This Word Web Treasure Hunt is a delightful way for emerging readers to improve their reading skills by tying letters and words with their real-life counterparts around the house or yard. By having players hunt down the other half of their word and read it aloud in order to find treasure, this game will give your child practice and purpose stringing letters together into words and will also strengthen vocabulary by reinforcing the meaning of directional words like under, over, around, left, right, and through that kids need to master at this age.
This game works best in big groups. If a one-word match-up seems too easy for the group, you can also string several words along the web strand as a challenge. Try this activity as a kids' party game or holiday activity--it's something everyone can enjoy!
What You Need:
- Several long strings of thick black wool, one for each player
- Room or patio space with enough room for at least 6 kids to clamber around
- Chairs or fence posts or table legs on which to attach yarn
- A 3x5 card for each player
- Treasure prize—candy, or a non-candy prize such as a book or pencil
- Hole punch
What You Do:
- Before playing the game, you will need to set up the web. For each player, take a treasure prize and find a hiding place for it.
- Write the location of the hiding place in clear block letters on an index card. Cut the card into two halves. One of these card halves will be for the player; the other half will be part of the spider web. Punch a hole in the right-hand corner of the right side of one of the word cards; punch a hole in the corner of the other card.
- Place a chair or table in the middle of the space you'll be using. Take one of the long yarn strings, and use it to tie one of the card halves onto the table or chair. String out the rest of the yarn around other objects in the space. At the tail end of the yarn, attach the other half of the treasure word card.
- Repeat Steps 1-3 for each player (up to 8), making sure than the yarn has plenty of chances to wind up, down, around, under, and through other strands.
- After the web is set up, start the game. Have each player grab one loose end of the yarn, the end where the first half of a word is attached.
- Players will then follow their yarn strand up, down, and around until they read the other half of the word.
- When they reach the other half, players should put their two halves together and read the card to find out where their treasure awaits. Remind each player to do his best to sound out each letter in the word.
- Finally, go find the treasure!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.