Friday, July 29, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Chore Cards

Days playing at Gramma’s sure are fun for all. But when it’s time for clean up, well it’s not so fun.

Where does a body begin? How can I help my little ones figure out where to start when I’m not at all sure myself?
I took photos of groups of like toys; things that are stored together.

I printed them in my photo program (so I could get 4 to a page) on regular paper. I used Clear Tar Gel Medium (because I already had it) to glue the pictures onto card stock making sure to completely coat the whole back surface area and edges. 

Then, working quickly, I used the Gel Medium to coat each side of the card stock allowing each side to dry completely before turning it over and coating the back. I did several coats to make the cards more durable. It will take a while to thoroughly dry, so don't plan on using these right away. Be careful to not glue it to your work surface.

I tried using regular Elmer's glue to see if it would work instead of the medium and it worked just fine. I went with the Gel Medium because it seemed to give a harder tougher finish. There are acrylic mediums that would also work great, and I'm sure Gorilla glue and maybe even wood glue would work. Do a test on them before you commit to it and decide which is best for you. And yes, these would be great laminated but I don't have a home laminator, and frugal Gramma here won't pay to have it done ($1.99 per 10 ½ by 8 ½ sheet at self serve at Kinko’s, I would have needed 5 sheets)  or use up her gasoline to go do that when what I have works just fine. The idea is for the cards to be more durable, thus the reason for the use of medium. You could use the cards as they are, if you wanted.

Now my grandkids can take a card and have a ‘scavenger hunt’ to find everything in the category on their card and put it in its place. More like a game than a chore. It really helps keep them on track. Little ones don’t always know what is meant when you say clean up your mess/toys. To them it looks just fine the way it is, and perhaps they don’t know what exactly is expected of them.

Give them a card, and show them where ‘home’ is for the items on their card. Kids understand that everything needs a home; it’s something they can relate to much easier. A tote or basket is a handy helper here, and makes gathering toys more fun.
But the preferred way for my grand kids to gather toys is to use a doll stroller. I have 3 strollers, but I think I need to get more. Using the Scavenger Hunt Chore Cards sure has made clean up time easier and a lot more fun!

P.S. Yes, I have very blue carpet. For an explanation, click here.

Update: It's usually dry and hot here in AZ, but it has been very humid lately. My chore cards at times feel tacky, I don't know if it's because I used too many coats of medium on them, the humidity, or if I should have just used a different product. If I had to do it over again I would use only the acrylic medium, or a spray on acrylic sealer; not the tar gel medium. Of course I could still use just glue, or a modge podge type of product. I''ll let you know if something else works better. The cards are great tools to help the kids clean up and have fun while doing it, the process of making the cards just needs to be tweaked. :)


  1. This is a great strategy. What I really need, though, are chore cards for my daughter's house. When I try to help the children clean their own rooms, I am totally nonplussed at the little pieces that I find. (The kids, of course, know exactly what they are and what set they go to.)

  2. Is there a reason you didn't just laminate the cards?

    1. Yes, I explained that reason in the post. Laminating would work very well. Or use contact paper.


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