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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Wonderlab Gallery Scavenger Hunt in London Competition

Can you take on the Statoil Wondroid Challenge?

A One-off competition invites children in London to build a robot on a virtual scavenger hunt, and discover the world of science this summer

On 12th October 2016, all eyes will turn to Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery opening at the Science Museum in London. To celebrate its launch, families in London are invited to embark on an exciting geo-location scavenger hunt, where they will be in with a chance of winning an exclusive private view of Wonderlab. The new gallery is designed to ignite interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) while enjoying a fun day out. With more than 50 spectacular cutting edge exhibits, such as a giant interactive orrery, live shows and immersive experiences, Wonderlab is set to wow the whole family.

Curious at heart and on a mission to teach children the wonders of science, Wondroid is a friendly robot built by engineers at energy provider, Statoil. Unfortunately, Wondroid has lost some of his robot body parts. To enter the competition, families in locations where Statoil’s offices are based, these are London, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth, should simply visit the Statoil webpage  where they can download a free app to their mobile device and watch the story unfold with Wondroid in any one of the three Statoil based locations.

With the school holidays in full swing, keeping the kids entertained can be a full time job. By following the App’s simple instructions, families can work together to solve three clues provided by Wondroid. Providing a perfect opportunity to explore the great outdoors, families will need to visit three science-themed landmarks in London. In retracing Wondroid’s steps, children will enjoy moving from one landmark to another in a scavenger hunt for the modern age. Everyone who helps piece Wondroid back together again will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win tickets to a private view in opening week of the gallery, as well as a host of other wonderful Wonderlab prizes. The competition closes on Monday 19th September 2016 and the winners will be announced on Friday 23rd September 2016.

Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery is dedicated to STEM learning, a curriculum designed to effortlessly integrate four disciplines; science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Built on the belief that the future will be shaped through innovation and curiosity, Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery is the ultimate space to help encourage engagement and show the exciting possibilities offered by STEM. The gallery has been designed to help encourage children and adults alike to be more curious and ignite passion for the science.

“Our industry’s future depends on advances in science, engineering, technology and maths so that we can provide affordable, sustainable energy for generations to come. So we are very excited to be supporting Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery. The gallery will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to see the world differently through show-stopping, creative and rewarding science-related experiences. We hope as many families as possible take up the Statoil Wondroid Challenge with a chance to win a visit to Wonderlab and experience the greatest interactive science gallery in the world before anyone else.” said Dominic Martin, VP Communication, Statoil.

Unlike any exhibition of its kind, Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery allows children to interact with scientific phenomena; a rare opportunity that is destined to enthral visitors of all ages. This exclusive Wondroid competition gives families the chance to experience the interactive gallery before it opens to the public, an opportunity to be remembered for a lifetime.

It’s a truly wonderful experience. A chance to to get as a family and have fun, learn and even win some prizes.

Are you ready to hunt?

 

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Summer crafts with YellowMoon

My younger boys love to craft, for one it keeps them busy and out of mischief and for another it is fun and they love to see their final finished product, of which they are proud of.

YellowMoon have 1000s of craft products online ranging from creation packs, themed activities, scratch art, fun with wood and fabric and all of the craft essentials you will need to create a masterpiece.

We was recently sent a box full of YellowMoon goodies to try out, we received:

  • Seaside Wooden Windchimes (pack of 4)               £3.49
  • Boat Ceramic Coin Banks (box of 4)                       £4.99
  • Sand & Glitter Art Picture Sheets (Pack of 8)        £2.99
  • Glitter Shakers (Set of 6)                                          £2.99 was £3.50
  • Star Hero Foam Mask Kits (Pack of 4)                   £3.49
  • Mermaid Peg Doll Kits (pack of 4)                          £3.99
  • Gnome Cushion Sewing Kits (Pack of 2)                £4.99

 

  • Bring the joys of the seaside into your home with these wonderful wooden wind chimes. Each pack comes with four assorted designs – yacht, beach hut, lighthouse and a bucket and spade. Each windchime is already supplied with metal chimes which are attached via some cord.

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We painted our wind chimes with normal kids craft paint and then drew on them using sparkle decopatch pens.

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A fun craft activity that make colourful hanging displays in and around the house and garden

  • The Boat ceramic money boxes come in a box of 4, ready to be decorated with paint, pens or even sequins.

These little boats, approx 12cm come with a removable plastic stopper and are a fabulous way to encourage children to save money.

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The boys enjoyed getting messy with this activity and as soon as they boats were dry they were placing them on the sideboard and filling them up with coins that they pinched from my purse 🙂 They now have their own little individual saving banks and whats great is that they know what one is theirs as they decorated it themselves.

  • Create some fabulous pieces of art with sand or glitter with these Sand & Art picture sheets. The pack comes with 8 assorted designs – Fish, Boat, Flower, Robot, Butterfly, Spaceman, Rainbow and a Dinosaur. Each sheet is 21cm x 15cm. Whats great about this activity is that the sheets are pre-cut revealing a sticky surface, no gluey mess or sticky hands!

