Rainbow Beads Scavenger Hunt

This blog post was written by our special guest blogger Adrienne (theiowafarmerswife).
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (and rainbows in general), I created a Rainbow Beads Scavenger Hunt for my kids using Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads. Both of my kids, who are 3 and 17 months, had fun with this activity while working on the development of a variety of skills in the process.

My husband and I brainstormed rhymes for each color in the lacing bead set to create clues for the scavenger hunt. While each word didn’t rhyme perfectly, the sounds were very similar. I typed up the clues, printed them out and glued them to colored card stock. I changed the font color of the color words to correspond as well (i.e., I changed the word “red” to the color red.). You could also omit the rhymes and do very simple clues, such as, “Look for red under the couch” or simply hold up a red piece of card stock to indicate the color to find next.

The lacing beads come in five different shapes, so I chose one type of bead for each child, and hid them together in their designated spots along with the clue for the next color. Since the beads come with two laces, I gave one to each child to use to collect beads during the hunt.

To start, I read the first clue without saying the final word to allow my daughter to complete the rhyme. For example, “The first color to find is red, look under the spot where you rest your ______.” Once she said the rhyming word, we took a minute to do some critical thinking. If she was stumped, I asked questions to help her figure out where the bead might be.

As the kids collected beads, they laced them onto the laces. While this was simple for my 3 year-old, it was a great fine motor skills activity for my son. To keep the beads from falling off as we hunted, I tied a bow in the laces.

When my daughter found the final bead, I explained that she’d created a necklace with the colors of the rainbow, and she named the color of each bead as I pointed to it. Both of my kids love putting on necklaces so this was an exciting end to the hunt. They’ve been wearing the necklaces around the house, and they’re the perfect accessory for St. Patrick’s Day.

Tip: Extend the activity by encouraging your child to hide the beads for you to find, or hide the beads again in different spots.

One of the great things about this rainbow scavenger hunt is that it can be tailored to your child’s skill level. If your child is learning to read, have her read the clues to you. If you have a toddler, hide the beads in obvious spots simply for the joy of finding and putting the beads on the laces. During the hunt, we practiced fine motor and cognitive skills, color-recognition, critical thinking and rhyming words.

What skills would you incorporate into the hunt?
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Bio for Adrienne, Iowa Farmer's WifeAdrienne, aka The Iowa Farmer’s Wife, is a mommy blogger and mother of two who enjoys sharing simple ideas about educational activities for kids, frugal living and healthy eating. She lives in the Midwest, where she and her husband own a small farm. In addition to being a stay-at-home-mom, Adrienne teaches a speech course at a local university and serves as a co-coordinator of her local MOPS group. The Iowa Farmer’s Wife can be found on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Google+