Good news, this should be it for a while. And it should be short. I am only sharing because my kiddo loves scavenger hunts and puzzles and this process has gotten easier with time for me because I figured out a less obnoxious way of doing it.
In short, simple steps, because my brain is fried ...
Step One: What do you want the message to be?
This year I wanted it to be a sentence telling him where we were going out for dinner and present opening. I also, because he is older, wanted to give him as little help as possible.
The theme of my delivery, obviously, was Harry Potter and Meatball's supposed acceptance letter to Hogwarts. So I typed up a letter in Dumbledore's handwriting font that explained he had to find his school supplies as listed in the letter. Each supply would then have a clue. Once he had them all he had to put them together and figure out the order. This year I did not number them, in prior years I had.
The letter had 18 supplies, so I had 18 words to work with. End result of the hunt would yield the sentence
"Tonight we are going to Streets of New York
for Pizza and Presents to celebrate your eleventh birthday!"
Step Two: Make your cards.
In Word I made a table, 2 x 18. Sorry for the crappy pictures, I am full of them lately.
Once I had a table of the sentence in order, I made an exact copy of the table but put the Hogwarts supplies in the cells. I made sure they were out of order, with the things I knew he'd find first being words like "to" and "for" so he wouldn't be able to figure it out.
Step Three: Pretty up the cards.
I made my margins narrow and my cells 3.6 x 3. Then I changed to the Dumbledore font and made sure my spacing worked. I printed them on the same card stock as the Acceptance Letter and used the table lines to cut them out. I have a paper cutter, so it was pretty fast, but scissors will work too.
One side had the supplies from the letter ...
... and the other side had a single word from
the sentence telling him we'd be going to his favorite place to eat.
Step Four: Hide 'em!
This is the fun part. I wanted him to be able to find them pretty independently, so I tried to find things similar to the actual supplies. So all eight of the books on the list were in books -- the actual Harry Potter books One through Seven and the Tales of Beedle the Bard made eight. The cauldron was in a pot in the kitchen, winter cloak was in a coat pocket, wand was with pencils (I made Meatball roll his eyes here because I had to say something about how writing and drawing are a magic of their own), etc.
Step Five: Sit back and enjoy.
Meatball loves doing scavenger hunts. To be honest we love watching him, not only because its fun to see him loving it but it also provides plenty of opportunities to mess with him too.
So that is all there is too it. Now I am taking a bit of a break from posting about my dear friend Harry.