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Just for Giggles – Family Fun

Need a break from the daily routine that is just for giggles? Bored at work and need a serious distraction just before the weekend starts? Kids driving you crazy? Then look no further – Treasure Trails could just be the answer to your anti-boredom prayers. These family fun ideas will help you get fitter and more active – and relieve the boredom too!

Six Games You Can Play When Out Walking

Whilst we always want our customers to combine walking with solving clues, occasionally there may be a need to walk without solving a Treasure Trail, but doing something else. Maybe you’ve already done all the Treasure Trails in the local area or maybe you live somewhere where there aren’t any Treasure Trails (if you do, we’d like to know about it!). Or maybe you are on holiday and forgot to bring your Treasure Trails with you – although that isn’t a good reason, because we have stock in lots of local Tourist Information Centres, or you can find an internet cafe and download one!

Whatever, the reason – if you find yourselves out walking and need a game to play at the same time, here are our suggestions!

Six Games You Can Play When Out Walking - family walkingEye Spy

A perennial favourite, Eye Spy has been around since before our grandparents were even born. Children of all ages love working out the answers and don’t realise its educational value! It needs no preparation whatsoever and can last as long as you want it to.

Scavenger Hunts

This game might involve a little bit of preparation if you are a planning sort of person, but it could be a spur of the moment game when you just think up things to find as you walk along. In the countryside it could be a heart shaped rock, a white feather, a nut, a seed etc., In the towns it could be a bus ticket, a receipt, a take away menu or at the seaside it could be seaweed, a pink shell and so on – I am sure you get the picture!

Photo competition

Nowadays we don’t go anywhere without our phones, even for a walk in the country. Many of us own smart phones and it is easy to use the cameras that are an integral part of them. As you walk along you can snap a prepared list of subjects, birds, trees, buildings and so on and when you get home have a third person judge which one of you has taken the best photo of each subject. Great for competitive types!

Flagging

Six Games You Can Play When Out Walking - in the woodsWhenever I get tired on a long walk and start to flag, the best way to keep me going is to sing with me! From songs that match your stride such as the one that goes “left, left, left, left, I left my wife with 48 children, alone in the kitchen in starving condition with nothing but gingerbread left, left” to just straight forward singing favourite songs or songs with a theme – the most obvious being about walking!

Guess Who

Another favourite is guess who! This is the one where you describe a person and the others have to guess who you are describing. They can be famous people, historical or fictional characters or friends and family members. Its up to you.

Story telling

We always used to make up stories about the people that we passed along the way and had to use clues to fuel those stories. Maybe they are wearing a hat and the story is about how they came to own the hat or why they had put it on that day! Silly really, but great fun and a good way to walk without concentrating on how far or how fast you are going!

We could easily come up with another six, but now its your turn. What are your favourite walking games? Or games that you play when out walking? 

22nd July 2015

Posted In: Family Fun

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Children’s Treasure Trails – A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

The majority of our Trails are written with a family in mind, Mum and Dad (or Granny and Grandpa) with two children of 7 years and older. But we are often asked for Trails suitable for younger children and we do have a selection in the catalogue that work well for 3 or 4 years and upwards as they have either picture only clues or most of the clues are pictures and the very young can match a picture in a booklet with the real thing.

In no particular order here a small selection.

Trails in pedestrian only areas

For Treasure Trails to work well, the Trail writers need clue material and the best material is found in cities and towns rather than out in the countryside.  But with towns and cities comes traffic and that doesn’t always mix well with the very young.

The Liverpool St George’s Hall Treasure Trail is set in the heart of Liverpool and is ideal for young children. It is a very compact Trail and the route is entirely around St George’s Hall, which is awash with amazing architecture, stuffed with history and full of old statues, and the tranquil St John’s Gardens which back onto the hall. The whole area is pedestrianised (though you have to keep an eye out for the occasional vehicle) and should take about an hour and a half to complete. It’s suitable for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. Certain parts of St George’s Hall are open to the public without charge, including the old courtroom, so you can make a whole day of it.

