Care to excite your kids into hunting for treasure? This is a perfect family activity for summertime! I would like to share our method for cooking up some delight for Captain. This activity takes a bit of planning, but is well worth the efforts! Burn the edges of some paper, create some clues, and find a cool treasure to hunt for (how about THE BLACK CAT’S EYE DIAMOND?), and your kids will be busy little pirates and full of imagination for an entire week 🙂
Here is a giant, glass jewel that I purchased at Michael’s Craft Store for $4.99. It is big, heavy, and very sparkly. You can use this idea, or find another treasure that would excite your kid/s. I tried to find this online to leave a link here, but they only sell them in the stores. They are usually on rack at the end of an aisle, near the flower vases. They also come in pink, red, blue, green and clear. I like the black one with iridescent colors in it and named it “The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond”. If there are multiple kids then perhaps some smaller jewels, coins, or something like that…
You will create 7 “main clues” that will be left for the child to discover when they wake up each morning, and 6 “hints” as to what the treasure is. The “main” clues will guide them to a location, preferable outside somewhere, where they will discover the “hint” in the form of a little puzzle or clue as to what they are searching for. The main clues can be written on any paper, but a kind of tan paper give it a bit more of an “antique” look. Burn the edges of the main clues with a lighter (you may find yourself burning paper in the night after everyone is asleep 🙂 The main clues can rhyme, or not. We also threw in a little math and some word scrambles. Our clues can be seen here below. They probably won’t make sense to everyone else, as they are custom to our kid, but she was delighted:
Once your child figures out the main clue that you left them in the morning, they will race right off to find the treasure hint. Basically, on a little piece of paper, I left a fun clue as to what the treasure is, and for the last treasure-hint-clue, I told her what it was:
Every morning Captain raced right to the counter to find her main clue! She talked about it all week and was really into it. On day six, when she discovered the scramble clue that mentions The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond, she was almost too excited to sleep….
For the 7th day main clue, guide them to the place where “X” marks the spot. Basically I dug a hole and buried the jewel in a burlap sack that was tightened with twine into a bundle. (Kids love little realistic details, and when she uncovered a dirty ball of burlap, she gasped.) I covered the treasure with two sticks shaped into an “X”.
She found the “X” and started digging…
It’s in here!
It’s real! The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond is REAL!
Showing Dad her treasure.
Friends, I can’t tell you enough how worth this activity is! Coming up with some clues and hints wasn’t difficult, and it was fun to see my kid’s imagination go crazy and her patience grow. Most fun activities are over in a day, but this one stretches over a week, and I was surprised how patient she was. She seemed to like that there was no quick end to it. I also recommend writing up your clues ahead of time. I left the first clue for her on a whim, and then would find myself trying to whip something together at night for the next day 🙂 My husband and I had some sweet time together burning paper in the night, when I finally caught up with myself and got the rest done for the week…
If you decide to plan a treasure hunt for your kids, I would LOVE to hear about it. What treasure would you use? What would you name it?
Until then, happy adventuring. Remember being a kid during the summertime? These days of magic end so quickly. I try to remember to scoop them up, close to my heart. Some day I will wish that I could plant jewels in the ground and go treasure hunting with my sparkling child.
Here’s to the good ‘ole days of now! Karen