The first enigma is to find the grammar mistakes in the invitation. The clue is that there are two of them (both intentional, of courseūüėČ ).

We’ve been meaning to do a children’s treasure hunt for ages, but finally got around to it this year. It all started by me finding a ready-made treasure hunt for 6-7 years olds that was perfect for Sara and her friends (http://www.fleuruseditions.com/cavaliere-mysterieuse-l5991). They didn’t have anything for tweens, but luckily you can find anything on the Internet. Gilles found a French site specialized in scavenger hunts (¬†http://chasse-au-tresor.info/) and from there, well,¬†we got excited and things got a little crazy.

As the whole treasure hunt was¬†going to be in¬†French, the girls invited their bilingual¬†school friends. Some of the other materials were in English, but we felt that it wasn’t a problem if they learned some English in the process, too!¬† I discovered the world of free printables online, which is a fascinating¬†place where¬†you can spend way too much time.¬†Here are a few treasures that I found on my own hunt:

Scary bottle labels: http://c2marcano.blogspot.fi/2011/10/halloween-soda-labels-free-download.html

Candy bar wrappers: http://www.livinglocurto.com/2011/10/halloween-candy-bar/

and some more: http://www.chickabug.com/blog/2012/10/free-halloween-printables-round-up.html

We felt that we were well prepared, but, as so often, things didn’t go quite as expected. The night before it snowed¬†a little¬†and the¬†temperature was freezing. This meant that the morning of the hunt we first needed to rake the last leaves¬†with the neighbours,¬†lest there be more snow, before putting together the treasures, hiding the clues, preparing the snacks, finishing the little mermaid costume (don’t ask…), and so on. At some point, things got a bit tense (does this happen at anyone else’s house before a party or is it just us?), but when the children arrived, all 18 of them, we were¬† ready to take them on the hunt! Here are a few of the things we had prepared for them:

The treasure for the little ones who had “panier” (basket) as their last clue. I bought the printable bags at etsy.com for two euros.

Tween treasure from the outside

and from the inside

The tweens had 12 enigmas to solve before finding the treasure on our back yard. They did a great job and everyone seemed to have a good time. In the heat of the action we didn’t have time to take many pictures, but here are a few:

The little ones have figured out the enigma and found “la plante” where the next envelope is hidden.

Looks like the boys have figured out “corde √† linge”…

…but the girls still beat them to the treasure.

After a hunt, there’s nothing like a scary snack, right? Only one picture survived, but¬† think mommy dogs (inspired by: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/10/easy-halloween-party-food/) and drinks called zombie virus and devil’s delight!

Long story short, it was great. I did hear my husband utter the words “never again”, but after a good night’s sleep (with a bonus hour thanks to daylight saving time), he was already planning the next one!¬† Please¬†join us on our FB page www.facebook.com/bebilingual.net¬†to share your best ideas!