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Sunday, September 30, 2012

St. Anthony Treasure Hunt Activity

"Dear St. Anthony, please look around; something is lost and must be found." 
So why is St. Anthony the patron saint of lost things?  

An old story tells us that St. Anthony, was using a valuable psalter (Book of Palms) but the book was unknowingly carried off by a novice. St. Anthony prayed very hard that the psalter would be found. After seeing an alarming apparition of St. Anthony, the novice returned the psalter. St. Anthony may be the Patron of lost things, but more importantly he is the patron of lost souls — those who have fallen to mortal sin, have abandoned the Church and have grown apathetic to the practice of the faith.
Personally, I often like to pray to St. Anthony when I feel like I have lost my way in life -when I'm just not sure what it is God wants me to do. 
St. Anthony is such an AWESOME saint!
 
(Some of the above information was taken from: The Real Presence.org  Please visit their site to read more about this wonderful saint!)

 Last summer, for Saint Anthony's feast day, we did a fun activity! It was a treasure dig! The kids had to dig through the rock block to find the treasures hidden inside! They had so much fun! 

I thought it I'd share it with you all now because it could be used as a fun activity for an All Saint's Day event. But please remember it will take a few weeks to dry so plan ahead! 

You will need:
  • Mixture of sand and corn starch (3 parts sand to 1 part corn starch)
  • water
  • old bucket or other large trash-able container
  • Mixing stick or spoon (trash-able)
  • Foil cake pan or disposable plastic cups
  • Small "treasures" (beads, sequins, shells, small plastic animals, etc.)
  • paper towels or napkins
  • popsicle sticks for each child
First put your sand and corn starch together in a bucket or other container. (Choose a container that you don't care if it gets messed up. The sand will scratch it.) I used about 6 cups of sand and 2 cups of corn starch to fill my 13x9 inch foil pan.

Add enough water to make the mixture liquidity with a consistency of a very thick cake/cookie batter.  You don't want it to be runny, the more liquidy the mixture is the longer it will take to dry and the harder it will be to break apart. 

Pour half the mixture into a pan. (Use something that can be trashed later.) I used a 13x9 inch foil pan. You could also use plastic cups if you want to give each child there own personal treasure dig.


Now add your treasures!!


Make a layer of the toys over the sand/cornstarch mixture.


Now top it with the remaining sand/corn starch mixture.
Pat the top of it with your stir-stick or your hand to get it to settle. 
You might need to push the treasures back down in as you pat it.


As the water rises to the top, use some paper towels or napkins to pat the water off the top. 
Continue to pat the paper towel/napkins on the top until you stop seeing excess water. 
Every hour for several hours, pat the water from the top. 
After a few hours the water should stop rising. The amount of water that rises depends on how liquidy your mixture was.


Place your sand-cake(s) in a warm dry spot for a week or two. (maybe three)
I placed mine on a foiled cookie sheet for easy transport. 

After a few weeks you should have a rock solid sand-cake!
(As my kids joked, "Mom's baking again!")

Now that the "cake" is dry have the kids use wooden popsicle sticks to dig into it to find the treasures!!

My kids LOVED it!!!
But be warned it is messy and dusty when they break it up! 
You might want to do it outside or in a garage.

Have fun and God Bless!
St. Anthony, pray for us!
~Jennifer

3 comments:

  1. This looks like fun. I know my daughter would love it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks great! Could I put it in a very low oven (like 200) to speed up the drying a little bit? I don't want to damage what's in there, but it would be easier and faster than leaving it out (now that it's getting colder outside) for two weeks.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks! Depending on what you put in it I'd be afraid it would melt them. I've put salt dough in the oven at 200 and I was surprised how hot that made the dough! It might be safer to place it near a heat source like your forced hot air vent, a wood stove, electric baseboard heat, or on top of your fridge. That would be safer. But if you try the oven I wouldn't leave it in long at all. Good luck and God bless!

    ReplyDelete

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