A DIY “Amazing Race” for Kids!

Posted February 22, 2014 by jimhigley

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NOTE: Click the above photo (or click here) to see my appearance on CBS Chicago where I talked about creating your own Amazing Race for Kids!

 

I actually went to far as to print an application to be on “Amazing Race.” It was four of five years ago. I even had a good lead on a partner. But then we saw how much time we had to set aside were we chosen.

Dreams.

So my newest strategy – a really fun DIY version of the Amazing Race for kids! And while they’re having fun, you’ll help them build a little character a long the way.

Here’s how to do it: 

I found a great website, ChicaAndJo.com – that had everything I needed to make this project. Here’s the specific link to their Amazing Race party. For a few dollars, you can purchase all of their great templates on-line and then download both PDFs and “Word” documents that you can customize.

Building an Amazing Race Clue Box

This is simple. Just pick up a simple black mail box at your local hardware store:

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Print a Clue Box cover (from the ChicaAndJo party kid), cut it to fit the front of your mailbox, laminate it, and adhere it to the front with double-stick tape.

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Making Your Clue Envelopes

I believe the template has ideas and suggestions for how to make authentic Clue Envelopes. I simplified it, and just made them by 1) Printing the fronts; 2) Cutting them to fit 6″ x 9″ white envelopes and 3) adhering them with spray adhesive.

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Making the Detours, Road Blocks, Fast Forwards, Speed Bumps, and More…

Again, the templates with the kit are great. Just create challenges and clues using the “Word” template and you can print them out on a color printer.

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And Making it Fun!

You can come up with a ton of activities that will make this fun for kids: contests, sports, trivia games, puzzles…the list is long.

But what I did is make the challenges that were fun but helped strengthen some of their qualities of CHARACTER – which is really important in helping kids succeed in all aspects of life. Here’s a quick summary of six things to do:

TEACH YOUR KIDS TO JUGGLE! 

– It will keep them really busy, it’s challenging, and they’ll have to practice over and over. This is great for learning about COMMITMENT!

TALK ABOUT FAMILY HISTORY / BUILD A FAMILY TREE

– Kids who know about family history have stronger SELF-CONFIDENCE so tell them stories! And don’t shy away from stories that are about tougher times: when kids know that their relatives experienced curveballs, it helps them realize that life has ups and downs.

TEACH YOUR KIDS TO PLAY CHESS!

– Great for strengthening a child’s PERSEVERANCE because the process of learning how to play chess involves a lot of “failing”….and it’s great for kids to know that they can learn from mistakes…

HAVE  A NEIGHBORHOOD TREASURE HUNT

– Make it age appropriate treasure hunt for your kids. It can be right in your neighborhood or maybe you go on a treasure hunt in a local museum! It’s a great way to ignite their CURIOSITY

WRITE LOVE NOTES AND THANK YOU NOTES

– I’m talking the old-fashioned writing of notes (or drawing pictures) for relative, teachers, or coaches. GRATITUDE is such an important character to build and this is an easy way to model it for your kids.

GO CLIMBING! 
– Climbing is great for kids! It can be a backyard tree or your local sports center that has a Climbing Wall! Climbing actually strengthens a kid’s EMOTIONAL CONTROL (a child has to keep their nerves under control when climbing!). This transfers in later life as adults…and really gives kids a great advantage in tough, challenging situations!

HAVE FUN! USE YOUR IMAGINATION! AND ENJOY THOSE NOOK AND CRANNY MOMENTS WITH YOUR KIDS!