Today I was awakened at 6:15AM which is well before my usual, desired Sunday morning wake up time but I could hear my daughter exclaiming over what the Easter Bunny did! In the past, she basically finds a basket filled with goodies and goes on a sugar rampage – this year was a bit different. I staggered out of bed (my husband had just woken up as well and hadn’t even started the coffee – a problem in itself!) and called a halt for a moment while I pried opened my eyes. She was so excited – the Easter Bunny made her a scavenger hunt and it was in rhyme and a secret code. She loves mysteries and adventure so this was right up her alley!
Here’s the rhyme:
Happy Easter today!
You have a game to play!
The clues you seek
will solve the riddle.
So go take a peek
at your desk, in the middle…
I know, kind of lame but it was the best I, I mean the Easter Bunny, could do. So here’s how to create your own scavenger hunt with a code. Now keep in mind, my daughter is 7 – this can be used for just about any age but you’d have to tweak it for their level. I’ll be happy to send you my version but here’s the basics:
- Find a final resting spot for the Easter basket – make it someplace that will not be visible during the hunt – we picked the washing machine (it has a glass front so we covered it on the inside with a dark cloth).
- Come up with a sentence that tells the child where the Easter basket is. We ended up with “The Easter basket is in the washing machine”. Pretty tricky, huh?
- Assign each letter in the sentence with a number (if you had an older child or wanted to be more creative, you could use shapes, or other symbols). We did 1 = a, 2 = b, etc. but only using the letters we actually had in the sentence. There were a total of 14 letters so we had 14 clues.
- Write out the sentence using the numbers, and put a little line underneath each number so they can write the letters as they find the clues.
I made sentences for each clue (just did the sentences on Word and cut them in strips) and stuffed each one inside a plastic egg. The first egg, as you see from the poem above, was in the middle of her desk. Inside it was a chocolate egg and a clue that said, “1 = a, now go look in the pocket of your raincoat!”. Inside that egg, was another chocolate egg and a clue that said, “2=b, now go look in the vase on the piano. Inside that egg, was another chocolate egg and a clue that said, 3=c, now go look in the fern on the front porch”. You get the idea. We sent her in and out of the house for 14 eggs.
- As she gathered each clue, she wrote the letter under each number. When she was done, she knew where her Easter basket was.
Then came the sugar rampage. But not so much – her basket had a chocolate bunny, some more chocolate eggs, a pinwheel, a stuffed animal. I was determined to be creative and frugal this year. I tried to take the focus off the candy and onto something that we could do as a family, as well as spark some of her brain. Next year, we’ll make it more involved and have a bigger, more complex code. Make it a bit more challenging. She had a blast, though, and so did we. Not only that, it was extremely inexpensive – I spent less than $8 – we reused the basket from last year which conveniently still had the Easter grass in it. I’m going to gather up the eggs we used and put them right in the basket for next year. This is my year to be more mindful about what I do, and put my own organizing talents and creativity to work.
Email me and I’ll be happy to send you the Bunny’s clue sheet I made, and the clues! Happy Easter, everyone!