Treasure Hunt Lady

We already know that kids value experiences more than gifts, so give them a gift they will actually remember.

I have the best mom. Growing up, I didn’t always think so though. Now as an adult looking back, I wish I had realized what I had. Every birthday, I had a treasure hunt that was personalized to me: my age, interests, skill level, and hobbies. If we were going to be out for my birthday, she would go in and talk to the employees of where we were going and get them in on it. If we were home, she would set up the house with clues and hide presents. At age 11, we were at my grandma’s house and I had to search around the house for different stuffed animals and at the end was a Barbie cake my Grandma had made. Even as an older teenager she would still make it fun: at age 17, she made my treasure hunt all about my hair. At this point in my life I had long hair and wore it in many different hairstyles. At each clue would be a picture of me in a different hairstyle!

If you can believe this, she did these awesome personalized treasure hunts every year for not only me, but also my three brothers. (Isn’t that amazing?). She never ran out of ideas. My brothers were even more into them than I was — after school, on their birthday, they would race home to start their treasure hunt as soon as possible.

These treasure hunts made us all feel valued. The second most needed emotion to be felt in children is the need to feel cared about. These treasure hunts made me feel special and cared about. It let me know that I was important to her.

Along with feeling valued and special, treasure hunts have a lot of other added benefits. Studies have shown that treasure hunts can even relieve stress in children. Treasure hunts stimulate the mind, teach responsibility, stimulate an adrenaline rush, and encourage exploration and discovery.

Marilyn Whittington: the most creative woman in the universe, who is also my mom, can make people feel valued. She can give you and your family memories that you’ll never forget.