Flashlight Hidden Message Letter Hunt

Thanks to Energizer® for sponsoring this post.

The other night we were going to make s’mores and I thought it would be fun to have the boys hunt for the chocolate. I got the idea from the candy hunt that we’d been to a few weeks before while we were camping. The campground had hosted a flashlight candy hunt where they dumped a bunch of candy all around an open field and then had the dozens of kids find the candy using flashlights. The boys had so much fun during it but I thought I’d add my own educational spin on it to keep their minds sharp during the summer slump. Instead of finding the candy in the field I hid the candy in the house and had them hunt for rocks that would spell out the secret location of the candy.

I wrote one letter on each rock and used different colors for each word’s letters so that the kids could figure out which letters went together to help them figure out each word. For example, my hint was “in the kitchen where food is kept cold” (aka the fridge) so each word was written one letter per rock but all letters in each word were written in the same color.

While the boys were inside we hid the rocks throughout the grass in the backyard. Once it got dark they headed outside, flashlight in hand, to find them.

You’ll want a good flashlight for this activity. We love the new Energizer® Light Fusion Technology 3-in-1 flashlight because it features a spotlight and area light in one versatile handheld light. It also has sturdy fold-out legs for hands-free use and a pivoting head to direct light where you need it. Energizer® flashlights and batteries help power up the fun for all of our summer nighttime adventures.

After they’d found all the rocks they brought them over to the patio table and began to figure out the words. I was proud that they figured almost all of the words out by themselves. For the word “kitchen” I told them what it started with and then had them look at the other words to try and figure it out. Once they connected the “k” word with “food” they were able to guess that the word was kitchen.

When they figured out the secret message they were so excited and ran inside to the fridge to find the chocolate for the s’mores. This was a great activity and one I can see us repeating for many different things. We can have flashlight letter hunts for messages like where we are headed on vacation or what fun thing we will be doing over the weekend.

What fun message would you share through a flashlight letter hunt?

Embrace Messy Fun With Mud Creations

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Clean2TheCore #CollectiveBias

Lucas loves messy activities, whether it’s painting, playing with playdough, digging in a sensory bin or building castles in the sandbox outside. I thought making mud creations would be a fun activity for him so we gathered everything we needed for a mud/dirt kitchen and then he set out to create a mud “cake”. (If you are thinking this sounds like a super messy activity, you are right but don’t worry- I had the new all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI on standby so I knew I’d easily be able to get his shirt clean, bright and smelling fresh again).

Here’s what we had set out for our {non-edible} pretend mud creations:

  • dirt (*see note below)
  • water
  • colored sand
  • rocks of different sizes
  • fake flowers
  • kitchen tools (spoons, spatula, wisks, measuring cup)
  • metal baking dishes
  • cupcake liners
(*We used soil instead of dirt since that’s what we had available but you will want to use dirt if you have it. Dirt will form more of a mucky messy mud whereas soil is more of a soggy mud. Both are fun though and I don’t think the kids would mind either way.)
You can gather anything you find in your backyard or have in your art area. Other things that would be good additions to a mud kitchen include sticks, acorns, pine cones and pie tins.

I gave Lucas a chef’s hat to wear and set the “ingredients” out for him. I then let him get to work on his creation, giving him little direction.

He started out with a little soil, some rocks and some flowers. He then added water, mixing it while he went.

It was fun watching him create and I loved listening to him as he talked out loud about the steps he was doing. It was almost like we were in a real kitchen and he was the chef and I was his apprentice ;)

He made a layered creation, much like his favorite desserts, and topped it with the colored sand to imitate”frosting”.

After he was all done making his creation he loved digging through the mess to find all the rocks and flowers.

Of course he also liked squishing the mixture between his fingers!

As his hands got messier and messier, so did his outfit. Kids will be kids, right? He even used his shirt and pants as a napkin at times but I wasn’t worried about the mess at all (remember those new all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI I have?)

Once we had cleaned up our pretend mud creations I decided that we should end the afternoon with a creation that we COULD eat. Chocolate pudding, chocolate sandwich cookies and gummy worms combine to make “dirt cups”, one of our favorite fun treats!

I kept Lucas in the clothes he had been wearing earlier which was good because he ended up getting pudding all over himself as he made his snack and ate it.

Thankfully I had all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI in my laundry room because by the end of the afternoon, Luke’s shirt had dirt, colored sand and chocolate pudding on it. These new products are the first ever powder-liquid combination pacs and perfect for tough kid stains.

I put the shirt in the washer with one pac and it came out completely clean and ready for another day of messy play! (You can use two pacs for more soiled loads- just make sure to read the directions on the package and follow them exactly.)

You can find both all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI and all® POWERCORE™ Pacs Plus Removes Tough Odors at your local Walmart. Both products offer superior whitening & brightening along with a powerful clean. What messy fun will your kids have now that keeping their clothes clean, white and bright is easier?