Ellie has really been into scavenger / treasure hunts over the last year and told me 6 months ago that she wanted a treasure hunt for her birthday. Remembering how much I loved scavenger hunts when I was kid, I thought it sounded like a great idea. So as her birthday started to approach, I started thinking about clues. I made myself focus on the party early in the summer so that I could have plenty of time to come up with some good clues...I would think about rhymes and puzzles on my commute into the office in the morning or when I was falling asleep at night and pray I was able to remember them long enough to write them down. Judging by my daughter's reaction ("this was the best party ever"), I think it was a success.
We mailed the invites in a plain, brown envelope, to set the tone for the party.
Knowing that we would have about 10 kids at the party, I thought it would be best to split them into 2 teams. I used the same brown envelopes for the clues and printed either a star or moon on each envelope to distinguish the teams. The teams ended up being girls against boys...are we really getting into that stage already? While both teams had the same clues, they were in a slightly different order to avoid traffic jams and fighting.
Before the hunt began, each kid got a notebook, pencil, and magnifying glass - the tools of a great detective.
The girls quickly found the first clue at the piano and with the help of their reader, Elizabeth,
were on to Clue #2.
After finding Clue #4 on Ellie's bed, they headed back down stairs, to work on the next puzzle.
The boys worked hard on figuring out the clues.
Clue #7 (one of my favorites)
Clue #8 (they had to put the puzzle together to lead them to the Gator in the garage)
The boys figures out the clue and headed for the biggest mirror in the house...and found...
Clue #13 (one of the hardest clues)
Jason always tells Ellie and Max that when the streetlights come on, it is time to go inside. Ellie had no trouble with this clue, but it was a little tough for everyone else. The boys finally found the streetlight, with some hinting.
Clue #14 (Max proved his worth to the boys' team by knowing exactly what and where this toy was)
Clue #15 - Another puzzle.
The girls huddled up to figure out the puzzle clue that would send them to search under the dining room table.
Apparently this clue was not hidden too well...both teams found it quickly. (Please disregard our burnt up backyard. It's been a hot summer).
Clue #19 (another one for Max to shine - this guy is on the dresser in Max's room)
Clue #21 - The Final Clue.
The girls found the final clue first, and then the race was on to solve the last puzzle. They had to scratch out all the letters in the word BALL, then read the word that remained to find the location of the treasure...which took them to the dryer in the laundry room.
Everyone got little treasure chests filled with gold coins, compass rings, jewels, and other little toys. The birthday girl got the big prize...her own ipod. Sorry Kids, we couldn't get an ipod treasure for everyone...Now that would have been a party!
The awesome treasure chest birthday cake my mom made for the party. Another amazing creation by Gran.
Ellie got tons of great gifts. We have such generous family and friends.
And the final fun for the day was a pinata (which we almost forgot about). All the younger kids got a few swings at the ice cream cone, before handing the stick to the older kids.
What a fun day! I probably need to start thinking about new clues now, because I know Max is going to ask for his pirate treasure hunt birthday party soon.