Clued in Kids

Clued in Kids, treasure hunt

My kids love games and treasure hunts so they were excited when we were recently asked to review Clued in Kids. They have a variety of scavenger hunts available in both a physical book as well as PDF downloads. We received the Slumber Party Clue PadPrincess Treasure Hunt Clue Pad, and the PDF download Winter Treasure Hunt.

What is it?

Clued in Kids is not just your typical treasure hunt with simple clues. This company has taken a unique approach to an age old game and gave an educational twist to it.Throughout the clues, kids will find themselves using logic to complete puzzles or unscramble words, math to solve problems that unlock letters, telling time as well as other skills that are incorporated in to helping them solve each clue.

There are a wide variety of themed scavenger hunts to choose from. You could either order the physical product online, or purchase a PDF file that can be downloaded immediately and printed to be used right away.

How it works:

For our Princess & Slumber Party treasure hunts, it was simply a matter of tearing each clue out from the book and reading at the bottom of each clue where to hide it. Each hunt contained 12 clues as well as an answer sheet of where each clue is hidden.

Setting up the PDF Winter Treasure Hunt was easy. I was given a link to download the PDF that I then saved and printed the 8 pages it contained. Each page contained 2 clues that I had to cut apart. From there, it was the same as using the physical product in that I hid the clues where it stated to on the bottom as well as having an answer sheet of where each clue was hidden. These scavenger hunts do not come with a prize to be found at the end but that's ok. It allows the parent to be creative in what they hid as the treasure!

Once I figured out what treasure I was going to hide, I worked on setting up the scavenger hunt. I had the kids all go into one room so I could hide the clues. Examples of hiding places were in the dishwasher, by a doorbell, by eggs, near toothbrushes, in towels, under the couch, etc. If by some chance you don't have a hiding place that the clue suggests (say a microwave), you can just hold the clue and make your child do an activity (like jumping jacks) to receive it when it comes time for that clue. It only took me about 5 minutes to set up the entire treasure hunt.

Because some of these clues required multiplication and unscrambling of words, I had my older children help my little ones. It's a great way to teach teamwork! There is also a spot at the top of each clue that you could write in a childs name to assign specific clues. I left those blank as I wanted my kids to do each clue together.

My teens thought they would breeze through the clues but they found some of the puzzles took them a little bit to figure out. My only suggestion would be to have an answer sheet for these for the parent to reference as I admit there was one or 2 that I wasn't sure of right away.

To my childrens surprise, there weren't just riddles & puzzles they had to figure out but also silly activities they had to do! I could only get my 3 & 11 year old to do them as my teens didn't want their photos or videos taken while doing it but they did have fun watching. Some of these silly activities involved snorting like a pig while reading, dancing on your front porch in your pjs, make headgear out of toilet paper and walk the catwalk, walk around the room balancing a book on your head, etc. Many laughs ensued as they did these activities.

Watch this video to see some of the activities in action!

It took my children about 20 minutes to complete each hunt though I imagine if you were doing this with a larger group of kids and only had 1 child complete each clue, it would take a lot longer. I think these treasure hunts would be great for birthday parties, sleepovers, playdates or something to save for a rainy or cold day.

Finding the "treasure", which was a rare treat of candy! And no, that wasn't all for her!

Even though each hunt is done in similar fashion (puzzles to solve, activities to complete, etc), each treasure hunt had clues and pictures that went along with it's theme. The slumber party hunt used objects and clues that would go along with a slumber party as well as silly riddles that you can imagine a group of kids giggling over.

The winter treasure hunt included cold weather items such as snowflake pictures, riddles that have to do with winter activities, hiding clues with pjs and using winter clothing for a funny dress up dance.

The Princess Treasure Hunt used pictures of knights & jewelry to solve clues as well as having the child practice their best curtesy or bow. This would be a fun hunt for a princess themed birthday party!

Clued in Kids can be used with children as young as 4 and can be adapted for older children as well. While 1 child could do the treasure hunts, it certainly is a lot of fun with multiple kids & ages. Stop by their website and check out their free puzzle maker to make your own scavenger hunts as well as check out their Christmas Products available.

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Gluten Free Molasses Oatmeal Bars

I was recently looking for a new recipe to try using blackstrap molasses and coconut oil. Why those 2 things? Well, the health benefits of both are great!  

Blackstrap molasses is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and a whole host of other essential minerals. Seriously look it up some day. One of the simple ways I consume it is to heat a mug of water up, add a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses (it sort of tastes like black licorice) and squeeze half a lemon into it. Makes a great morning tea! 

Coconut oil is also great for your body, both inside and out! You can use it on your skin as a moisturizer as well as using it in cooking. It helps boost your immune system, contributes to weight loss, kills viruses, helps digestive issues and so many more things! You can use coconut oil like you would butter in cooking. Or if you enjoy coffee, make a cup of bulletproof coffee using coconut oil.

Back to my newest recipe. I know most recipes calls for baking molasses so I set out to try using my blackstrap molasses and this recipe turned out great! I used blackstrap molasses & coconut oil from Golden Barrel. If you don't have these products in your local store, no worries! You can order them online. 

