Blog Entry DIY & Suggestions

Enjoy Adventure & Mystery Right At Home

Travel the world with your children from the comfort of home!

Fun for the whole family!

One of the best things about my husband is his odd ability get stuff given to him FREE. Sometimes times its something stupid or something nobody needs in life ever, but every so often he comes across a gem like the vintage school desk for our youngest or the massive trampoline the whole family is now enjoying. His most recent find is definitely one of my favorites! This is one of the few good memories I have from my childhood, so when my husband walked in with a few of them last week I was so excited to share this happy memory and fun experience with my children. Who remembers the Top Secret Adventures club from Highlights magazine? If you know what I’m talking about there’s a good chance you were a fellow secret spy/agent, or at least wanted to be. It was such a big deal when I was in elementary school, everyone was in the club, and for once that included me.

If you don’t know about this club I highly recommend it for any child especially homeschoolers. Once a month your little spy/agent will receive a top secret file with a mission in it! Using the workbook, puzzles, character cards, and other materials your children will need to solve all of the puzzles to find out what was stolen, who did it, where they hid said stolen item and any other mystery’s the folder may hold. Most of the workbook pages are easy enough for small children around 6 or 7 but with a little parental help a 4-5 year old could do them as well depending on reading level. The first folder you receive is China and will contain a workbook, guide book, suspect cards, decoder ring, a map, a passport, and stamps to keep up with the adventures as your child goes. Some of the packs may have a few extras as well. The packs my husband brought home came with key-chains for each place. I don’t recall getting them when I was little, I’m not sure if every pack has them or if they still come in them, either way it’s still a very cool, fun way to learn about the world.

Get started with your Top Secret adventures by mail now! Link to sign up for your little spies below!
Get started with your Top Secret adventures by mail now! Link to sign up for your little spies below!

Sadly not all 7 of the packs my husband was given are complete, but luckily the China one seems to be all there so we were able to start working on it and see how well the kiddo would enjoy it. As soon as I seen how interested the kid was in the whole activity I immediately signed up to start receiving them. With this whole quarantine thing messing up our yearly vacation plans the youngest took it harder than the rest, but while doing the China pack she cheered up and said us pretending to go there was a “brain vacation”. We can use our imagination and travel the world without ever leaving the house. It’s obviously not the same, nothing can truly compare to seeing these wondrous places with your own eyes, but it helped the kid feel better none the less. We’ll still try to make it somewhere this year, but we are having fun with our imagination for now, which is very important for young children. The youngest hasn’t always been the best at the whole imagination thing. That kid is so logical about everything, it’s been really nice seeing Little open up like this, an unexpected perk of these wonderful packs.

We love these packs and incorporating them into our curriculum has been so easy and so rewarding. The workbook pages are filled with different puzzles, mazes, I-spy style games, word searches and more. Each page gives a clue upon completion and teaches things like spelling, problem solving, facts and history about the selected place and so much more. Since we are working on the China pack we have made it our place of them month and I have been able to work in several additional lessons along the way for every subject, it has been amazing for our reading lessons.

I have also been using this to teach note taking and test prep. I know a lot of homeschoolers don’t believe in or give tests, (which is fine by me, as I said I support everyone’s choices on this path) but we do testing here and we start pretty young. We have started all of the kids on note taking and studying techniques and habits before age 6, and I’m very glad we did. It was not something anyone ever bothered to teach or help me with, and I failed damn near almost every test I took until high-school. I think that’s why I decided start the kids so young and dedicate so much time to it. I felt stupid and I don’t want that for them, plus what does hurt right? Kiddo will be the youngest of all the kids to start learning all of it. Little was given a small “spy” notebook and we are learning to take notes along the way about what clues we have, what we need to do next and what to remember, as well as any extra fun facts and things we learn that we found interesting/fun to know. We have all learned something new about this wonderful far away place.

We are so excited to start getting these awesome adventures in the mail and we’ll continue to use these fun packs for history, geography, and any other lessons I can work them into. I will start making worksheets that go along with the packs and share them as we go. I’ll do my best to make the worksheets usable even without these specific materials as well.

I highly recommend signing your little ones up for their own adventures by mail! They will receive over 20 “missions” once a month for around $16.00 a month and the first one is FREE! It’s definitely worth the money in my opinion! If this club isn’t for you and/or your children they do have a few others, all priced pretty reasonable. The whole Highlights site has a lot to offer. Check it out, you may find something fun you and/or your children would like!

I included the link below to sign up for your own and/or check out the site. I also included the link to sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. I have shared about that before but if you missed it, it’s books sent by mail once a month to your children, and like the HHD site here, it’s always 100% FREE! No shipping cost, nothing, FREE! We have been receiving them since the youngest was born. Some aren’t that great but for the most part they are pretty good books and they are all brand new.

If Anyone out there knows of any sites like this please send them my way! I’m always looking for new clubs and sites for free and/or cheap educational fun materials both to use personally and to add to the Sites & Blog page here.

Keep teaching. Keep learning. Be happy. Enjoy!

You can also subscribe on Amazon! Link to the right!

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