Treasure Hunt Party - Plastic Bug Hunt
Cathy in Maumee, Oh USA
Treasure Hunt Party For two years I have had treasure hunt parties for my child. He loved the first one so much we had to do it again. You simply figure out a series of clues that will lead the children to the treasure. Ours are outside and it also helps to have permission to use the neighbors' yards.
Things you might want to consider: putting the name of each child invited on a particular clue so that no one child takes over the hunt, and making sure the clues for the non-readers do not require reading. This is how last year's went. I had one of the visiting dads dress in a funny mask and ask each kid where he could find another (So he asked Brian where he could find Charlie and he asked Charlie where he could find Brad etc.) You have to figure out who each child knows. The last child, of course, was the birthday boy.
The dad then delivered a note saying that the neighborhood trolls were mad because they weren't invited to the party and they took the goody bags. They would give them back but only after some work. Then followed a long series of clues. One was a blank piece of paper and one of those color change markers. Kids had to figure out to scribble with the marker to see the clue underneath that we had written on the paper. One was a video - kids had to figure out they needed to go inside and watch it (we used our camcorder to record a plastic superman singing the next clue).
One was a bucket and shovels - kids needed to figure out they had to dig in the sandbox. One was one of those big foam puzzles, in pieces (buried in the sand box), that when all put together had the next clue written on the back. One was a whole ball of yarn wound around a neighbor's yard that the kids had to follow to the next clue. One was a pile of plastic Easter eggs that they had to open to find the one egg had the clue. We wrote silly notes like "Happy Halloween!" to put in the other eggs. Use your imagination!
We also incorporated a plastic bug hunt. The trolls left a note saying they were hungry and wanted their favorite birthday treat (to be found in the "Trolls' Favorite Recipes" cookbook. I had made this up and left it on my cookbook shelf in the kitchen. The kids had to figure out where to look for it.
The recipe called for 10 spiders, 5 beetles, 12 cockroaches, 1 Pooh-bear etc.. Mixed with 2 cups sand and 1 cup water and 1/c grass. You would not believe how much the kids got into looking for the plastic bugs (and the Pooh-bear) we had hidden in the yard and mixing up this glop. Then they followed the Trolls' instructions to leave the mixture on the side porch and wait 5 minutes for them to eat.
The final clue lead them to the neighbor's yard where the goody bags were in a tool chest (it kind of looks like a treasure chest). It was a little work to put together, and you'll be surprised at what clues are hard and which are easy, but they loved it! You'll need to adjust it to the age of your child (this was for an 8-yr old) too. I have found that this works for children who are a bit too old for the typical backyard party but aren't' ready for pre-teen activities.