Scavenger Hunt clue in my pantry.
First comic for this year's Amazing Ugly Race
It all begins with an envelope under the Christmas tree.
This year's scavenger hunts even had a "Korean" edition. I have a son doing missionary work for our church in South Korea for the next two years.This first Christmas away from home, he sent a gift and a scavenger hunt for his younger brother. It was an unexpected Christmas bonus. The kids find their first clue in an envelope under the Christmas tree, and then the fun really begins.
Opening clue for the Zombie Apocalypse Training scavenger hunt
Like the Amazing Race on TV, our Christmas morning scavenger hunts may include roadblocks (you have to complete a task), detours (you get to choose between two tasks to complete), and U-turns (you have to do both tasks of the detour). One task this year was to make a paper boat and float a Lego mini figure in it. It didn't have to be pretty, just functional, and you could only use a minimal amount of tape.
Lego mini-figure in a paper boat.
Clues may also include references to a favorite book or movie that the kids recognize. For 2013, clues were found in "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks, and in "Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians" by Brandon Sanderson.
Clue #5 was found inside a book.
My son designed and built a contraption out of Lego parts for this year's hunt. His sister had to shoot a zombie target. When she hit the target, her gift tumbled out. It was a zombie movie, of course! (Warm Bodies).
Shooting Nerf darts at the zombie in the kitchen
Success! Target hit, gift delivered.
No scavenger hunt would be complete without the presence of Thok. Thok is a Bionicle, and he has been a key part of our scavenger hunts for years. Since his Bionicle power is ice, he is often found in the freezer.
Thok holds a clue in the freezer.
Other popular locations for stashing clues include the island in the kitchen, and the cookie jar. It seems these hiding places have become part of the tradition.
Clue by the cookie jar (someone else's gift is inside the jar).
And it just wouldn't be the same if we didn't have to go outside at least once on Christmas morning. This year, my son got to dig in the snow, and climb a tree before locating the correct clues for his gifts.
Looking for clues in the snow.
This year, there were several clues in the cherry tree that said "Try Again." Unfortunately for my son, he grabbed the first paper and ran back to the house. Then he noticed it said "Try Again," and he had to go back out to the tree. Eventually he just climbed the tree and collected all of the papers. He did find his clue, and I don't think he got frostbitten!
Getting clues out of the tree.
I am thrilled these scavenger hunts have become a favorite family tradition. Especially since almost no effort is involved on my part! After all the hard work of pulling off a family Christmas, I just get to sit back and enjoy the show.
Clue in a Lego mailbox
My son followed a clue to the mailbox, but didn't find what he was looking for inside. His next clue was actually tucked into a Lego mailbox set up in our Lego Christmas village. Another clue was hidden in a nutcracker's mouth (a Viking nutcracker we call Thor).
Another clue in the nutcracker's mouth.
This clue included a word scramble.
I am so glad my daughter decided one year to do a scavenger hunt for her brothers. I am even more happy that they loved it so much, they now all do it for each other. It is fun for the whole family, and something I look forward to each Christmas. As my kids grow older and approach leaving the nest, I know my spectator days may be drawing to a close for these scavenger hunts, but I hope they continue the tradition for many years to come!
Gift located in a desk drawer!