Sunday, October 14, 2012

Super Fun Birthday Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt!

We celebrated out daughter's 4th birthday this weekend and her and her little cousins had a super fun time doing an easy 3-5 year old friendly Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt. Hardly any adult intervention was needed to complete the hunt, in fact we mainly just followed them around, cheered them on and laughed with them as they made their way around our house: 

1. Take pictures of 10-12 spots/things around your house
2. Print pictures and put picture #1 in an envelope, tape the rest of the clues in sequence around the following the other.
3. Write instructions on envelope and read it to the "Team." Ours went something like this: "Hey Team! It's time for your super fun Goodie Bag Treasure Hunt! Go to the place in clue number one to find the next clue! Good luck and have fun!"
4. Let the birthday child open the envelope and run to spot #1 to search for the next clue.
5. Corral the teenage boys that thought this was a race and each picked a little girl to team up with, explain to them at clue #1 that this isn't a race and that they have to STOP pointing out the clues and then finally banish them until you need their help to make sure the kids get down the stairs safely...
6. Try to keep up with the kids until they reach the last clue - I wrote an "X" on the clue and knew our daughter would know "X" marked the spot. P.S. The look on her face and hysterical calling to her cousins when she saw the X was priceless and I'm still cursing myself for not having enough room on my itouch to have video taped all of it :(

The first clue was taped to the front door and the Goodie Bag Location (the "X") was the dryer! The dryer location worked perfectly for us because we (serious, all this we actually should read I, but you knew that) could hide their goodie bags in the dryer, fill the dyer with inflated balloons and shut the door. This was the only way we could have set up the treasure hunt before all the guest arrived. The taped clues around the house were strategically in somewhat unnoticeable places, but the kids were so distracted beforehand I'm not sure they would have known otherwise.

Other clues were located: on the master bedroom mirror, under the baby's crib, under the dining room table (so funny to see all the little girls crawling between aunties legs looking for the next clue), in the shower, taped to the microwave door, inside the fridge freezer, taped to the inside of the playroom closet wall, etc. 

Honestly, I could not have imagined that this super easy to prepare for activity would have gone so well. It was so funny and rewarding to see them working as a team (for the most part) and celebrating their successes together. Each girl found clues, even the littlest one. I think they had more fun on the hunt than opening the treasure bags.

They went on their treasure hunt after we sang happy birthday and cut the cake. May as well have them blow off some sugar before opening presents, right?

I can't take credit for the idea. It is from Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. by Bobbie Conner (a gift from my Mom, thanks Mom!).

Do you have any winning birthday party ideas to share? I'd LOVE to hear them!!!

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