Treasure hunt clues for hidden Christmas gifts

Written by j.m. soden
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Treasure hunt clues for hidden Christmas gifts
Why just wrap a gift when you can hide it, too? (Getty Thinkstock)

Christmas is a time of creating new memories and celebrating old traditions. A Christmas gift treasure hunt is an excellent way to accomplish both. Christmas gift treasure hunts take the simple task of giving a present to someone and stretches it into a fun and exciting activity. The multiple ways to complete a Christmas gift treasure hunt have their own unique twists.

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The final gift

On Christmas morning, parents often hold a particular gift for the end. This is especially effective when the gift cannot be concealed easily with wrapping paper, such as a bicycle or guitar. Rather than simply bringing that gift out after all the other gifts have been opened, consider bringing out a clue instead. You can place the clue in a box and then wrap it, or hide it deep in the branches of the Christmas tree. When your child opens the gift, the clue inside leads to another location where another clue is found. After a string of clues, the final location is where the present lies.

The string method

The string method is a variation that is especially fun for younger children. An initial clue leads to the beginning of a long string. If the child is really young, the clues can be bypassed altogether and you can just start with the string. Have the child follow the string throughout the house. Avoid dangerous places like steps if the child is young, but consider adding hoops to crawl through or running the string under a bed to make the hunt challenging. The longer the child follows the string, the more anticipation and suspense build for what lies at the end. You don't necessarily need to tell the child that the string leads to a gift. You can just as easily make that a surprise.

Treasure map

A treasure map for Christmas takes time and effort to prepare but can make for a memorable experience. Before the hunt begins, design a treasure map layout of the house. Rip the map into several pieces, but set aside the piece where "X" marks the spot of the treasure. This reduces the chance that your child will find the treasure before completing the hunt.

Hide the gift in a difficult-to-find location. Remember that once your child has the map, the gift will be easy to find. Place the final clue in a secret location. Then work your way backward. Beginning with the second-to-last clue, write directions on the back of the map piece that will lead your child to the subsequent clue that you just hid. Once you have only one clue left, which serves as the first clue, you can present your child with that piece either as a wrapped gift or simply by handing it over.

Once your child collects all of the clues, he can tape them together to form a map. Make sure that the starting point is clearly labelled and then have your child follow the map to discover the hidden gift.

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