Long Distance Activities: Treasure Hunt

Because of my travels, I have been out of the country for two Mother’s Days.  It does make me feel a little guilty and I’m fully aware that when I emigrate, I’m going to miss a lot more.  But if I can do something that still makes us feel close, even though I’m on the other side of the world, I’ll do it!  When I was a kid, my Mum used to do treasure hunts for us to keep us entertained, now I’m older, I’m returning the favour!  It obviously takes a bit of planning, for example, this year I had to lay it all out on the Wednesday before I left for Mexico, ready for Mother’s Day on the Sunday.

Why a treasure hunt makes the perfect surprise

I still live at home so I tend to use my bedroom for the treasure hunt…that way I know clues won’t accidentally get moved!  I then leave the card out before I go away, which contains the first clue, so it makes for a nice surprise as it just looks like a normal card, but it a lot more!  The trail then leads to where the gift is hidden!  I love being creative and hopefully it shows that I’ve put a lot of time, effort and thought into my present!

This year, me and my Mum are going to Poland for a weekend break, while we are there, we plan on visiting an Escape Room, they seem to be popping up all over the world now in various cities.  The idea being, you have 1 hour to solve the clues to escape the room!  So this year I tried to make it a bit harder to get her in training for when we do the real thing!  It was nice to be able to do something that relates to one of our future plans!  It took her an hour to complete it and she even needed help from my Dad, whoops!

Treasure hunt clues

Treasure hunt ideas

  • This year, my treasure hunt had 10 CLUES.
  • It was travel themed, purely because that is what is most obvious in my room so the clues wouldn’t be THAT hard to find.
  • I hid clues UNDER ornaments.
  • Remember old school suitcase padlocks with keys?  I padlocked the zip of a bag to another object…I then had 2 DIFFERENT keys with a number on each, using a simple, really long sum, the answer then matched a number on one of the keys.  (Think 15 + 3 – 6 / 2 x 5 – 10 + 2 – 4 + 7 / 5 x 2 = ??)
  • My favourite clue, involved the giant world map on my wall, I gave a co-ordinate which then related to 1 of 3 destination guide books in which the next clue was then hidden.
  • Part of the gift was hidden in a suitcase, rather than it being locked with a padlock, I tied the zips together with a bit of string that I had knotted together 10 times, annoying and time consuming to unpick!
  • I bought a trinket box from Morocco (that TWISTS to open…this stumped her for ages, she knew it opened a weird way but just couldn’t remember), it has 4 compartments and in each I put in parts of a sentence that made up the next clue…they were obviously shuffled up and had to be put back together like a puzzle.
  • Just because it’s funny and yucky, one clue was hidden in the toe of my slippers, 50/50 chance of getting it right the first time!
  • Hidden inside a Russian doll…

The possibilities are endless!

Things to remember

Being in Mexico, I was 5 hours behind and I didn’t know how much access I’d have to the internet.  I had to make sure that if they got stuck, they’d be able to still solve it without my help.  In the card, along with the first clue, I included an envelope with individual answers to every clue, things like: how to open the Moroccan box and exactly where to find the clues (i.e. on the floor to the left of the cd shelves).  I knew most would be fairly obvious, but my Mum did need to use 2 of the clues so I’m glad I included them!

I have more ideas on activities to ‘leave behind’ for my family once I emigrate.  I won’t be able to do things like this all the time but if the early days are going to be the hardest, at least I can try and make it a little bit easier by leaving something fun and creative for them to do when they miss me!

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