Birthday Treasure Hunt…..Hunting for a Present

Happy Birthday to my monkey in the middle!   Today, he is nine!  Many birthdays ago, we established a birthday tradition:  present treasure hunts!  Since it is one of their favorite parts of their special day, I thought I would share it with you!  For more ideas for simple, inexpensive birthday fun, check out our Top Ten Birthday Traditions

Birthday Treasure Hunt……..Hunting for a Present! 

Mom has hidden clues all over the house……First Clue: Finding your present will be so nice. Get the first clue where we keep the ice. (He goes to the freezer…..)

Don’t give up………pursue your gift! Go to the place where you get a lift. (He goes to the mini-van….)


Hurry….hurry… there’s lots to do….. Go to the washer to find your next clue. (He goes to the washing machine….)


You’re doing great……. you’re on the right trail….. Go to the place where we get the mail…… (He goes to the mailbox…..)


Wow! Look at you! What smart boys! Go to a shelf that’s full of toys. (He goes to the toy room….)

How many more clues will there be? Find one more in an evergreen tree. (He goes to the backyard to look in our evergreen trees. We have three, so it will require searching!)


Stop…. no tears! Please, don’t weep! Get your next clue in the place where you sleep. (He rolled his eyes at me on this one! A “Mom-I’m-Too-Big-To-Cry!” kind of a look! He goes to his bedroom…..)


You’re almost there…’ll be a cinch! Take a look by Dad’s workbench….. (He goes to the garage…..)


An electric scooter!!  The prize at the end of his hunt!


Trying out his new ride……Happy Birthday!


 How to Make a Birthday Treasure Hunt

1.  Choose a birthday present as your “treasure.”  Some years it was a big present:  a scooter, a bike, a remodeled bedroom, etc.   Other times I have hidden a special family outing at the end:  “boarding tickets” for a ride on a friend’s airplane or tickets to a monster truck show.   A few years ago, I hid goody bags for everyone at the end of the hunt. 

2.  Make the clues.  I always make the clues myself.   I just think of places where I want the clues to be hidden.  Then I think of all the ways to describe that place.  Next, I use a rhyming dictionary to find a rhyming word to match it.  For example:  if I want to hide a clue in his bed, I think:   bed, sleep, pillow, lay down your head, tired, snooze, etc…..  Then, I type all of those words into the rhyming dictionary until I come up with a good rhyme. 

3.  Hide the clues.  Stow the birthday boy in a hiding place while you hide the clues and put the “treasure” at the end. 

4.  Hunt!  Grab your camera and go hunting!  



 1.  Make a treasure map.  Instead of clues, draw a map of your house and yard.  Label each spot on their hunt.  Have them follow the map to find their treasure.

2.  Hide an object instead of clues.  One year, we had a monkey party.  So, I went to garage sales and thrift stores and bought a bunch of stuffed monkeys.  I hid the monkeys at the tops of trees in a local park.  My son had to run around the park looking for monkeys in trees.  When he found them, he had to climb the tree and get the monkey.  After he found all of his stuffed friends, the last monkey was next to his treasure. 


 Does your family have birthday traditions?  Tell me about them! 

8 Responses to Birthday Treasure Hunt…..Hunting for a Present

  1. Meaghan July 19, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    This is to best idea I have heard. I am totally saving it for next year as we just passed all our birthdays.

    • Jennifer July 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm #


      Thanks, Meaghan! My boys love it! I learned that their birthdays don’t have to be expensive, just filled with things they love! This is one of those things!


  2. Deanna July 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    This is so much fun. I do it at Christmastime. Instead of wrapping presents and putting them under the tree, I send my kids on a scavenger hunt for their gifts. Last year, I asked my older two (20 and 17) if they wanted me to wrap their gifts and they said no because it was more fun to hunt for everything.

    • Jennifer July 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm #


      My sister does it at Christmastime, also! Great fun! I love that your older kids still love it! That’s precious!


  3. A Little R & R July 21, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    What a fun tradition!!! My parents do this with their Christmas stockings. I love it!!!

    I shouted your blog out on my Weekend Round up.

    Have a great weekend. Blessings from Croatia: A Little R & R:

    • Jennifer July 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm #


      You’re wonderful! Thanks for the virtual love! I am your newest follower!


  4. Megan Spires July 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I love this idea. We also love Treasure Hunts and make them just for fun and learning, but making one for a birthday boy would be so much fun. I’m so glad you shared this. And thanks for joining We Teach Boys at the We Teach group and the Homeschooling Boys group at THL. You’re an awesome mom to your boys!

    • Jennifer July 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm #


      My boys love treasure hunts! We do them for all kinds of things, also! I joined the “Boy” groups because I found the links on your site! So….thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!


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