- Yana Crane Photography
Pirate treasure hunt
My childhood was amazing. We used to run around exploring places, going on a beach and swimming in the sea, climbing trees and playing whole lot of outside games, including team games. One of my favourite memories is about that treasure hunt we had for 2 days when I was about 9-10 years old. There was about 10 kids of different age, all my neighbours. First someone discovered a bottle with a letter in a stream (later we found out it was placed there so we can find it). That letter lead to another and then another....all around our town. We had to look for clues and signs and read different maps which came with letters.
In the end we found old scuba diving device which we could use to dive in the Black sea and find lots of gold on a sunken ship. It was a legend of course and we were smart enough to understand that old device won't work. Older boys then told us it was their idea to set it all up and they were so happy it worked and we had so much fun!
Nowadays kids can't just run around (especially in Canada, where bears come to your backyard occationally). They have to be supervised and accompanied by adults. Still I really wanted to give my girls an opportunity to feel that excitement of treasure hunting even with me watching their backs. It took some time and a bit of preparations but I kept it simple this time.
Start with some books about pirates, may be a movie to begin with. Then it's up to your imagination how to unfold the whole quest. I found a bottle and placed a letter from the famous Black Beard in there with a story and a first clue. They had to solve riddles and puzzles as well as search around for other clues. Finally they found a map and in a while we set off to get the treasure.
My youngest is a puzzle Pro, also she got 2 answers out of 5 and was very proud of it! All the tasks was manageable for my 5 and 9 years old.
You can hide parchments with riddles around the house or in the backyard. On this one girls put puzzle together, got a picture with a fairy, "like rose" plants and a house. In a few minutes they figured out that the next clue was in our fairy garden (but they've checked all the fairy books before).
The tricky part is to hide the treasure in a public place without someone accidentally discovering it. I had to get there first and hide the box well. It would be no problem if you had your very own private beach or island. Otherwise, think ahead what can be a good place to hide the treasure outside.
Don't forget about outfits to bring up atmosphere and make it more realistic and fun.
It's all about memories, isn't it? That's why I decided not to put sweets in a box but real little keepsakes to remind about this day. Thrift stores are the best for this kind of finds. (And I had my own treasure hunt!) Girls loved what they got and I knew exactly what each one would like.
Let them explore, enjoy and be real!
It was a blast! Now my youngest wants a pirate Birthday with treasure hunt! Sure, why not? Those memories girls will cherish for many years just like I cherish mine! One thing I realized - don't give your kids many toys or treats, give them everlasting memories instead.
This summer I decided to offer this kind of documentary sessions because in my opinion these real stories matter, your traditions is worth to document! This stories are about you and your family - the most important things in life.
You choose your own event: it can be a pirate story, a fairy story, a berry-cherry u-pick, a beach session or any other kind of your own family fun you want to document, which has meaning to you and your kids.
Would you like to know more about organizing kids' quests? Don't hesitate PM me with your questions!
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