Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Proverbs 2:3-4
if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. Deuteronomy 4:29
I’m super excited about this week’s summer idea and how it ties in to faith. Summer fun is a great way to build faith!
How many times have you heard your child say, “Please, Mom! Pleeease. I really, really, really want it–bad!”?
“It” can be the box of Skittles at the grocery store or an extra video game before chores are done or a new top. “Dad, I’ve just got to have it. It’s so cute!”
There’s a drive in all of us to do or to have certain things. And that’s not all bad. In fact, God put deep desires in each one of us, like the desire to succeed, the desire to be loved or the desire for friendship. The desire he wants to grow inside us more than any other, though, is the desire for more of him and the desire to know what’s on his heart. Here’s how you can use one to lead to the other.
Activity: Combine any one of these with the faith connections below
(Even though these are technically scavenger hunts, use the phrase “TREASURE HUNT” to strengthen the faith connection. Then make it a real treasure hunt by offering a small reward at the end (anything from an ice cream cone to staying up late an extra fifteen minutes.)
Ideas for the youngest kids come first and then those for older kids. You’ll find Helpful Hints below.
- Puzzle treasure hunt. Buy a small puzzle and put several puzzle pieces inside different envelopes. Hide the envelopes around the garage, the basement, backyard, etc. Have the kids search for the envelopes, then come together and put the puzzle together.
Ages 4 and up. The older the kids the more puzzle pieces inside the envelope and the bigger the puzzle.
- Around-the-house baking hunt. Hide the ingredients for your favorite cookies around the house then bake cookies together when everyone is done. Ages 4 and up.
- Nature craft treasure hunt – Make a list of specific things your child needs to find (twig, pinecone, acorn, flat rock, a loose piece of bark). Then let them use their nature discoveries to make a picture frame craft. You can use either wood frames or paper craft frames found at a local craft store. Ages 4 through early elementary
- Video or phone treasure hunt – Make a list of 10 things your child has to find and take a picture of. Focus your list of things on one specific location like the neighborhood, the mall, a park, or even your house. Some examples: “Take a picture of…
1. something with the number 1 in it
2. someone wearing a baseball cap
3. something pink
4. something that moves
5. yourself making a silly face
and so on
Ages 8 and up
- Geocaching “hunt” – In geocaching, you download an app, create an account and then walk, hike, bike to follow the clues/directions to different locations around the neighborhood or city, wherever you choose to do the hunt. For specifics go to geocaching.com/play
Ages older elementary and up. Obviously younger kids will need supervision.
- I’ve written the faith connection to follow the treasure hunt. Depending on the age of your kids and how long the treasure hunt goes, you may want to do it first.
- Make the hunt more competitive for older kids by setting a timer e.g. the person who finds the most ___ in 10 min. wins. Or, with enough kids, you can divide them into teams.
Faith Connection: Choose one of the faith tie-ins below
Option #1, Is it worth it? – Jesus told the story of a man who found a precious jewel hidden in a field, just like you found the items on the treasure hunt. He sold everything he had so the precious jewel, a big beautiful pearl, could be his. He wanted it that bad! That pearl was a treasure and more important than anything else. He gave up everything for it. (Matthew 13:45-46)
Following God sometimes means giving up a lot—the right to your own way, to do what you want when you want it. BUT, because he loves you so much, he gives way better things–like the gift of life and salvation. So is it worth it? Totally! The question is what do you really want, what do you want more?
Option #2, Wisdom to make a good decision – When you want something really badly, you look for it. Like if you’d lost a five-dollar bill or your baseball glove. But sometimes what you need to find is an answer about what to do. Should you go to your friend’s or to your grandparents for the weekend? Should you sign up for a second week of soccer camp or not? God says that if you look for wisdom and really want to do the right thing and then ask him for it, he’ll give you the wisdom to make a smart decision. (James 1:5-6 and Proverbs 2:3-6)