One year at our annual Easter Egg Hunt a five-year-old boy spontaneously came up to me and thanked me enthusiastically for organizing the event. I asked him which was the best part, looking for the eggs or getting the prizes inside. He said that the best part was the running around and searching high and low for the eggs. At that point I decided that I was going to always have some kind of pursuit to every children’s party that we host. Rather than hand kids a goodie bag at the end of a party, I was going to have them collect parts of their prizes themselves.
So that year for our daughter’s birthday party we organized a treasure hunt in our backyard. I really wanted the invitations to look treasure hunt-y so first I watercolored a map onto watercolor paper that resembles the layout of our house, yard and back terrace. Here’s what the original looks like:
I added some blobs of ink to make the invitation look distressed and weathered. Then I scanned it and reduced it before printing it out on cardstock. As odd as it sounds, I took the beautiful cardstock printouts and crumbled them into balls over and over again. Our daughter enjoyed helping out with this step as well. You really need to wrinkle it up until the cardstock is soft. Then we flattened out the invitations, rolled them up, tied them with a black ribbon and dropped them in the mail.
The treasure hunt was so much fun. Now that our daughter is reading age, we’re planning another birthday hunt that involves written clues that the children have to read. More on that later in the summer…