Once upon a time, seems like eons ago, I made up a game for my then-toddler girl. I took this set of ten number-recognition cards I had made for her, hid each card in various toddler-friendly spots around the living room, and challenged her to find them. It began so simply, as a boredom buster. Little did I know that it would become one of our family's favorite games.
The number cards really aren't vital to this game. You could use Memory cards, big wooden puzzle pieces, whatever you have around. The advantage to the number cards, though, is that we can lay them out on the floor and easily see if we have found them all. Bonus educational points for counting and number order tasks.
- The seeker must cover their eyes or play in another room while the cards are being hidden.
- We usually hide all the cards in one room; sometimes two or three adjacent rooms to up the challenge.
- Each hidden card must be partially visible, so the game can be completed in a short amount of time. (Attention span is an important consideration here.)
- If the seeker is having a tough time finding the last few cards, it is customary to play "Hot or Cold" for assistance. (This means you can tell the seeker "You're getting warmer..." as they get close to the hidden card, or "colder" as they walk away from it.)
- Kudos and giggles are awarded for creative hiding places. (Some of our top spots: perched on moulding, on bookshelves, in Daddy's giant shoes, peeking out from a dollhouse window, in line with the dvds.)
This game is like magic. It can bring a much-needed giggle break to a stressful day. It can unite kids that have been constantly bickering. It teaches problem solving, counting, and logic.
I am usually the first one to hide the cards. Then we take turns hiding the cards for each other. It's fun to see my now 6yr old girl trying hard to make the game challenging for me. And it's great that 2yr old J is now joining in on the fun.
I think I'll make time to play it again tomorrow. :)