Breaking Out! Escape Room Challenge at Home for Children

Escape rooms offer exciting challenges that are heart racing and fun. They encourage children’s problem solving skills with code cracking, clue solving and calculations to be made.

As a family we have visited a few escape rooms and the children really enjoyed the mystery and challenges that were involved in finding the clues to escape the room. They are brilliant activities for families that help to combine your skills and work as a team.

What are escape rooms?

An Escape Room is a physical and cognitive activity where you have to find clues and solve puzzles to escape from a room. It might involve padlocks, keypads, physical, mathematical and literacy problems to solve and many more. As you enter the room you are set a time limit where you need to complete the puzzles and solve clues to reveal combinations to unlock padlocks. Some rooms create an immersive experience with music and sound effects. Some may have a background story to escaping and others may just be about puzzles. Many escape rooms offer props to use in order to solve the puzzles, but also help to get you into the mood of escaping the room.

Setting up the escape room

I would like to say that it was easy, but it took me some time to think up some of the clues to use. I took to pinterest and facebook for some inspiration. Pinterest is ideal for discovering new ideas.

I first bought some padlocks, I went for number and letter combination ones.

I didn’t really want to lock the boys into a room (plus none of my rooms have locks on them) So I decided on using a box with the locks on them instead. The idea being that once they found the clues to the locks they would open up the box and find a key inside which would then unlock the back door.

I decided on not going for a back story or a theme just because my head hurt with putting it all together. But, I did tell them that they had an hour to escape in the back garden otherwise they wouldn’t get to do an Easter Egg hunt. I also told them that they had to work together to solve the clues and that they would have to run around the house to look for the clues.

I placed the box on the table along with three envelopes; each containing a clue.

Envelope 1

Inside the first envelope

They quickly realised that the first clue was in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book so they ran upstairs to their bookshelf to search for the book. Once they found them they then had to look inside to find the next clue, which was a piece of paper with holes cut out. The boys first thought that it was a dot to dot. So I gave them a clue to take it to the first piece of paper. The holes were numbered and they had to line up the paper with the words underneath, following the numbers to reveal a hidden message.

“The first clue is in the fridge”


Racing to raid the fridge, not sure what they were looking for. They soon found that the small puzzle box was out of place.

The boys had to solve the puzzle, but it wasn’t as easy as you would think! The puzzle had a message written on the back of it, so it had to be solved back to front. They used the picture on the box as a guide, flipping over the pieces to the opposite side. This was tricky, but working together they managed to solve it.

The puzzle revealed a riddle. The boys love a good riddle so I thought they would like this clue. In fact it was too easy for them, straight away they said ‘Book’!

Back upstairs to the book shelf they went, having no idea what book they were looking for. I told them that maybe the puzzle was a clue to the book that they needed to search for. Finding two Cars books, inside one was some mathematical questions for them to solve in order to get the combination of the first lock.

This proved to be a little tricky for the boys and they then began to become competitive against each other losing the momentum of the good team work that they had been producing prior to this clue. Eventually after some arguments ,they solved the clues and had their first lock released.

Envelope 2

Inside the next envelope the boys came across a letter that said

“To work out the this clue, you need to read between the lines”

Inside the envelope was a letter, an UV pen and some rune symbols.

The boys had to figure out that they needed to use the UV light that was on the end of the pen to find the hidden sentence – To read between the lines.

I had hidden balloons around the house, with pieces of paper inside them. they had to pop the balloons to reveal the next part of the clue.

Some of the balloons had clues in them and some didn’t. This was lots of fun running around the house searching for the balloons and popping them.

I had written three riddles with number words in them, each number word had a number about it, this was the order that they had to use to unlock the next lock.

Using the rune symbols they had to solve the words and then place them into sentences. Each sentence was cut in half.

There are seven days in a week

Jak is nine years older than Oliver

A quarter of a day is six hours

Some of the runes represented a few letters, so they had to work out which letter would fit into the word.

They now had the next combination for the second lock

Envelope 3

The last clue was inside envelope 3. This was a bit like a treasure hunt. I hidden Match Attax cards in certain areas within the house, solving the riddles the boy had to hunt them down. Once the found all of the cards they then had to place them in order of highest attack and using the first letter of the players surname would be what they would use in the letter combination lock.

Finally they had unlocked all of the keys on the box. Inside was the key to the back door.

Where they were treated to an Easter Egg hunt.

I loved seeing the boys excitement when they were doing the clues, running around and enjoying them self. I was hoping that this would help them to understand the benefits of team work and although there was a arguments between them, I think that it taught them a lesson of relying on each other for help.

I found it hard being creative and putting it all together to form some sort game but I do think that what i did create was rewarding and fun.

Let me know if you set one up at home and how you found it?

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An Epic Day At Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

Are you looking for something to get your children out of the house and away from technology?

Let the children loose ready for an adventure on the ultimate obstacle course

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is a 1 mile obstacle fun mud run especially designed for children aged between 7 and 12. Mini Mudder gives children a chance to work as a team, get muddy, experience the thrill of adventure and explore their adventurous side. Each Mudder course features 8-10 obstacles that will encourage children to work and support each other.

