Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Easter Sunday Treasure Hunt


Or some tips on making the Easter egg hunt at your home a tad more interesting.
 
Our forest gnomes have gathered to discuss their strategy for the Easter Sunday Treasure Hunt.

All year I wait for this, and always have.  Easter Sunday.  Memories of the Easter egg hunt taking place as the sun only begins to emerge over the horizon.


Now I am an adult and parent, I no longer anticipate the joy of searching for chocolates, but relish the opportunity to be the architect of the hunt. 

I thought some readers might enjoy hearing about my plans for this year’s Easter hunt.  They are becoming more complex as Sylvie is growing older.  I know that some day they will involve some orienteering and GPS (yes, I’m serious).  I love parlour games and quizzes. It’s a good way of stretching out the fun.

There are lots of photos provided and I hope that they will give you some inspiration for your Easter Sunday Egg Hunt.  I shall be posting photos of our hunt on Easter Monday so you can see how we went.  Good luck and have a happy, happy Easter.

PS, I expect the balloon part of this treasure hunt to be the biggest hit.  I shall let you know.



The Easter Sunday Treasure Hunt

The night prior.

Sylvie needs to write a note to the Easter Bunny letting him know she’s excited about his visit.  We will put out a carrot and a glass of water.

On Easter Sunday morning, Sylvie will bound from her bedroom and find that the Easter Bunny has indeed, visited.  (Ubiquitous flour sprinkled on the floor with rough approximation of bunny prints made by hand).  The carrot will have been nibbled and the water will have been drunk a little.  The Easter Bunny will leave a note to Sylvie thanking her for her kind gesture with regards to the Bunny snack she thoughtfully left for him last night.  He will leave her fluffy ears to wear as she begins the treasure hunt. Sylvie’s parents will awaken to the excitement that is Easter Sunday. The Easter bunny has included in his note to Sylvie that she needs to look in the freezer to find her first clue.  It will have a pink ribbon on it.  The Easter bunny will explain the rules of the hunt, don’t open the presents until you come home and, pick up any rubbish.

Clue #1
If you have read my other blog on the Milk Bottle Easter rabbit you will know how to cut up a milk bottle for the useful plastic (if not, here is the link).

http://larajanetownsend.blogspot.com.au/2013_02_01_archive.html

Cut some milk bottle plastic into pieces and write the letters of the next clue on each piece.  Use some small blobs of blu tack to hold the pieces of plastic upright in a container (with lid).  Add some drops of food colouring to disguise the letters a little.  Tie a ribbon around the container.  Avoid using an overly large container or your little one will be frustrated with the amount of time they need to spend to crack the ice apart.  As you are awake (albeit just awake, remember it’s REALLY early), you will need to assist a little, and run the container under some warm water to release the ice block.  You can hand your child any hammer and set them up in an appropriate spot in your house (and old towel on the kitchen floor, the ice block on a cutting board is good).  The child needs to chip away the ice and retrieve the letters and you might need to help them spell out ‘bath’. 

Thus, the first present and clue will be located in the bath (in the bathroom).

The plastic letters held in place with blu tack in a 500ml container (with lid).

Green food colouring added to the water and an identifying ribbon added before placing in the freezer.
Clue # 2
(In the bathroom).
The clue is attached to the binoculars that have been left for the purpose of the treasure hunt.  Sylvie has to look through the window with the binoculars to see if there is anything unusual in the willows in the valley (the balloons strung from the branches will be the giveaway).  The clue instructs her to go and investigate.  I shall walk with her down the hill to retrieve the next clue.

I used a pipe cleaner strung through a hole made with a hole punch, easy to untie and remove.
Clue # 3
(At the willows).
The clue is a note attached to a balloon.  It tells her because it’s morning, the hens and rooster will be hungry and she ought to go and feed them.  This means she will find the next clue in the chicken’s feed bin.  (And so back up the hill).

Clue # 4
(In the chicken’s feed bin).
“When you have fed the chickens with grain, have a look and see if anyone has laid an egg” (sending her to the nesting boxes).

