5.09.2009

A Golden Birthday

This year was Austin’s  Golden Birthday and we celebrated in a fun golden way. A Golden Birthday is when you turn the age of the day that your birthday falls on.  Austin’s birthday is on the 9th, so this year turning 9 was a special one for him. We let him open one present first and in it was a cell phone to borrow and a clue leading him on a treasure hunt to look for his gold (his other presents). It was so much fun. We have done smaller treasure hunts in the past just for fun, and they were always too easy. We wanted to make sure this one kept them guessing, and that it did. That had to figure out clues sending them all over the yard, and finally finding the treasure. With the help of some of the neighbor kids they did finally find the treasure. It’s a bit long, but here are the clues we used in case anyone wants to use the idea.

Today is the day of your GOLDEN BIRTHDAY-May 9 you turn 9 years OLD. 
And so to celebrate this event, you are going to hunt for your GOLD.

One clue at a time, and sometimes a GIFT,
You will have to solve, and to climb, and to LIFT.

Though not to keep-you may need this PHONE,
To solve some clues you will have to call HOME.

With four other siblings to help YOU,
I hope you will finish before the days THROUGH.

If they help you and don't talk BACK,
A small treasure for them will be in the SACK.

Pirates search for their treasure by using a MAP,
I hope you find yours where a fish takes a NAP.

We had a map we made along with the next clue rolled up in an old glass bottle and hidden back in our small creek. We tied it with some fishing line so it wouldn’t float away and tied the other end to a branch.  At first when they read the clue they looked around the garden hose, then someone suggested the creek. When they got back there they looked in and said, “oh, it’s not there.” Aaron (who had hid it) reminded them that pirates didn’t just look for gold, they searched for it. They were glad they went back for a second look and found it. Even just after this first clue, they all kept saying, “This is so fun!!!” Here is what the next clue said:

Your map you have FOUND,
A picture of the GROUND,
It will help you find your TREASURE.

Look at it closely, and notice the pictures,
They will help you solve your CLUE.
With their help and your brain, and a little work,
you will know just what to DO.

Start at the back plank and take 20 steps to the RIGHT,
then turn and face  the jumping DEVICE.

Your clue is another 25 steps up AHEAD,
Climb straight up don't look down with your HEAD.

Every pirate needs a special bag to hold all of his found GOLD.
You will find yours hidden a top of a tree, that is up as many branches as you are OLD.

This one was a little hard because they couldn’t decide on what the back plank was. One of the rules we gave them was that 3 people had to be in agreement to go to the next place. The idea was that we wanted everyone involved and not just Austin and Brianna running off leaving the other kids behind. They thought it was part of the swing set (we had planned it to be the back door, but they ended up getting there anyways). Austin LOVES to climb trees..barefoot. He really probably should have been born in Hawaii or something. Well, the other day he climbed this tree in the back yard really high! Like scary high. We had him come down and advised him that may not be the best idea. I know we are fun spoilers, but I really wasn’t in the mood for a trip to the ER with a broken arm or leg. He was bummed we had ended his fun, so for part of this clue we let him climb the tree. He was supervised this time, so we let it slide. I had found this cool velvet drawstring bag at the party store that we hid up in the tree. In the bag was the next clue and a dollar.

With your map and your bag you are ready to search
You need to gather some NUMBERS.
For in the locked box will be your reward,
For you and all of your family MEMBERS.

In your bag is a small paper of worth,
on it are hidden some clues.

Now at your feet underneath a FLOWER,
Is a compass-face it towards the look out TOWER.

The direction to go now that's the TRICK,
Your brain we surely will PICK.

The worth of your paper written out at the BOTTOM
Take away the first letter and your direction you've GOTTEN.

Look to the direction that Washington FACES,
A two digit number is how many PACES.

When you get there you aren't quite DONE,
The next number it, starts with a ONE.

It's a two digit number, written in GREEN,
It may just be a TEEN.

Take that many paces and STOP.

Look at your money, three numbers you need all in a ROW,
Your first number of paces, it is just BELOW.

That is the number of degrees you NEED.
Face that way and take paces with SPEED.

You age times two is the paces to TAKE,
When you get there you may need to take a BRAKE.

Go the paces you FOUND,
look at the GROUND.
Something golden should catch your EYE.

That one was by far the hardest for them to figure out. They really had to put their heads together to figure it out. Austin had a goal this year from when he turned 8 years old until today that he wanted to read the whole Book of Mormon, so this next clue went along with that. Hidden under the leaves was some gold covered papers that we had “engraven” on a couple years ago with our testimonies and we use for  a FHE lesson. On them was this clue:

For a year you have searched something GOLDEN like these,
Trying to receive an answer.

