The finding game

There’s a game my dad played with us that we just loved, and we would beg and beg for him to play. It was sort of made up, so we didn’t have a name for it that I remember, but let’s call it the Finding Game. It’s best for approximately ages 3 to 10.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort on the parent’s part, so it works well if you’re cooking or cleaning or just want to sit and relax. (Who does that???) You can play this with them without stopping what you’re doing completely.

Here’s the basic gist. Dad would say, “Go to your room and bring back the smallest yellow thing you can find.” There were five of us, so we’d all fly off to our rooms and dive head-first into our toy boxes, surfacing only when we’d found something. Then we’d race back downstairs and present it to him. Whoever’s fit the description the best would win that round and get one point.

Then he’d say, “Find something green and shiny” and off we went again to rummage.

You wouldn’t have to use a point system; you could just say, “Find something that’s soft and pink,” and anybody who does find something soft and pink would “win.” Or you could give out more than one point per round, one for each child who finds something appropriate. And you could adjust this according to the children’s ages.

You could go up to 10 or 20 points, or if you don’t want to make it a competition, it could simply be for fun. Another option is to give the point to whoever’s fastest at bringing back their little something. However, going for speed could get out of control, and both the children and the house could suffer some injury. Play at your own risk. :)

Also, if your kids share bedrooms, ground rules would have to be laid before beginning in order to avoid clashes such as “She dug through MY toybox, that’s not fair!” What belongs to who and where you’re allowed to search should be established right off the bat.

However you do it, it can be educational, especially for younger children who are just learning their shapes and colors. Have fun with it!

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