ABC Treasure Hunt Activity

3.4 based on 379 ratings
Updated on Feb 8, 2013

What kid can resist the siren call of treasure? Kindergarteners, especially, love hands-on games with Mom and Dad. And this one fits the bill. But underneath all the pirate booty and the thrill of the hunt, they'll get solid practice in learning to recognize letters and sounds, using manipulatives: teacher code for objects they can touch. Pirates ahoy! Thar be learning in this here treasure hunt!

What You Need:

  • 26 brown paper lunch bags
  • Markers

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to label each bag with one letter of the alphabet with markers.
  2. Tell your would-be pirate that he is about to embark on a treasure hunt. Together, you'll find items to fill each of the treasure bags. But here's the catch: you must look for objects whose names begin with the letter on each bag. (For example: A=apple, B=ball, C=car, etc.)
  3. Help your child sort through his toys, search the kitchen, troll the living room. Urge him along with questions like, “What is this?” or “What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word when you say its name?” When he tells you the sound, for example “bah” for ball, ask him what letter makes that sound, then ask him to put it in the appropriate bag.
  4. If your house is short on certain letters, take your quest to the street! Walk around the neighborhood looking for plants or other objects to fill the empty letter bags.
  5. All right pirates, review! Once each bag has at least one object, ask him to reach a hand in, hold up the treasures, and recite their names and the letters they start with.

You can keep the bags and review one letter each day, or better yet, ask your child to make up a story using all the items in a given letter bag. Write down what he says and you'll have an instant book, ready for homemade illustrations, and sure to be treasured on the road to reading.

Mary Anne Edwards is a freelance writer with teaching experience in preschool, first, and fourth grades. She has also taught second grade Title One reading groups.

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely