Studies show* that kids love a great scavenger hunt.
This year we combined those two components and unveiled a surprise on Valentine’s evening; little did I know that it would be me receiving the gift!
Thanks to the bargain-loving folks at TravelZoo, my husband and I splurged on a small ski getaway near our home. To make the reveal fun and to incorporate themes of love on Valentine’s while using the Bible, we made a scavenger hunt to tell our secret.
- I wanted the kids to find the words “We’re going to Crystal Mountain” in the riddles, so I did keyword searches for each word on Bible Gateway and found verses for each one.
- These verses were copy/pasted separately on 5 different sheets of paper along with a discussion question following each.
- Additionally, I printed out separate copies of each verse and bold printed the key word that would help them figure out the riddle. The printouts went into numbered envelopes that were hidden in the house for step #5.
- As we sat together on the living room floor, we had our kids look up each verse, read it aloud, and then do brief activity for each (FREE DOWNLOAD AT BOTTOM).
- After each verse was read, the kids had to hunt for the corresponding numbered envelope and not open it. Once the envelope was found, I gave them the next handout (Amazing Race style).
- After all verses were completed and all envelopes found, the kids opened 5 envelopes and pulled out the verses with key words in bold. It only took them moments to unscramble the bold printed words and figure out: ”We’re going to Crystal Mountain” !
Insert cheers and craziness!
As fun as it was to surprise them, the Lord gave me a gift in the process of discussing these verses. For example, one of the verse activities asked the kids how they could better love their brother and sister. Can you believe that each of their answers revealed a personal weakness they saw in themselves? We didn’t have to coach them or help them understand how to better love one another. They got it!
In another activity, we read about how everything belongs to God — from the mountain peaks to the depths of the earth. Our discussion centered around how this truth can give us comfort. Here’s what I heard:
- “God can control everyone and everything, so we don’t need to be scared.”
- “God owns everything, even us, so He knows what’s right for us.”
- “Nobody can defeat God — He’s in control of everything!”
I realized that little by little, through discussions and reading and stories and games, our little ones–and yours– have hearts that are increasingly soft; hearts that long to worship God.
That’s the encouragement for today, and that’s the reason for everything we do as moms and dads. May we all be given the precious gift of seeing our children embrace this faith as their own, and may we see this work as a joy and a privilege.
For you: a printable of the verses and discussion questions we used! Click on the image to print!