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - One of the picture clues in Worcester
One of the picture clues in Worcester

The Worcester in Pictures Treasure Trail is also set around a pedestrianised area, the centre of Worcester. The clue is in the name as this Trail is made up entirely of picture clues.  Maybe whilst Mum shops, Dad can do the Trail with the children or whilst Dad watches Worcester Warriors in action, Mum can take the younger members of the family off for a bit of exploring!

Trails around gardens

The Harrogate 4 Kids Valley Gardens Trail is a treasure hunt which is entirely within the beautiful Valley Gardens in the heart of Harrogate, Yorkshire.  Families can discover many hidden gems in this Grade II listed garden, including 36 mineral wells, the New Zealand Garden and the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades. Within the gardens, you can also stop off for mini golf, disc golf or enjoy the playground, tennis courts or skate park, or take a walk through pinewoods. Take a picnic or take a break in the café for a great family day out!

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Weather Vanes are always so interesting
Weather Vanes are always so interesting

The York Rowntree Park mini Trail was written especially for the young ones.  All the clues are contained within a large park on the edge of the city centre. Children need to be accompanied, as there is a large lake in the middle of the park. As well as our fabulous Treasure Hunt Trail, there are plenty of other delights to keep you entertained within the park. The attractive ornamental lake is home to a host of noisy ducks who welcome any bread you may have spare. Watch out for the geese though, they’re not always so friendly! Model boat enthusiasts are also encouraged to make use of the lake. For the more energetic, there is bowls, tennis or a skate park, basketball courts and table tennis areas. For the youngsters there are two well equipped children’s play areas, with an array of interesting slides, climbing frames and assault course type paraphernalia for tots to toddlers to teens to enjoy!

 

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Look out for Romans!
Look out for Romans!

Trails to engage children in history

The Caerleon For Kids Picture Trail is all about the Romans and perfect for getting children interested in the history of those times. The Trail writer’s favourite clue is clue 3 where the picture is of a roman and the answer is lavatory paper! Children and adults often love talking about poo!

What no directions?

For a different experience of following a Treasure Trail, we recommend you try out the Barton under Needwood Pictorial Trail.  Every written clue is based on a photograph, so you need to keep your eyes peeled as you explore the village of Barton under Needwood in Staffordshire. The clues can be solved in any order! There are no directions, but the locations of the clues are marked as circles on the map on page 7 of the booklet. Be warned though,  at times the route is beside busy roads or by water, so it is very important to keep a close eye on children and dogs.

Picture only Trails

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Find us on facebook with this photo
Find us on facebook with this photo

Our Trail writers have written picture only Trails in some of our most popular locations including Bourton on the Water; Durham and Norwich and in all these places not only are there picture only Trails, but regular ones as well.  So, families with children with a wide range of ages could split up for the afternoon so that the younger members get their share of solving clues and working out the answers to the puzzles.  An example of a clue from a picture only Trail is “These sleepy felines should allow you to eliminate one possible hiding place for the gold, but Tommy Rustle has mixed the letters up to try and trick you”.  So you can see Mum and Dad will still need to get involved in solving the Trail.

Trails to do in the rain

And finally, move along please and mind the gap! This London Tube Trail has lots of picture clues and is perfect for families and adults looking for something different to do on a rainy or cold day! The Trail runs ‘downhill’ from Tower Hill Station to Earl’s Court and visits 9 stops along the way. It will take around 4 hours and whilst there isn’t much walking there are lots of steps, stairs and escalators to negotiate. We advise that you begin the Trail in the morning, after rush hour, to take advantage of the quieter period on the line.

Feeling inspired to solve the mystery of one of these Trails? We’d love to hear how you get on – find us on Facebook to share your photos.  Look for the picture of the ‘sleepy felines’.

15th October 2014

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