Buried Treasure

Posted on 2011-06-05 12:01 in Blog

I just read the most interesting thread on Reddit. A mom is getting ready to bury a treasure chest for her now 1 year-old, to dig up in three years as a fun activity. She wants to know what kind of goodies she should bury.

love this idea. I remember burying small boxes of treasure when I was a kid (our attempt at a time capsule), and then digging them back up four or five months later. It was always a lot of fun, but being kids, we never had overly interesting stuff to bury.

Several commenter’s had great ideas. internettoad suggested an extensive list of good items for a kid:

  • eye patch
  • toy compass
  • hand held telescope
  • bandanna
  • stuffed parrot to ride on his shoulder
  • envelope with cash & map to some local adventure, if you're near the ocean, certainly a sailboat ride
  • some seeds to grow a flower or plant to hide (fix) the burial spot, and this will keep his fun going
  • constellation map, or those glow in the dark stickers to put on the ceiling of his room
  • some old dvd's of Sinbad the Sailer
  • a love note of how much he means to you, written in a foreign language, that he will only discover the true meaning when he is old enough and curious enough to pursue it and get it translated. Make him wait until he's old to figure it out.
  • a list of virtues to live by
  • a kid's Bible (if you're Christian)
  • the Pledge of Allegiance (if you're a US American), he'll learn it before he get's to kindergarten!
  • a savings account where he can stash all the $1 coins you pour in the chest. He'll want to dress all pirate on his trip to the bank of course!

pattymcfatty recommended playing the game forward, with a club for the next chest to be found in several years time. “Put a key in it that will open a treasure chest he will dig up when he is 6ish.”

leftnut had my favorite suggestion

Bury it under a cryptic marker. Maybe an "X" made of garden stones or something. That way he'll grow up having seen the marker and taken it for granted, only for it to be revealed that there was treasure buried there the whole time! You can even include it in a map or set of clues that he finds later. Plus it'll help make sure you can find it.

I thought about what I would hide and came up with the following list.

  • Lego set
  • "gold" coins → $1 or fake coins
  • eye patch
  • pirate hat
  • magnifying glass
  • model dinosaur bones
  • A jar of coins (hundreds of pennies)
  • kaleidoscope
  • glass gems

As for a container, a military ammo box would work great. The waterproof seal would help keep the contents fresh, they are relatively easy to purchase (~$15), and are roughed by design. Unfortunately, it does not look like a pirate chest. It might be a good idea to paint the outside of the container to look like an old chest or map.

To lead the kid to the treasure, one should make a “old style” map. One with browned paper, burnt edges, that was stored in a hidden place (such as in the attic or in a crawl space).