, we need eight different. We create three different teams. We create a sentence with eight words.
So far I have written ”we” are fiing it,  but it is really ”I” all the time, the other coworkers do not understand what to do. I need to explain.
It is as follows, each team gets a marked map. The marks are crosses indicating where the riddles are hidden. Close to the crosses, there is a riddle they must find, they are to find a total of eight riddles. They collect and bring these riddles back to me. For every correct answer they give,  they get a word to the sentence that we created. If they can answer all the riddles they get all the words. Of these words, they are to create a ”correct” sentence, this sentence will give them an instruction. The instruction tells them where that is another map, on this map there is another check. It is the ”real” treasure. In other words, its a treasure hunt in two steps.

My colleagues have now understood. A colleague and I walked around the whole school to place all the riddles, we put all the riddles in various locations so that no map would be the same.
When everything is ready, we explain and go through with all the students what they should do and how it works. They are incredibly excited and want to get started right away.
They understand and get started.
Everything goes according to plan, it was difficult to plan was how much time all of this would take.
All in all it takes the students two hours to find all the riddles and figure out the answers. Then they all got eight words, with them they form the sentence ”Under drumsticks, next to drums, is the map.”

On this map, we put a cross in a place where we wanted them to go. In this room we have rigged up a projector, darkened all the windows and loaded with a new movie. We also popped popcorn for them. All the teams made it and the film was a success. It was OK the ”treasure” was a movie, it was so much fun in the search itself that no one complained.
First, they had expected candy, but the movie with popcorn was a bit better. I am glad everything went as well as it did, this idea I will keep and add into my new book, which is supposed to inspire parents to do things with their children.

We guessed that planned for about 40 minutes, including all preparations. Then, all students used about 2 hours with all the searching, and then 1.5 hours to see the movie. A very good afternoon full of fun for only 40 minutes of preparation.

Have a nice summer and good treasure hunting.

/ Patric


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