Easter Treasure Hunt
For The Fun of It
Do you remember when everyone dressed up in their spring best for Easter?
How It Used To Be:
I remember dressing in my brand new Spring outfit with my Easter Bonnet and my cute little Easter basket in hand. All the kids (15 or so) would line up on one side of a large lawn or field surrounded by blooming daffodils and wait for the word “Go!” Then we would race off to bushes, trees, and rocks gathering all of our Easter Loot. When we finished, we would sit on the porch to check out what we got. I didn’t know it back then, but each of us had a prize that was specific to us and we would be led to that area at the start of the hunt by our parents. That way we got our prizes and still had a great time finding eggs that would later be turned into a large batch of egg salad to feed the multitudes.
That kind of thing can’t be done today. For one thing, if you lay the eggs out the night before, like my parents did, the neighborhood kids would clear the lot before we got up (or maybe the hungry cats and dogs). Another possibility is: at the word 'go' all the kids and their parents would race off with kids grabbing on one side and parents on the other. Smaller kids get lost in the shuffle or run over by the masses. (Parents: I know you think you are helping your kids, but when you race at their side scooping up as you go, you are actually teaching your children how to be greedy.) These days, parents must get creative in making things fun for their little one(s). A treasure hunt is just the thing because it can be done inside.
Preparing for the hunt
You should know how many kids are coming and note their ages. Go to your local dollar type store or even flea markets. Purchase as many gift types as you can for each age group, along with something cute like a small stuffed animal for each. Separate the items into who will get what and put them into plastic bags or giant plastic eggs with each child's name on it--you will want to break the items down so that you have a bag or egg for each child at each 'Treasure' location. Don't forget to tuck a few pieces of candy in each and, oh yes, don't forget the eggs your children colored. You don't have to hide one in every location, but one or two is okay. I would put a colored egg for each of my kids if it was just mine. You could even ask for eggs the other kids colored the day before so you can leave one of theirs as well.
The idea is for them to follow a clue to find a treasure (conveniently sorted by name) along with another clue. That clue leads them to another room or level for their next treasure.
Now That You Have Your Eggs And 'Treasures'
You need to decide how many 'treasures' you will have and where you will hide them. The more the merrier; however, the smaller your space the more limited you will be for hiding areas. If they are too obvious the kids will see them before the hunt even begins. I did things like in the oven, (cold of course) or in the bathtub with the curtain closed. Get creative with this one.
The more people helping the better for this step because you can have someone take the kids outside for bubble fun or a quick game of catch while the 'treasures' are hidden. With small spaces you can have a helper hide the items once the kids are in a separate room reading another clue if necessary. This was how I did it. I would have each clue send the kids to a different level (upstairs or down). Then when we left the area to follow another clue my daughter would hide the next treasure. I had all of the treasures hidden in the basement until Easter Sunday.
Here I should ask the big question.....Are you good with poems and rhyming?
(Don't worry, you're not being graded on this one.)
Pssst, I left some poems for you at the end, just to help you out. Feel free to use them.
Here Comes The Fun Part
Create silly clues for the kids to try to figure out the next hiding place. If you are using the oven, for example it could read something like:
Parents use this for cooking our food; It gets real hot and then gets cool;
Yummy meals that we like to eat; They fill our bellies and move our feet.
I typed up the clues and printed them like a letter on spring-decorated letterhead. I wrote a few words of encouragement and then the clue. I always signed it the Easter Bunny (for the younger kids), or Your Pirate Friend (for the older ones). Each location would have one bag for each child and maybe a special treat, an egg for each, or just a couple of extra candy pieces--keep it even so there is no fighting.
You can then have the first clue sitting in baskets that you are handing out to each kid or you can have it sitting right at the door or even somewhere near where everyone can see it when they come in. (You can have parent's of little guests bring a basket for their child so you don't have to buy too many.) Now call on the elected 'helper' who will read the clue and help the kids 'figure them out'.
The final treasure might have a letter from the Easter Bunny vowing to make the clues more difficult next year, or a paragraph praising the kids' hard work (or both). I would put the special gift for each kid here as a final hurrah. Once, I even put certificates printed out and rolled up with ribbon. One for each child praising their abilities for getting through such a difficult hunt. My kids wanted me to put them on the wall for them (but not for long because there are other things much more important to them now that spring is here-lol).
Once The Hunt Is Over And The "Treasures" Found....
At this point, we usually allow the kids a chance to open their treasures and we collect the real eggs for the feast today (or for lunches over the next week). The kids are tired, proud, excited about their new things and eager to play with them. If the weather permits (and you have an area where they can go) let them go outside for some play time before dinner. Since I usually put bubbles in one of the treasure troves, they can play with them outside.
The kids will have a ball figuring out the clues and racing off to see what the Easter Bunny left them, and they will be exhausted when you put them to bed for the night. I know that one of the problems with Easter is that the kids are hyped on candy and all excited about the day and their gifts that they don’t sleep well that night. Then don’t want to go to school the next day. A treasure hunt will wear them out--the longer the hunt the more tired they will be. Make the hunt late in the day for more effect.
For The Fun Of It
Are you the cuddly bunny type?
Enjoy Your Easter Treasure Hunt
I love watching them squish up their faces as they try to figure out where the next treasure will be. I love to watch them eagerly race off to find the next item once they do figure it out. And I especially love to see the surprise on their faces when they go into a room and find a treasure that wasn’t there a minute ago! Talk about magic, right?
If you like to have something ready before they get up, you could have a small stuffed animal on their bed when they wake up. Or, one year I left a note taped to their door telling them that there were a few treasures hidden in a very special spot to give them a warm up for their hunt later in the day. I would then put a little poem that was easy to figure out for them. Generally that spot was in my room in the closet.
Easter Time-Just For Fun
Easter is a time to celebrate the spring.
The birds are loud as they happily sing.
Let the kids go out to play in the sun.
Tell them to get out of your hair and run.
Make the day seem bright and clear.
Even if rain or clouds make it drear.
Use the hunt to make them smile.
You'll be glad you went the extra mile.
If You Aren't Good With Poems
I have listed a few below that you can use with my compliments. Of course just a quick clue can be used instead of poems. You can tell the kids the Easter Bunny did it all, or you can tell them you did. Once my kids were older, they just wanted the goodies.
This place is very cold, believe me; it keeps the milk I love to drink.
The gifts you see are hard to see; open the door and you’re in the pink!
In the tub:
You get in this place with your little duck; to wash yourself so you’re not yuck.
You get inside and get real wet; when you step out, you’re cold I’ll bet!
In a closet:
In here your clothes hang up with taste; to play inside there’d be no space.
You stack your shoes in neat little piles; they hide in the dark till you need their styles!
In the entertainment center:
You watch movies from the box in here; a game or two, or a story of fear.
Cartoons you see, and commercials too; I’m hiding behind all the things you do!
I Know They Are Silly, But The Kids Love Them
And you will have a ball watching them racing around and squealing when they find the 'treasure'. Keep the clues simple and easy to figure out and keep the treasures small so they hide better and your Treasure Hunt will be great! Maybe you could even ask neighbors for help and participation (or not). I hope this helps you have a great Easter Treasure Hunt. Oh, before I forget-the more you do the hunt, the easier it gets!
HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY SPRING or whatever you like to call your celebration of the ending of Winter. I call it 'Finally, it's warm again!'---LOL.
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds