You start making a treasure hunt with at least 10 clues to the treasure.
These clues will be different for each group of children you are working with. I was able to use clues for around my house that these children would be able to figure out. They are 8-10 years of age. Some of these were difficult, some pretty easy. You will want to make them age appropriate. For small children, I have even made my clues by using pictures.
Making a Treasure Hunt: The Clues
Start In the Dinning Room and hand them the 1st Clue
Because we were going to make this be an outside in the dark/ rainy weather treasure hunt, I put each clue into a zip lock baggie, and stapled them to the hiding places outside so the wind did not blow them away.
I made the first clue be for something in the house, so we could be there and let them ask questions to get an understanding of how this would work, and what exactly they would be looking for.
You will find me with one of the things we use to make Banana Muffins. (in the flour bin)
I have 2 on the back porch, you will find me in 1 of them. ( taped inside a storage bench)
I think I would Love to go Slide. ( Taped under one of the slides)
I would really like an Egg, but there is only a rock instead. (nesting crate where stone egg is)my children check for eggs, so they understood this clue.
I am feeling kind of NUTS about trees. (Hazelnut tree)
I am PLANE getting tired of this. (rocking plane)
I really think I should turn green and SLOW DOWN! (with the green slow man sign)
Are you getting “TIRED” yet? ( inside the large tire)
Don’t get MOWED over looking for this clue. (on the seat of the riding lawn mower)
It is time for you to dig deep inside the White tube. I think if you dig deep enough you may find your treasure ! (Deep under the tube in the sand pile)
The treasure is gift cards for pizza.
I hid a shovel out in the trees, so if they found it, they would not have to dig with their hands. After a time, I did point it out to them. I let them use their hands for a while… more fun for me that way.
It took them almost an hour to find all their clues and dig up their treasure. Be aware that almost every time I have put together a treasure hunt for children, they always want to do another one. If you are really enthusiastic, you can plan for this and have two treasure hunts pre set, so when they ask, you can set them off on the next hunt. Children of all ages love this activity.
This can also be done on a spur of the moment. I have been out camping with my children when they were young. They were away from camp, and I knew when they came back they were going to want a snack. So I tore off 10 pieces of paper scraps and looked around the woods. Starting at the picnic table, I saw a tree that I could write a clue to. I then walked to that tree, looked around and spotted the next hiding spot, wrote a clue to it. hid it in the first place, then walk to the next hiding spot. At the last place, I hid their snack. THEY LOVED THIS! Great fun for all ages, even the one making the map.
My husband and I sat on the back porch while the children were out on their night time treasure hunt, totally enjoying the sounds of their talking, thinking, figuring, frustration and joy when they found the next clue.
I hope you will take the time to try this activity. Could become a tradition for the holidays.