Treasure hunt and Letterboxing!

Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places.

It is a recognized international activity where participants use clues which describe directions and landmarks to find a hidden treasure box. (Read more here.) Once the box is found, the participants imprint their own personal rubber stamp in the log book, write in the date with their “trail name” and then use the stamp in the box to stamp a record their “find” in their own personal log book.

We have enjoyed making our own treasure maps for Geography!  Now it was time to try Letterboxing here at home.

To help the children create their Letterbox Clues using very detailed instructions to find the “letterbox”, I created Treasure Hunt clue words which has lists of sentence starters, order words, a few verbs and lists of prepositions.  The 2nd page has sentence starters with colour-coded blanks to insert the right words for their clues.  Using this, the girls quickly wrote down their clues.

This written activity covers several concepts:

  • directions
  • compass work (not used in this lesson)
  • order words

Language skills such as:

  • adverbs for time
  • prepositions
  • verbs or action words
  • objects

To reinforce prepositions, we played some bean bag games.  They took turns using the preposition list to call out some bean bag position. What fun!  [And sneaky ~ they were practicing auditory processes (listening and following oral instructions), directionality (up/down/left/right), spatial awareness (in front, under), body awareness (good for young children – left foot, elbow, ear lobe!)]

Playing preposition games with bean bags

Next, we made our rubber stamps.  Letterboxing Kids gives an easy method of cutting rubber stamps, but I let the girls draw the image on their rubbers and I cut them for them with a super-sharp craft knife.  (The same site has a unique and easy way of making foam stamps!)

Making a rubber stamp

Foam stamps glued back-to-front on a sponge

We needed a Letterbox Log Book for each child and one for the treasure box, and I created these using a “hot dog” mini book template.

“Hot dog” book folded on all lines and cut in middle

“Hot dog” minibook folded lengthways and pressed to form diamond. Squeeze together and fold pages so front cover is in front.

Treasure box with log book, pencil, stamp pad and rubber stamp

Now the girls played Letterboxing!  They crawled under and over things, turned left and right, counted paces, moved forwards or backwards until they found the treasure box.  They made their stamps in the log books and loved every minute of this lesson!

Treasure log book’s entries

Isn’t homeschool fun?

Creative Writing ~ Dancing Pencils!

My 2 older daughters and I took a creative writing workshop (also known as Free Writing Using the Right Brain ) this weekend and it was the most mind-blowing, exhilarating and thrilling experience!

Created by Felicity Keats and presented at workshops around South Africa and the world,  her Free Writing Using the Right Brain Course has enabled writing students (from pre-primary to adults) to write with the most wonderful creativity!

Felicity Keats, in her 70’s and just bubbling with enthusiasm, has written many books. The Dancing Pencils Program includes  2 CD’s covering the course material. She has trained mentors to  workshop her methods.  Felicity loves to encourage new writers and she has published many of her students’  books  ~ what a triumph for these new authors!

Free writing using right brain R-grade 4

Writing from the right brain is creative and spontaneous, the results delight the writer and the reader alike!

Felicity Keats says,

“The right brain is the intuitive hemisphere.  It is dominant for the following tasks:

Non-Verbal : images, not words, are the source of right brain knowledge.

Holistic (non linear). It processes lots of information at the same time, makes leaps of insight and can evaluate whole problems at once.

Spatial  – it works out jigsaw puzzles and finds the way home without getting lost

Musical – it responds to music and musical talent

Metaphoric – it understands metaphors and images

Artistic – drawing, painting and sculpture

Spiritual – prayer, workshop and mysticism.

Dream maker –realising fantasies

The right brain is a happy positive side of yourself that doesn’t understand the word “failure”. It doesn’t try, it just does, easily bringing out the required writing from the universe itself.”

(Extract from : Creative Writing using the Right BrainStimulating Ideas to Develop Creativity in Learners   Grades 10 – 12 by Felicity Keats ISBN 978-1-43090056-6)