Culture: Celebration: Birthday
Buried Treasure   (+23, -3)  [vote for, against]
Piratical Presents

As doting Uncle, it is my responsibility to come up with interesting gift ideas for my niephews.

This one requires a little planning (and appropriate permissions from the grown ups) but requires the following items.
1) A treasure chest - ideally made from wood, with a little hinged lid
2) Some treasure - beads, lab-jewels, old currency that's been in the washing machine, stuff from down the market - what ever looks shiny enough and old enough to be considered real treasure
3) A burial location
4) A map
5) A backstory.

Combined, your 6-year old nephice will be entrusted an old weathered map, along with some old tale you heard about this or that location, and who knows, just maybe, it might be true?

Said niephews are then left to study the map, mull over the story, compare it with tales they may have already been exposed to in books, film or TV - except, rather than it being in book, film or TV - who knows? It might be REAL?

On digging, not only does the youngster receive a box full of shiny goodies that they can hoard and play with - but they also get the (much more important) gift of believing that the exciting and adventurous stuff that they read in books can actually come true.

(On the downside, they may grow into conspiracy riddled paranoiacs - but at least they will have had the benefit of a rich and imaginative childhood)
-- zen_tom, May 19 2009

The perfect idea for you... Famous_20Wreck_20Backyards
[theircompetitor, May 20 2009]

'Masquerade' by Kit Williams http://en.wikipedia...i/Masquerade_(book)
Famous 'Treasure Hunt' book. [DrBob, May 20 2009]

My father and other adults did exactly this for us when we were about 9. It started with a fire on the beach at night, a 'yo-ho-ho' from the dark, and a map (written in 'blood') in an empty bottle of rum was thrown into the circle. The treasure hunt took most of the next day, going from clue to clue. One was even in an old tin can on the end of one of a fishing adult's line. It ended with having to dig beneath 'poor old polly's bones' (the previous day's chicken). I still have the 'chest'. Great fun. Bun.
-- shudderprose, May 19 2009

Did this for both my kids birthdays one year. They loved it, good idea.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 19 2009

I had a treasure chest once. Went looking for it 10 years later, couldn't find it. Got a metal detector, couldn't find it (although I did find an alien spacecraft- er, uh, some old coins). But thanks for reminding me maybe I will go look again.

I lost the map, by the way.
-- DIYMatt, May 20 2009

I did something like this for Mike Jr., once. I gave him a piece of paper with a clue which led to the location of another clue etc. The last clue eluded to the location of a few small toys. He had a blast.
-- MikeD, May 20 2009

My parents did this with our Christmas presents one year, they left us a note saying "Christmas has been cancelled" but on the back of the note was a clue...
-- simonj, May 20 2009

Even better, just make one of the clues a bit ambiguous, or hard to solve, and you don't even have to go to the trouble of buying a chest, treasure, digging a hole, ... etc.
-- Custardguts, May 22 2009

Very nice, this is a slightly less life-threatening version of what kids in Burma do. I say "slightly" because you might get the urge to place a clue in a sack of cobras to spice things up a bit. You can disarm a mine, but not a sack of cobras.
-- AfroAssault, May 22 2009

Yay! Buns for everyone! Except Custardguts.
-- wagster, May 22 2009

I'd be tempted to be slightly evil and place a Ionizing radiation sticker on the top of the treasure chest.
-- skinflaps, May 22 2009

Is there an international sticker for "Sack 'o Cobras" I wonder?
-- zen_tom, May 22 2009

[AfroAssault]: That sounds like a dare...
-- shapu, May 22 2009

Best to spray everything with a fire extinguisher before touching it. It might have snakes. Or be on fire. Maybe both.
-- bungston, May 23 2009

I ran across a large snake (of an unknown specie) while out on my morning jog on an unusually brisk summer morning. I decided to capture it. (Fried snake is pretty damn tasty). I darted my hand towards it and grabbed it right behind the head. It's reaction was ridiculously slow, but it's movement picked up as it leached heat from my arm.

Point of the story being, temperature definitely correlates to the speed of a snake.
-- MikeD, May 23 2009

[21] - This is one of those situations where I'm happy to be wrong. And on a related note, if someone happens to make a t-shirt that looks like those Police "Bomb Squad" shirts, except that it says "Sack of Cobras Squad," then you've got yourself a sale good sir/ma'am/other.
-- AfroAssault, May 26 2009

//just make one of the clues a bit ambiguous, or hard to solve, and you don't even have to go to the trouble of buying a chest, treasure, digging a hole, ... etc.// That would suck! The gratification is what helps create the lasting memories. No kid is ever going to value the experience or call it the best gift ever if they spend all day looking for something that does not exist.
-- Jscotty, May 26 2009

Maybe we're teaching the little tikes that not all stories end happily?

Or just maybe I was making a joke...
-- Custardguts, May 26 2009

//You can disarm a mine, but not a sack of cobras//

-- BunsenHoneydew, May 28 2009

//On digging, not only does the youngster receive a box full of shiny goodies //
Or maybe just an 11kV shock. [+]
-- coprocephalous, May 28 2009

"Fred what are all the kids doing in the yard with shovels ?"

"Helping me find the buried mains, dear"
-- FlyingToaster, May 28 2009

random, halfbakery