learning by observing

The beautiful thing about a treasure hunt is that it can be done anywhere to build a child’s observation skills in a fun, relaxed way.

As your preschool learns ways to identify things in their surroundings, you can begin expanding their skills by adding layers of complexity to your activities.

To take your treasure hunt to the next level, try searching for things with two characteristics. For example, ask your child to look for items that are both round and serve as a container. Your child will need to think carefully in order to classify things in more complex ways. Your child will practice creating groups that are based on more than one characteristic.

Playing this game gives your child practice in thinking carefully and systematically about the features of various objects. As people organize information in most everyday situations, it is usually necessary for them to consider more than one aspect of an object.

• Invite you child to join you on a treasure hunt around the house. For example, say, “Let’s look for some double treasures. The things we find must be red, and they must be toys.

• Check each object he finds by reviewing the characteristics. “This is a toy, and this part is red, so it’s a double treasure!”

• Talk about items your child includes but that do not fit the criteria. “That’s a fun toy, but it isn’t red, so it’s not a double treasure. Let’s keep looking until we find something that is both red and a toy.”

• At the end of the game, look over all the objects that your child collected.

With fall upon us, there will be plenty of opportunities to be outside with your child to hunt for items with different colors, shapes, textures, smells and more. Enjoy the wonder of exploration your child shares as you hunt for treasures as part of your daily routines. The organizational skills your child will build will serve them well throughout school and life.