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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Decoder & Clue Search Kids Club Style

The main attraction at Kids Club this summer has been what we call Clue Search using a Decoder. Basically, I write clues in code that lead to another clue that leads to the next clue, and so on. What are they trying to find? Well each time it is tailored to what that days theme is and I always give them a verbal clue to start out with. Once, I used the verse, knock and it shall be opened as the verbal clue, so the first clues where taped to doors. The kids love figuring out the clues so much there really doesn't even have to be something at the end of it all to find. 

Here's how it works. I divided the 9 kids into 4 teams and gave each team a name; Sassy Pants, Donut Eaters, Velosiraptors, and Monkey Lovers. I pulled pics from the internet for each teams symbol; so for example the Donut Eaters symbol is a donut. I have pre written clues for each gathering and have them hidden with the teams symbol visible so the kids will not be taking other teams clue's if they find one accidentally. One clue leads to the next clue, etc. The teams are not competing against each other, and there is not a time limit. 

I have written the clues as age appropriate as possible and they must use their Decoders to solve the clue. One of the above clues is hidden between a Bible and a dictionary on my book shelves. Not super hard but I have books in 3 different places in the house so they have to really look. 

The above clue was written for 6 yr olds, I write the code word large so that as they decode they can write the correct letter below.  I have a minimum of 4 hidden clues per team. The last clue leads to a small bag holding a few puzzle pieces.

I took an old puzzle, and spray painted it a solid color then used sharpies to draw a 'treasure' map on it. Eventually, they will find all the puzzle pieces that will lead them to finding the final treasure.  When each team has found the puzzle pieces, all gather to put them together to see if they can solve the ultimate mystery treasure.

 I found two examples of Decoders online here and here. I chose the second one since I could just print it out on card stock with out reinventing one. But I found out that it needed some tweaking. The letters don't match up exactly and there was not an explanation as how it should be used.  

Using a ruler I drew lines between the letters and marked it with pink and green marker lines that need to be aligned to work it properly. You can change up alignments to create even more codes if you want. I replaced the word Decoder with Kids Can Kids Club, and then I turned it  over to create yet another code maker/solver!

To add an extra element of fun to finding the clues, each time a new clue is found, the kids must return to me and draw a popsicle stick to find out how they must proceed to the next clue. The popsicle sticks read such things as tie your legs together, sing the ABC song all the way, walk backwards, hop there, and any other silly thing we can think up. 

This is all stuff I have put together on my own and it has plenty of flaws. But what I have found over the years is that we are the ones that are concerned with perfection, the kids just want to have fun and are good at imagination. Just give them a starting place, a few props and they will turn your meager attempts into memories to last a life time. 

If you don't want to make your own decoder, there are some Amazon links below for them. Yes they are affiliate links and I would receive a small commission if you buy one at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog.

I link at these parties.

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  1. This is just delightful and I want to copy it from you to do with my own kids! I love the combination of fun and thinking and team work all rolled into one! And btw - your grandchildren are all so beautiful and I know they are close because of all he fun times at grandma's! I hope you don't mind if I link this to the end of a post I did last year called "13 Grandma and Me Summer Ideas" - I think lots of grandmas would love to follow your lead on this great activity!

    1. Yes please use it! And link it! I am always looking for fun that doesn't include electronics and I know it can be challenging to find 'fun' things for kid to do.

    2. Linked! Thank you! Can't wait to do this myself when all the kids are here together! The littlest ones love being part of a team with the big kids - and they can participate in the "legs tied together" and backwards hops to the next clue!

  2. Such fun I know, pretty grandbabies you have! Thank you Connie for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I pinned your post on Pinterest and shared it on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

  3. How fun! I love codes and clue type games!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  4. What a great and educational game. I'll have to save this link for my grandkids.

  5. I used to love this kind of stuff when I was a kid. They make the day a little magical. Pinning. Thanks for sharing at the To Grandmas House We Go Link Party.

  6. Sounds like much fun! :) Thanks for sharing at Sew It Cook It Craft It!

  7. Fun stuff for the kids. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight Pinned & sharing.


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