Home Activity

Cat in the Hat: Hunting for Treasure Up, Down, All Around

What's The Point

Being able to describe an object’s position in space relative to other nearby objects is a basic math concept that children will apply when they do geometry later in life. The classic treasure hunt is a great way to build this skill.

Related Game

Deep Sea Follow Me – Help Gari Garibaldi and his fish friends find homes in the coral reef.

This Activity Will Help Your Child

  • Build position vocabulary
  • Learn mapping skills
  • Follow directions

Book Suggestions

  • Above and Below
    by Tami Johnson
  • Over Under
    by Marthe Jocelyn


  • Box or bag for a “treasure chest”
  • Small objects for the “treasure” (toys, books, candies, pack of crayons, etc.)
  • Paper
  • Marker or pen

How Do I Do It?

  1. Before you start, talk with your child about where things are relative to where she is standing. Ask questions such as, “What do you see behind you?” ; “What is in front of you?”; “What do you see above your head?” and “What is under your feet?”
  2. Create a “treasure” by putting a collection of small, inexpensive objects into a box or bag.
  3. Hide the treasure in your house or backyard. On separate pieces of paper, write five or six clues that will lead your child to the treasure.
  4. Each clue should contain position vocabulary to direct your child. For example: “You’ll find the next clue under the table in the dining room,” or “The next clue is behind the coffee pot in the kitchen.” If your child is not old enough to read, you will have to read the clues out loud. More position vocabulary: on top of, inside, next to, above, in front of, up, down.
  5. Place the clues in different locations. The first clue will lead to the first location, where your child finds the next clue, and so on.

Take It Further

Play a simple “location” game with your child by asking questions such as: “What can you see under the table? “What do you see on top of the refrigerator? ; “I see something next to the fireplace. What is it?”; “What is on the bottom shelf of the bookcase?” “Can you name something inside the refrigerator?"