Travis has lately been enthralled with finding “gold” rocks, leading to rock hunts all around our courtyard and when we visit the beach. Usually, I call any yellow or white ones we find “gold” rocks to make them special… but I decided to give Travis a real surprise at home!
Although normally it’s fun to do paint projects with your toddler, do this one while they’re sleeping – shh, it’s a surprise! Paint various rocks yellow (if your child still puts objects in his or her mouth, make sure they are too big to be choking hazards). For even truer color, you can spray paint them gold, but I have yet to find a spray paint that’s vegan. Let the rocks dry overnight.
The next day, bury them in a sandbox. If you’re indoors, a pan filled with coarse salt, oatmeal, or even flour makes a great sand substitute.
I told Travis I had a special surprise for him, and handed him a shovel. The hunt begins…
What’s that he sees?
The joy on his face was absolutely priceless.
He was so ecstatic from having found “real” gold rocks that he hardly knew what to do with himself. He reburied them a few times so he could dig them up again, and then we played with them all around the house.
I can think of a few ways to expand the game: creating a “treasure chest” to keep them in; pretending to be pirates on an island… Let me know what variations you and your child come up with in the comments!