Treasure Hunting and how to get your PWS child outside to the fresh air
What do children need to be healthy and happy…?
They need to eat well and to learn by playing at different things. They also need plenty of exercise and as much fresh air and sunshine as they can get.
Are your children getting enough exercise and fresh air? If not, I know a very good game, which will definitely encourage them to play outside. This game is “Treasure Hunting” and Stony and Suzi really like to do this even if the weather is not perfect.
Like all children, Stony and Suzi want to do different things. Suzi likes to run and jump and play in the park whilst Stony doesn’t like to do any of these things. His favorite pastime is to be at home, sitting on the carpet playing with his playmobil and building his enormous playmobil houses. It is so important that Stony moves his body as much as possible every day. If he doesn’t do this, his muscles and his body become very weak. The problem was – what to do about a six-year-old boy who just hates to go out into the fresh air for a walk?
This was a big problem, not only for Stony but also for us as parents. No matter how hard we tried we had no success. We would think and think until one day I had what turned out to be a really good idea. When we thought about Treasure Hunting in the park, it was the best idea we had had.
This is how it is played. Small sachets were made out of tissue paper and different little ‘treasures’ put inside each one. The sachets were made in different colors so that they each child knew their own. The treasures were kept a secret from the children and ours included such things as chocolate buttons, various seeds that the children like, beads or nice pebbles, paper hearts and little messages on paper saying ‘I love you’. The list is only limited by your imagination.
We made ten sachets for each child. When we showed Suzi and Stony the colored sachets and asked them it they wanted to go outside to play with them they always shouted, “YES! Lets go”. Across the park was a little forest and the children were so excited and so eager to get there. They will run along singing ‘we are going for a treasure hunt. We are going for a treasure hunt’. It was quite an adventure because the entrance to the forest was quite difficult for them. The first part of the forest was quite wild and then there was a scary bit with lots of spiky branches, dark paths and even a little stream that they had to cross. Stony could not really jump yet so he had to be helped. Little Suzi was pulling him whilst his mother was pushing him. It was good fun and they felt so proud when they had achieved it by working together.
The children were really excited when they arrived at the place where the treasure would be hidden. They were told to sit on the ground whilst their mother went to hide the ‘treasures’. The children would sit and chat happily whilst the ten sachets of each color were hidden. They were put on the tree branches, in tiny holes, in the long grass or on the flowers. Sometimes, just to challenge the children, they were hidden in very tricky places such as higher up the tree or inside the leaves.
When everything was ready it was explained that if they found a sachet that was not their colour, they must not pick it up. Nor must they open any of the sachets as they would all be opened at the same time when they had all been found. Stony and Suzi were so excited looking for their treasures. They each had a bag to put them in and were counting them as they were found. If they missed one mummy was always there to guide them back and help them. Sometimes the children had to use a stick to help them get the treasures down from a tree and other times they had to dig deep unto the bushes. It was always exciting and fun.
When they had found all the treasures, they would find a nice place to sit and open the little sachets one by one. Stony and Suzi were always happy with their tiny treasures and always felt very satisfied that they had completed their big challenge. They always arrived home happy even if they were tired they had a good feeling saying ‘We did it’.
Since that first time, Stony and Suzi have always liked treasure hunting. Whenever their mummy sees them being lazy or inactive, it is always a good time to use treasure hunting to get them active.
Unexpected things sometimes happen. Once while they were looking for their treasures a funny little spotted dog came along with its owner. The little dog was sniffing around amongst the leaves and found one of the sachets. The dog was able to open the sachet and ate all the chocolate buttons that were inside. Mummy, Stony and Suzi thought it was so funny that they all started laughing.
So, if you do go treasure hunting and can’t find one of the treasures, it may have been eaten by a little spotted dog, or even a squirrel that could have made it disappear before you got there.
Treasure Hunting certainly helps to keep Stony and Suzi healthy and happy.