If you look where they came from long ago,
Deep in the UNDERGROUND.
You're answer you've been searching for, mostly assuredly can be FOUND.

The promise is sure if you're up to the TASK,
The Lord told one of long AGO.

Find where he told it, uncover the clue,
It will tell you where to GO.

Under where the plates were laying in the leaves, buried in the ground was a Book of Mormon in a ziplock bag. They had to figure out that the next clue was hidden in Moroni chapter 10 where the promise is to read the Book of Mormon and pray. This clue turned out to be a great little mission experience for the neighbors. They thought it was a Bible and the kids quickly corrected them it was a The Book of Mormon. We briefly told them the story of Joseph Smith as we explained what The Book of Mormon was. It was pretty neat. In Moroni was a five dollar bill and the next clue.

The answer from reading this is worth more than money, or any earthly WEALTH,
To find your next clue you'll need strength and maybe a bit of some STEALTH.

You have to fly high to find your CLUE
Make sure no snakes try to bite at YOU.

You'll know where to fly when you remember our CLEANING,
Complete the CIRCLE is what I am MEANING.

It’s funny what clues they struggled with and which ones they figured out right away. Complete the circle is one of our family mottos-it has to do with cleaning and I got if from a organization book I have been  reading lately. They figured out right away it had to do something with the tire swing back by the creek. Up in a tree Aaron had put a small plastic sand bucket. They had to swing up high and try to get it down. It was interesting to see how they went about doing this. In the most scientific  way they choice the lightest person (Erika) to swing because they could push her the easiest. They soon figured out her arms were too small to reach it. They tried to next person with the same results. The found this stick back there and then had the idea to throw the stick at the bucket to get it to fall down. Why they didn’t just hit it down with the stick was what was entertaining to us. I guess throwing a spear it much more pirate like. The clue inside the bucket read:

Pirates like to hide their GOLD deep in the sandy BEACHES.
Take this pail and search for yours, everyone using their HANDS.

The coins you are looking for is ten times the last number in our address.
When you've found them, call home and get the next PLANS.

In the sand box was hidden a bunch of plastic coins. The last ten were the hardest. It was so hot we finally had pity on them and they didn’t find the last one. Aaron joked that that one was a real ten dollar coin. He told the neighbor boy he could keep it if he found it. When everyone else came in he stayed out there looking for it. Poor gullible little kid. They came in for cupcakes next and a break to get cooled off. Inside the cupcakes were baked the next clue. Each piece was a part of a bigger ripped piece of paper. It said:

It’s time to open a present. It is hidden in a place that keeps your head safe while you ride.

This one was pretty easy-it was hidden in his bike helmet. It was a small hymn book that matched his scriptures. My feeble attempt to encourage him to sing during sacrament meeting. I must be pretty smart because it worked and on Sunday he sang all the songs.

This book is great, it is filled with SONGS,
But also a clue to help you ALONG.

To find what page you NEED,
Go to a place very cold with great SPEED.

When you get there I hope you won't FREEZE,
But find something frozen to help you with EASE.

The trick is to melt what you find, in it is hidden a CLUE,
You have to use your own hands to melt it, you and only YOU.

No other water, or heat will DO,
When it melts you will have your CLUE.

Rearrange the numbers you get, you may need to add or SUBTRACT,
We careful not to rip them, keep them all INTACT.

The number you find will be a song, one you've been learning to SING.
Sing the fifth verse, the six word will out your clue RING.

When you get there call home,
We will guide you THROUGH.
We will help you know just what to DO.

In the freezer we had frozen some dollar bills. They had to get them melted and try to do a little math to figure out page 85- How Firm a Foundation, a song they have been learning this year in primary. The word is ‘pathway’. We had a bunch of math problems written on the driveway that they had to all work together doing to get a final number which was the number of paces to the next clue which was this huge bouncy ball with this clue:

This ball is big and bouncy, it can shoot right up to the SKY.
The next balls you use will be little but can fly just as HIGH.

Your gun that holds them can brake things,
The things they will brake will be WET.
But when you do, you will find your treasure, it will be the best YET.

This final clue involved them shooting water balloons with his BB gun. Inside one of the clues had written where the treasure was hidden-in the attic. This was a lot of work, but I am so glad that Aaron and I were able to put our heads together and do it. I think it will be one of the most memorable birthdays Austin will have.

1 comment:

The Soto Crew said...

GREAT idea! Thanks:) You put so much effort into it but it was probably so much fun once it started to come all together and see him so excited