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We used the Glitter shakers to create our little art masterpieces. They come in 6 assorted colours in a 15g pot, they can be poured or sprinkled.

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  • Become a master of disguise with these Star Hero foam masks, they come in a pack of with assorted designs. Each kit comes with foam masks already with the elastic attached and self adhesive shaped stickers.

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The instructions are easy to follow and even my youngest who is three found it easy to peel off the backing from the stickers. Every child loves to act out being a hero and these kits are ideal for role play. The foam is strong and sturdy making them perfect for play outside and in.

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We even made a moshi heroes from the kit

  • The mermaid peg dolls were fun to make but the youngest found it a little difficult as they are quite small and fiddly for his little hands, he still gave it a go. The kit comes with 4 assorted colours – Green, Blue, Purple and Pink. Each kit includes wooden pegs, foam pieces, wool and self adhesive pearls and felt pieces.

I wasn’t sure if my boys would enjoy making the mermaids but I was wrong, they concentrated on following the instructions and created their own little wooden peg dolls.

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using his peg to keep Dads papers together

  • These little gnomes are very cute and an ideal introduction to sewing for the little ones. My son loved this activity, it really helped with his concentration. He picked up the sewing really quickly and was so proud of what he had produced. Each contains 2 assorted designs, each with pre-punched felt shapes, self adhesive felt pieces, wool, plastic needle and stuffing. The Gnome cushion size is 24cm.

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The pack

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What the pack contains

My son enjoyed the sewing part as much as he enjoyed stuffing the gnome.

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Decorating the gnome was easy as you had pre-cut self adhesive stickers to use and the instructions were easy to follow. The instructions have no words, but just pictures which makes it ideal for younger ones to follow

Oliver woth his final gnome creation
Oliver with his final gnome creation

Hope you like reading this post, pop on over to YellowMoon and see what other crafts they have to offer.

No payment has been received for this post. We received the crafts to do at home as part of being a Yellowmoon blogger

 

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Twinkl Review

Are you a Teacher? Childminder? Nursery Nurse? Or a Teaching Assistant like me? Then there is an online website called Twinkl that offers the largest collection of free and premium downloadable and printable primary teaching resources.

Twinkl can help you with display resources, lesson plan ideas, Powerpoint presentations, worksheets and role play resources.

For the past month i have been using the Early Years and Primary Teaching Learning Resource Website as part of finding resources for the classroom but also printing off work for my 5 year old to do at home. There is a vast amount of subject covered in the resource section, ranging from literacy, classroom management, maths, topics and things that we love like minibeast and the seaside.

I found a minibeast Check list that i printed out for the children in my nursery to do as it was their topic at the time, we took them out onto the playing field and walked around looking for the little bugs that were on their and at 3-4 years old they found it easy to follow as the pictures were clear and all they had to do was put a mark in the little box next to the picture.

Joseph my little boy who is 5 and in year 1 at school is quite a late developer in his reading and writing but as the school year has gone on he has improved dramatically, using Twinkl at home has helped a lot too. Under the resources page for KS1 i found a lot of work that i could print off for him to work on at home, the worksheets Contractions Butterfly, which are available for premium members, is great for reinforcing the use of apostrophes by demonstrating how the letters from different words are omitted when the two words are combined into one. Joseph has been learning this in school but struggles slightly with it, he understands what an apostrophe is but finds it hard to read works with them in.

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I sat and listened to him reading out the words on the worksheet and then reading the words that i cut out for him to glue on, he looked up at me and said

“Is will not, won’t?”

I was really pleased with how he sat and worked them out for him self and was quite surprised at how much he actually knows and can do.

 

clever boy
clever boy

Next i printed out a set or letter formations from A-Z, Joseph confuses a lot of the letters with each other like p and q or b and d, so i thought that this would help him learn how to form each letter, I know this is what they teach them in school, in their handwriting books so doing it with him at home should help him improve. There is a set of letter formation worksheets for each letter of the alphabet. Each sheet enables children to practice letter formation and apply it using the images below. Joseph found this fun to do and even asked to do more!

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Their really is lots of different resources to suit lots of ages and abilities on the Twinkl website and there is also a lovely community available too, I joined their facebook page and found lots of interesting activities to do with the boys over the summer from what other members have put on there.

I have stocked up printer ink and paper ready to print out lots of fun worksheets for the boys to do over the holidays.

A premium membership is £29.99 a year, that’s as little as £2.50 per month! Definitely worth it, you could buy a workbook for your child once a week and it would cost a lot more than that. Being a premium member gives you instant access to their full range of 88,000 printable resources and activities.

What i could write about this website just wouldn’t do it justice, all i can say is take a visit and see for yourself! You wont be disappointed! There is so much to look at and print out, i could go on forever.

I was given the access to being a premium member for the purpose of this review, may i add thought that i was already a member of this wonderful resources site and have used it on many occasions, for work and home use.

 

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