What makes a Mini Mudder

  • Not scared of getting wet and covered in mud
  • Tough and Strong as some of those obstacles are hard work
  • Working together and helping others
  • Up for an Adventure. Mini Mudder promises to be epic
  • Agility is needed on some of the obstacles
  • Not be a whinger as only babies whine
  • Speed – running between the obstacles
  • Adventurous and ready to explore
  • Challenging – Looking at how to attempt the obstacles
  • Up for anything – Not afraid of getting stuck in

The Mini Mudder course consists of 8-10 obstacles along with lots of mud and water

  • Get tangled in Tumble Weed
  • Sprint up Mini Everest
  • Scale Mount Mud
  • Brave the Tunnel of Terror
  • Teamwork at Got Your Back
  • Conquer the Crazy Climb
  • Plunge into Mud Miles deep pit of thick sludge
  • Let the monkey in you come alive at Hangin’ On, Hangin’ Out
  • Slip through the cracks at Secret Agent Squeeze

Each Mini Mudder event is held alongside Tough Mudder. Each challenge starts on the hour every hour from 9 – 4. We was lucky enough to be invited along to the South London event held at Holmbush Estate.

Dad and the eldest boy have participated in local mud events in previous years so they were looking forward to seeing if lived up to its name sake and if it really was as tough as it offered to be. The youngest two have only ever looked on in awe from the sidelines at such events.

When I told the boys about the Mini Mudder challenge they were ecstatic and couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin. My boys are very competitive, so they found it hard to understand that the event wasn’t a race and that it was just for fun.

We arrived at about 11 and was surprised to see how bloody busy the place was, hundreds and hundreds of mud searching, adrenaline pumping adults all around gearing themselves up for the Tough Mudder Run. The atmosphere was great, everyone was in good spirits including the boys.

After a quick look around we made our way to the mini mudder arena, which wasn’t far from the finishing line to Tough Mudder. Whilst the younger ones were getting ready for their little adventure, Dad and older brother were making their way to the Tough Mudder start line.

Each Mini Mudder wave starts on the hour just after a little fun warm up with the mudder organisers. They are all then walked towards the start line and then let loose on the course.

The boys along with all the other children that took part were quick to get as muddy as they could. I mean who wouldn’t! Children allowed to get in as much mess as they can with their adults consent, that doesn’t happen that often.

It was lovely to see my boys helping each other over the obstacles and giving each other a helping hand when needed. They normally fight and squabble, but for one hour in that day they actually got along. I even witnessed them holding hands at one point. For once there was no sibling rivalry only support and friendship. There was no stopping them, they whizzed around the course in record time, taking on the obstacles like a giant in a playground. They showed determination and took on the challenges set with ease.

 

A fun day was had by all at Tough and Mini Mudder, Mummy was a little tired watching her boys get very muddy but it was worth it seeing the smiles of achievement on their faces. Each adult and child that competed the course received a headband as a keepsake. The children were rewarded with a Fruit Shoot drink at the end, it was much needed as well.

There were showers to clean yourself up and wash away as much mud as possible but we heard that they were quite cold so decided on changing in one of the toilets into clean clothes and just wiping away the mud with some baby wipes.

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They truly did conquer and all that was left to do was wash all of the mud out of their clothes (which took a good soaking in the bath for a couple of days)

If taking part I would advice you to take along spare clothes and shoes, baby wipes, black bag to place dirty clothes in, a towel in case you use the showers and cover you car seats with plastic.

To find out when the next Mini Mudder is available check out their website

We was invited along to participate in the event for the purpose of this post.

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Dioctipoid Puzzle Review

DIOCTIPOID PUZZLE REVIEW

I love puzzles and when i was given the opportunity to test and review these puzzles I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. As a young girl i had a rubix cube and used to really enjoy playing about with it, but i must admit i did cheat and i used to peel off the coloured stickers and place them all back into the correct places, tut tut!

I was sent a Dioctipoid 1.0 and a 2.0, the latter being the hardest of the puzzles.

The puzzles are of a sphere shape and come already set up, in a box sitting on its own little stand. The object of the puzzle is to slide the shaped segments around the sphere and soon the pattern that was once there becomes lost and that’s when the puzzle becomes challenging.

Dioctipoid 1.0 has 6 coloured different star shapes, light blue, dark blue, yellow, red, green and purple. Each star is made up of 5 pieces and there are 12 white diamonds of which do not slide.

1.0

The Dioctipoid 2.0 has 6 different coloured shapes made up of 7 pieces, unlike the level 1.0 their are no white diamonds.

2.0

I like that it comes with its own stand because once you have had a little play you can place it safely back onto the display on your side ready for later on in the day when you fancy another little go with it.

Myself and my son who is 9 years old have been both playing about with it for the past week and still to no avail have we managed to solve the puzzle and get it back to its original shape, and there is definitely no cheating with this one as each shape have NO stickers. The puzzle is made of hard-wearing good quality plastic and the slide is smooth. The colours are lovely and bright and very attractive. It fits just right into your hand, roughly being the size of cricket ball, it’s not heavy and comfortable to hold. My son found it a bit fiddly at first but soon got the hang of it and has really enjoyed trying to solve the puzzle.

It is a great little puzzle to take on long car journeys.

It is very challenging, involves concentration and good stimulation.

The Dioctipoid  is a great brain trainer for children, as we know children’s brains are like sponges and they have the ability to pick up new skills, it is helping them to problem solve which is a skill that they will benefit from when they are older.

This puzzle reinforces critical thinking, fine motor skills, and very challenging.

The Dioctipoid is designed for ages 8+ and can be bought at here for the 1.0 and here for the 2.0, currently being sold at £9.99 which i must add is a sale price.

There is currently a competition running with Dioctipoid where you can enter to win the swiss bank account. All you have to is to solve the puzzle in the shortest amount of time. To find out more about the competition take a look here.

So why dont you take on the challenge and see if you can do better than me!

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