My other challenge for this recipe was to make it gluten free. AND I did! To make sure it's gluten free, use gluten free oats, gluten free flour and make sure your baking powder is aluminum free.

If you've never used coconut oil, it is typically solid. Once temperatures reach about 75 degrees, it does turn liquid which is perfectly normal. (that's how I knew my house was warm over summer time! Ha!) I simply melted it down for this recipe which made it easier to blend. You could measure it out like you would crisco.

Once your ingredients are combined, it does produce a thick batter which you need to spread out. These molasses oatmeal bars come out thin like you would expect a bar to. I would imagine doubling the recipe in the same size pan would give it more of a thicker, cake-like texture. Either way, these bars came out so soft!!! They tasted good both warm and at room temperature. It reminded me of a mix of gingerbread and molasses, it felt like Christmas time on my tastebuds, yum!!

Gluten Free Molasses Oatmeal Bars

Gluten Free Molasses Oatmeal Bars

1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (1/3 cup if using regular)
3 Tbsp of coconut oil, melted
1 egg
3/4 cup gluten free flour (or use regular)
1/2 gluten free quick cooking oats (or use regular)
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray. Mix together brown sugar, spices, molasses, oil and egg. Add in oats, flour and baking powder. Spread in a baking pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Check out Golden Barrel on Facebook.

Looking for more recipe ideas? Check out our full recipe section.

Disclaimer: I was provided a jar of both products in exchange for coming up with a recipe to share using their products. All honest opinions are my own.

Pumpkin Pretzels

Ah fall is definitely in the air and with it, comes the fall crafts and food. I came up with a fun and easy project in the kitchen to do with the kids. We made pumpkin pretzels!! (no, they do NOT taste like pumpkin, they just look like pumpkins!)

Pumpkin pretzels

mini pretzels
green M&M's
a bag of white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp of shortening
food coloring

Lay a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Place your white chocolate chips into a microwave safe dish with the shortening. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Do this until the chips are melted. Add food coloring to achieve orange color (this is a mix of red & yellow). Dip pretzels in the orange-colored chocolate then lay on the cookie sheet. Place an M&M at the top of the pretzel for the "stem". Once you have your dipping done, place the tray of pretzels in the fridge to harden up.

Pumpkin Pretzels

I also have other holiday inspired pretzels! Check out my Shamrock Pretzels and Santa Hats!

Preschoolers and Peace

When I first started homeschooling, my children were close in age (4 children in 3 years) so it wasn't too hard when we started homeschooling as they all worked together. But we went on to have more children. Now I have preschoolers all the way to high schoolers and I'm finding myself in new territory. I recently heard about Preschoolers and Peace and was quite intrigued. Kendra Fletcher started the blog and went on to compile her best tips in the ebook Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet.

Preschoolers and Peace

This 47 page ebook is an easy read for the busy mom. She broke the book down into 13 chapters that include:
  • What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
  • Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
  • Planning Around Preschoolers
  • How Do I Keep Them Busy?
  • What Does a 2 Year Old's Day Look Like?
  • How Do I Get Any Pre-schooling Done?
  • How Not to Just Kill Time
  • Circle Time, or How We Pull the Little Ones In
  • Preschool Boys
  • When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
  • Preschool Chores
  • Planning for Preschool
  • When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
At the end of the book you'll also find a menu planning guide, a word of encouragement and a resource page. The resource page ties in with many of the chapters throughout the book by having clickable links that take you to the authors favorite resources which I found quite invaluable!

The author is a mom to 8 children ranging in ages 20 to 5 so she truly gets what homeschooling is like in the trenches with a broad age of children. I love how she not only shares her tried & true suggestions and tips but she also shares her heart.

She hit the nail on the head by stating that preparation is the key to successful homeschooling! One of the first steps to preparation she said is simply starting your day with prayer. I loved her suggestion of a prayer box by taking all those photo Christmas cards you receive and pulling them out during circle time to pray for those families.

Kendra also shares how she teaches her little ones to get into habits to start the morning off well. She feels that starting a routine when they are young, will help them once they get older in becoming more independent. She goes on to even show what a schedule looked like for each of her children with their ages listed.

I think one of my favorite sections of this book was when she shared ideas of how to keep toddlers busy! Some of the things she shared we already do (like rotate toys, helping mom with chores, make forts, etc). But I also gleaned some new ideas which I needed.

Have you heard of Circle Time? I hadn't known there was a term for this but this is something we do that is also talked about in Preschoolers and Peace. It's a time when you can gather all the children no matter their ages and do things together as a group such a prayer, memorization (which could be of planets, Bible verses, poetry, etc). We also use this time for a short devotion and right now we also do history as a group. Kendra also said she wrote an ebook about Circle Time that comes with planning pages.

We are big fans of starting our children out very young with simple chores and I appreciated how the author highlighted this same thing. She went on to list ideas of chores that a 2, 3, 4 & 5 year old can do.

I only scratched the surface of sharing about this wonderful resource. Preschoolers and Peace was an encouraging ebook to read and one that I know I will continue to reference the next several years. It's available to purchase for just $2.99 for the ebook. This book is geared towards moms!

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