Scavenger in Southie

Literally finding 100 new reasons to love South Boston.

Real World Scavenger Hunt – How to Create a Scavenger Hunt Gift that Keeps ‘Em Guessing

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This guest blog post was submitted to me by Louene Waters, a paralegal in North Carolina and expert gift-giver.

Necessity is the mother of invention – a foolproof way to gift wrap a bike!

They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention…”

Trouble gift wrapping a bike?

Can you guess what present this is?

So, you have a large or oddly-shaped gift to wrap for a birthday, Christmas, or other occasion? Maybe you think your gift is a little boring (like the inevitable package of socks or undies) and needs some extra spice, or maybe the shape will give it completely away (like a bicycle – how do you wrap a bicycle?!). Or, maybe it’s the middle of the night before the “big day” and you are frantically wrapping gifts but have one or two items that just beg for something other than normal wrapping.

A gift scavenger hunt might be your answer!

One solution to these issues is to add multi-step wrapping, or a scavenger hunt of sorts! Over the years for Christmas and birthdays, our family has come up with a fun way to wrap a variety of items, from kitchen tables, to bikes, to wrist watches. There are two primary ways to do create a gift scavenger hunt depending on gift size – small or large.

Create a nesting set for small gifts

If you can wrap an item individually, one way to add fun to the gift is to continue to wrap each box in a larger box. This works especially well for jewelry, watches, DVDs, gift cards, and other trinkets.

  1. Start with a small box for your gift, and place it inside.
  2. Add that box to a larger giftbox. Add random items to the large box, like canned goods, bags of dried beans, or other non-perishables to further confuse the gift recipient. This helps disguise the weight of the gift and add some mystery, especially if you have two curious boys like I did who love to shake boxes and guess what’s inside.
  3. Keep nesting the boxes until you’ve hidden the gift sufficiently. I usually do two or three.
  4. If you like, add a note inside each box to increase the suspense.
  5. Enjoy watching your gift recipient open all of the boxes to get to that special gift at the end!

Create an all out scavenger hunt for large gifts

For oversized gifts, or those items you want to avoid wrapping create a scavenger hunt! This works best for large or awkwardly-shaped items like bicycles, men’s suits, oddly-shaped toys, furniture, or other mundane items.

  1. Start with any sized box or card.
  2. Write a poem or riddle as a clue to the gift location or next clue. It doesn’t need to be fancy – this is not a literary competition – but feel free to be creative!
  3. Keep writing clues on all sorts of places until you run out of ideas, and end at the gift.
  4. Set up all your clues where they’re supposed to be.
  5. Stick a big red bow on your gift, and shut the door!
  6. Enjoy the smiles on the kids faces as they scour the house for clues and end up at the gift.

For Christmas, we’ve started with a simple shoebox, then written poems on red Christmas ornament balls on the tree or other holiday decorations. The final clue always points to the location of the gift itself, like a closet, a bedroom, garage, or even outside deck. There are a million fun ways to show off your gift!


Thank you, Louene, for the great tips on scavenger hunt gift-giving. I know where Erik gets his creative streak.

I want to know, have you created a scavenger hunt for gifts? I’ve gotten a few myself, and they are always fun!

I want to know… have you been the recipient of a scavenger hunt gift, or have you planned one? In the comments below, tell me: What was the best gift you’ve ever gotten?


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