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March 16 - Dinosaur Treasure Hunt

Today was Treasure Hunt day, traditionally the favorite Morning Activity. Lyric just started a unit on dinosaurs in his school, so I wanted to make this a dino-themed treasure hunt where he could take the lead and Zephyr could serve as his helper. Often times with Treasure Hunt, Zephyr takes the lead and Lyric just follows, so this was something of an experiment. I had written and printed out clues yesterday and hid them around the house, along with a chest I loaded with 4 action figures.

I usually leave the first note on the kitchen table to find when they wake up, but this time I hid it under the computer so I could try and get better pictures (trying to learn my lessons from yesterday).

 Zephyr had to read the clues aloud to Lyric, of course. The burden of literacy.

Zephyr had to read the clues aloud to Lyric, of course. The burden of literacy.

So here was the first clue. Play along!

Zephyr was able to piece out the word "carnivorous" after a few attempts, and when he told Lyric to think of what carnivores eat, Lyric said "plants". Zephyr corrected him, and showed him the four letters were for the word "MEAT". Lyric immediately got excited and pointed to the kitchen. "The fridge," he yelled, "where we keep the pepperoni!" They ran there and Lyric threw open the door, making a bee line to the meat drawer.

Lyric was REAL excited to find the note there. He proudly passed it to Zephyr, who pulled off the masking tape holding it closed and ran to the couch to read it.

I wasn't sure how this would play out: the word "TYRANNOSAURUS" is so long, and the double N is tricky. But Zephyr got it almost immediately and yelled it out excitedly. Lyric knew at once who the cuddly orange dinosaur was: Boris the Tyrannosaurus, who we keep on a high shelf in their room. They immediately ran off to find him.

After I pulled him down from the shelf (along with his buddy Morris the Dilophasaurus) Zephyr read out the next note. Boris and Morris accompanied Zephyr and Lyric the rest of the way as well.

Zephyr got pretty excited about this one too, and blurted out "Swan!" I stepped in here before Zephyr could lead the charge because I wanted Lyric to figure out where to look, but by the time I started to say "where's the swan we made?" Lyric had already taken off running towards it. In fact, he got there so fast I didn't have a moment to get a picture of him finding it, he had already lifted it up and gotten the note underneath. Zephyr was thrilled. "It was behind us the whole time," he excitedly screamed. Lyric pushed the note into his hands and Zephyr read it aloud.

The boys ran into their room and dove under their beds looking for the chest, but didn't find it there.

They were clearly puzzled. Zephyr said "the clue said it was under the bed!" So I asked him, "Is that what it said?" Zephyr stopped suddenly and pulled Lyric out to the other room to re-read the clue. I'd like to think this subtly encouraged greater reading comprehension.

 Cheating a little here on the picture placement (#RadicalHonesty) as this was them reading the second clue, but they DID run to here and re-read the final clue again as well.

Cheating a little here on the picture placement (#RadicalHonesty) as this was them reading the second clue, but they DID run to here and re-read the final clue again as well.

After a bit of explanation on where the "foot of the bed" was, the kids ran back into the room and started searching again, and Zephyr uncovered it in the blue bin. But Lyric was the one who triumphantly pulled it out.

All in all, pretty successful! I think Lyric got to build up his confidence a little, and Zephyr got to act as a guide and a helper, which I really want them to do for each other as a lifelong thing. Afterwards they were so happy they hugged and Lyric jumped up into Zephyr's arms, wrapping his legs around his brother for a moment. It was pretty darn cute.

 Not that Zephyr could really hold him up, but still.

Not that Zephyr could really hold him up, but still.