Friday, March 7, 2008

Giftventure- Making Gift Giving an Adventure!


Want a fun way to present gifts to your children? Want to add a little more excitement to the whole gift giving process?

There's a brand new way to do just that with the new, creative service Giftventure. This is a fun one! I promise!

Here's a quick breakdown of how it works:
  1. You choose an adventure and character from Giftventure's site.

  2. You tell Giftventure where your hiding place for the gift will be. You will also tell them your child's favorite activity and a local landmark, which will be cleverly placed within the letters your child receives from the character you've chosen. (Note: You do not need to actually have the gifts hiding in the location you choose the entire time. In fact, that can be risky. I didn't place the gifts in our location until the very last minute, lest they happen upon it. Actually, I didn't even BUY the gifts until the last minute.)

  3. Using the information you provide, Giftventure "creates and mails a series of letters and puzzles addressed to the child who must solve the puzzles and follow the clues in the letters to discover the location of your hidden gift."

Through the wonderful group Mom Central, I was given the opportunity to review Giftventure and I was really surprised how excited my kids got. First, I chose Gunther the Dragon as the character for them:



I figured it would appeal to both my son and my daughter. They also have Sophie the Unicorn, Captain Percy the Pirate, Fay the Fairy Princess, and more! Click here to see all of the available characters (including the Easter Bunny).

We chose "The Scrambler's Maze" (for ages 8 to 12) as our adventure:



Since we didn't have any upcoming birthdays or any other gift-related occasions coming up, I decided to just pick up a couple of inexpensive "treasures" for my kids to find using the Giftventure service. Click here for simple and inexpensive ideas that you could use.

I chose "under Dad's sink" as the location and I put "mystery person" as the gift giver just to make it more fun.

The letters arrived all in one large envelope with instructions on how to give them to my kids. (This is how it works when you select "package delivery." With "standard delivery" the letters are each mailed separately to your child.) When they opened and read the first letter, I cannot begin to tell you how excited they were!

The letters detail this fantasy-like story about Cloudstead where the characters live, and Jarvis the elf, where he was last seen, etc. My kids (ages 7 and 11) really got into it!

After reading the first letter:



Natalie, my 7-year-old started looking outside for Jarvis the Elf and told me she thought that maybe he'd been sleeping under the tree in our backyard. She and Matthew (my 11-year-old) then began deciphering the puzzle that came with the first letter:



The answer was one piece of the clue to where the mystery prize was and they were told to keep it safe until the next letter arrived.

They were on pins and needles waiting for that next letter! I had them hidden in my desk drawer, buried under several stacks of papers.

Here's a "this can only happen to me" moment, though. Natalie went searching through my drawer for a pencil and came across the letters!!!! She and Matthew ran upstairs and yelled "YOU'RE Gunther the Dragon!!!" I swear I almost cried, lol.

I sat them down and explained (mostly to Natalie) that I was not Gunther, but I was the mystery gift giver. That made her feel much better. She was back to looking out the windows for signs of Jarvis and wondering what Gunther would tell her next. My son was just as excited too, even though he's not a "believer."

So a word of caution. If you're going to try to be slick like I was and put "mystery person" instead of "mom" down as the gift giver, make sure you find a better hiding place than I did!




They ripped open the second and third letters, which revealed more of the story ("What?! Jarvis is innocent?" Natalie yelled in shock at the end of the third one).



They decoded the clue in the second letter and then put it all together to get the answer as to where the treasure was hidden:





These puzzles and codes are ADORABLE! They are so cute and fun and my kids had a blast. In the end, they found their gifts "under Dad's sink" and are now begging me to do this again for them on their birthdays.

The adventures are geared toward different age levels, so if your kids are a little younger, or a little older, there's something to be found for them.

With Easter fast approaching, you could take advantage of the fun Easter Bunny Adventure. All with the help of the adorable Easter Bunny character:



And to celebrate the holiday, Giftventure is offering 10% off the list price ($19.95)!! Simply enter promo code: momcentral If you sign up by March 14, you will get reduced shipping as well, and your Giftventure will arrive in time for Easter.

Happy adventures! :)
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3 comments

Michelle said...

What a neat idea!... and I know what it's like trying to hide things from your kids. We're running out of hiding places when Christmas comes along! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, it sounds like quite a riot. How long does it take to set up a Giftventure?

ablondeblogger said...

~Michelle- Thanks! It is hard to find! The good thing about hiding it at the last minute is that you can reuse a spot that worked before.

~Anon- It's actually very quick and easy. I thought it would be complicated at first, but it took no time at all and the kids had a blast doing it. And I'm blonde so if I say it's easy than you have to believe it, lol!

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