Buried Treasures! Do This Activity With Your Child And Unbury It Years Later

“Have you ever found something you weren’t looking for? Had someone lost what you found? If so, were you able to return it? What have you found that surprised you? How old were you at that time? Could you write a story about it and include a drawing of what you found?”

This is taken from the Activity section of a story-poem in Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! titled “Hidden Treasure.” It is a writing prompt as well as an activity prompt that follows a story-poem about all the fun things kids can find when they’re not even looking.

Well, for the sake of this post, I decided to take things one step further and recommend that you try this special activity with your child: bury a treasure chest/time capsule that you don’t dig up (make sure you mark the spot clearly…and if you bury it outdoors, make sure to place it in a metal box or coffee can and place it in a spot that doesn’t get much rain!) for many years.

Your child may even forget about the box, and that makes it even better! Imagine what a child aged five or eight or even twelve would bury! The younger ones may bury a special stuffed animal, while an older, thoughtful child might write a letter to her/himself to read when she/he is older.

After a little Internet research, here are five of my favorite suggestions for creating and burying a hidden treasure.

  • A trophy or ribbon or medal from a sporting event that your child is involved with. Most likely, that sport is a big part of your child’s life, and rediscovering one of his/her sports-related items (maybe it’s even the team ball for your Little Leaguer) will bring back some special memories.
  • A Ziploc baggie filled with pictures from the past year. Include photos taken on family vacations, birthday celebrations, and any other big events in your child’s life that year. Finding them in their treasure box many years down the road will let them relive that year with timeless photos.
  • Your child’s favorite book. Understandable, parting with it might be a challenge…so maybe buy them a new copy of their favorite book and bury the well-loved one. Many years later, they’ll enjoy seeing the tattered and doggie-eared pages that will take them right back to childhood.
  • A note from your child, to your child. Literally have them start the letter with “Dear (insert name).” Give them some ideas to write about in their letter: perhaps stating their age, interests, hopes for the future, etc.
  • A letter from the family. Have your child interview everyone in the family and record their answers. Questions might include their favorite things to do individually and as a family, what they hope for one another in the future, what they think the world will be like in five, ten, or even fifty years, etc. The questions you can come up with are endless, and will reveal a lot about how the family has changed over the years.

And, I have one final recommendation: decorate the outside of the box! It might not last until it’s dug up—maybe the paint comes off or the stickers wear out and fall off, but the memory of decorating the box will last. What an eventful date it will be in a few years, digging up that box and rediscovering what was put into it so many years before. Just imagine!





Join our mailing list and receive a FREE excerpt from the book!



She would like to see them in all of California’s elementary schools.

-Rosaline Turnbull Past President of the California Parent Teacher’s Association

Yours is a comforting voice during a challenging time. Your stories are charming. Each one is uniquely warm and inspiring, and the messages are uplifting for children and parents alike. The books deserve to be in homes across the country — and the world. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes:  Mr. Rogers!  They are kind, nurturing, and so encouraging.

-Tom Soma Former Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities

I think these books are perfect for children. They are colorful, bright, and the illustrations are awesome. I regret there were no such books in my childhood.

-Ludmila Levine Chairman of the American English Department

They are fun to read. Both the writings and drawings are original. They are amazing.  There are so many things that could be learned. One student commented she was also learning about American culture.

-YiLing Chen Taught Women English

practical, playful, serious, affectionate, enigmatic, and varied.

-Claudine DeFaye Former Professor

These books are absolutely incredible. An excellent job of inspiring children’s creativity activities.

-Mosun Johnston Smith Former Teacher

The detail and care you’ve put in these stories is remarkable. I celebrated the wonderful wisdom those students reflected to me while reading your books.

-Andie Cunningham Instructor