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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pirate Treasure Hunt

As you all know by now, my son just turned 5 and we had a pirate themed party for him. You have all seen the cool invitations we made for him and the cake but what is a pirate party without a treasure hunt? (I promise, no more pirate posts after this one. I promise, I swear!)

My plan was to have little written clues around the house that would lead to a pirate map and then the kids would have to look at the map to figure out where the treasure chest was hidden.

I was starting to get pretty stressed out about the clues because I wanted them to rhyme like I'm sure real treasure map clues did back in the day. I don't really have any rhyming skills and I was running out of time so I decided to ditch the rhyming clues and just take pictures of places around the house and have each picture lead the kids to another place/picture until they came to the treasure map.

My husband, who is a real traditionalist, felt very strongly that the clues should rhyme so he took it upon himself to write them. In less than 15 minutes, this is what he came up with...

If you’re reading this you’re on the path
To findin’ me hidden treasure at last
I hid it near here many long years ago
When without my booty I had to go

The British, they chased me, never cutting me slack
But the treasure I robbed they’ll never get back
It’s yours for the taking, no doubt about that
But to find it you’ll be needing my pirate treasure map

The map also is hidden near here
If you follow the clues it soon will appear

Here’s your 1st clue – look where you eat
Under a painting you’ll find there’s a seat
Under that seat, I’m happy to say,
You’ll find clue #2 to point out the way

Here’s clue number 2 – go climb a stair
Walk down a long hall, that is, if you dare,
You’ll find a blue chair that moves when you sit
You’ll find clue number three when you sit down in it

You’ve found clue number three, you’re proving quite clever
But you’ll need clue four if you’re looking for treasure
On a small porch there is a small table
You’ll find it there, if find it you're able

Aha, you are smart ones, you’ve found number four
Now look for some gravel and a white basement door
Walk up to that door and give it a slap
By the time you have done so you will be holding the MAP!

15 minutes, people! That's all it took him to whip these out! My husband has so many talents, but who knew!

I printed the clues out on paper with spooky skull clip art around the text and then we dipped them in tea for an aged look. My husband dried them with a hair dryer to get a parchment effect and then he rolled them up and tied them with ribbon so they looked like really official scrolls. On the night of the party he hid them in the appropriate spots and he read them the clues.

We had so much fun watching them run through the house to find each clue and then finally out through the basement and into my parent's yard to find the treasure chest! I'm not sure who had more fun, us or the kids!

I bought pirate hats and swords for everyone at the dollar store because you aren't a real pirate unless you have a sword! I also bought little flashlights so the kids could see as they were running through the dark searching for the treasure.

Here are the kids gathered around listening to another clue.

Here is a picture of the kids after they found the treasure chest. My husband spray painted a shoebox black and I embellished it with skulls and crossbones and filled it will beaded necklaces, jeweled rings, gold coins, plastic snakes and spiders, eye ball bouncey balls and lots of spooky
candy that I got 75-80% off at after Halloween sales. It was a really cool treasure chest but the picture doesn't do it justice.

And here they are dividing up all the loot!

I think the kids had fun. I know my husband and I did! I would have never thought I would go to this much trouble for a kids birthday party but it was cool working on a theme and carrying it out. We have always just had family birthday parties for the kids and I have always said that I wasn't going to have a friend birthday party until my kids asked for one. Well, Peter asked for one this year and I guess now, there's now turning back!


jennwa said...

My kids had a blast. They can not wait to see what you do for Sarah's party. The pressure is on.
You guys really did a great job.
Can I rent your husband out for all my poetry needs ?

Pam said...

You ARE a fun mom! Arrr, matey!

Honey+2B's said...

That looked like an awesome pirate party! You guys did great and I have to say that I am impressed with Dan's rhyming skills! 15 minutes? That's talent!

Pampered Mom said...

The party is all Thomas talks about he wants to do it again. He can't wait till Peters' next party. Although, next time we will not be going anywhere but home afterward. 1 minute into the ballgame he was ready to go home. HA HA HA!!

Anonymous said...

You are right--you will be doing themed parties for years now ;) Don't worry, as you seem to have a real knack for them.

Here from Works for Me Weds.

Melhams said...

I totally think there is money in scavenger hunt writing. Would he like to do some for my daughter's fifth party??

Anonymous said...

You saved my lifeeeeeeeeee thank you:) I need to do one tomorrow and supe-hiper out of time as my whole ceiling from kitchen had to suddenly be removed and house partually re painted coz of the dust that covered everything.. in the week of teh party which is tomorrow!! Thanks from perth-WA

Anonymous said...

THank you soooo much! I needed a treasure hunt tomorrow and I am last minute looking for clues I could use! This helped me more than you could ever know!

Charesa said...

Thank you for this post! I can't find the clues I used in the past for my pre-K class and don't have time to come up with them since I am in the process of moving! Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting!!!