Clue # 5
(At the nesting boxes).
The clues are in plastic eggs, some have small chocolate eggs in them and the larger two have the clues.  One is a deflated balloon with the clue written on the side and the other contains a note with a pin.  The balloon clue is easy to do.  Either draw a picture clue (if the child is very young) or write out a clue on a blown up (but not tied up) balloon, deflate it and then put the balloon in the plastic egg.  For the second egg, cut a piece of paper and attach a pin with a note, “you will need this pin soon”.  The adult accompanying the child will need to inflate the balloon.

The plastic fillable eggs that will be placed in the chicken's nesting boxes.

An inflated balloon, a texta is used to write the clue, and the balloon is deflated.

The deflated balloon with the clue.

The contents of the plastic fillable eggs, note the fabric with the pin and note "you will need this pin soon!"
The clue explains that:
“Find every balloon in the forest and pop it to find the letters that will spell out your next destination”.  We will explain that Sylvie will need to pick up every piece of balloon plastic before you leave please or the gnomes (who live in the forest) will be unhappy.   Ahh!  So this is what the pin is for!

Clue # 6
(In the forest).
In 5 of the balloons I inserted the letters “G”, “N”, “O”, “M”, “E”. Roll each small paper letter up and slip them into the balloon and lightly puff them in before inflating the balloon. Remember the fun is in having quite a few balloons.  If you see a letter flutter down unnoticed, bring it to your child’s attention.  Sylvie will need to collect all the letters and then work out what they could spell (after an appropriate time, if she hasn’t worked it out, one of us will prompt her…!)
 
Roll up each letter and slip into the balloon before inflating.
Blow up quite a few balloons, the children will be delighted!
Clue # 7
(The gnomes are placed at regular intervals up the driveway).
As the clue has spelled out gnome, we hope this will trigger Sylvie to begin looking for them.  They are normally found in the forest, so this will be an unusual event for Sylvie, to see the gnomes in a long row along the driveway.

Clue # 8
(At the front gate).
The gnomes have left a pretty card with a blog address.  Sylvie will need to go back to the house and type in the address. Create a new temporary blog with only one post (the clue, a map). It is as simple as drawing a diagram on a piece of paper, scanning it in and uploading to a file sharing site.  Take the address and add it as a link into your blog.  The thrill for the child is typing in the address correctly and discovering something on the internet that directly relates to their life.  For smaller children you could use photographs.  The clue will be tied to our stockyards (and will have balloons attached so Sylvie can see her target destination from the valley).

Clue # 9
(At the stockyards).
Sylvie’s beloved bear, Sydney will be waiting (if it’s raining he will be under an umbrella).  He will have a note explaining that he has been waiting for a long time and is desperate for Sylvie to make him a cup of tea.  This will send Sylvie back to her cubby house.

Clue #10
(In the cubby house).
Chicky chicks are placed all about the tea party table.  They all are saying something in cartoon bubbles.  Only 5 of them have ‘* = A’, ‘+ = O’, ‘# = N’, ‘~ = D’, and ‘> = S’.  The others can say things like, ‘We love you so much Sylvie’, ‘Happy Easter Sylvie’ etc.  You can make them yourself (easy to draw, cut out and attach with a hot glue gun), or here is a PDF with the blanks provided for you.

Printable cartoon bubbles for chicky chicks

The tea party in the cubby house with the chicky chicks & their messages.

It's Easter Sunday!

Some of the cartoon bubbles hot glued onto the chicky chicks.

The text below is written on the blackboard, and it needs to be decoded.

Im*gine   y+u   *re   *   p*l*e+#t+l+gi>t. 

Fi#~    >+me    >*#~    *#~    ~ig.

Y+u   #ever   k#+w,   y+u   might   fi#~   *   ~i#+>*ur!

Here is the key:
a *
o +
n #
d ~
s >


I wrote this using two chalk colours and made the letters that required deciphering much paler so they were easy to rub off and write over.

Here it is decoded.

Imagine you are a palaeontologist. 
Find some sand and dig.
You never know, you might find a dinosaur!

This will send her to the sand pit (in our case an old inflatable pool filled with play sand).  Several Schleich dinosaurs have been buried in the sand.  Sylvie is very interested in dinosaurs and claims she either wants to be a palaeontologist or a swimming teacher when she grows up.  I shall have some brushes and a small play spade sitting by the sand pit as pretend palaeontology tools.

After this has all been completed, we are looking forward to a special breakfast of poached eggs, smoked salmon and a glass of champagne.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter!

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