our everyday life

Do it Yourself Treasure Hunt

by Kimberly Dyke

Do it yourself treasure hunts are fun and inexpensive. Create a hunt for a party game or for a team-building exercise. Treasure hunt themes can be custom designed to a specific location, the weather, time of year or group. Treasure hunters generally love the prize or reward at the end of the search, but it is the hunt itself that yields excitement, nurtures bonding and makes memories.

Choose a theme. Young children enjoy character or activity related themes, like Spongebob or Legos. Distribute camcorders or digital cameras to adult participants to record tasks being carried out or to photograph themselves as specific locations.

Choose a location. Plan the hunt indoors on cold or rainy days. If weather permits use open spaces like the playground, park or nearby beach. Consider planning a larger treasurer hunt around town for teens and adult hunters who can drive or ride bikes to discover clues.

Compose your clues in the form of rhymes, poems or riddles. Use compass directions, and treasure maps. Create simpler clues for young kids, like the number of steps they have to take to get from clue to the next. Use reverse writing that hunters can rewrite or read in a mirror.

Plan the treasure hunt route by starting at the end. Allow the children to go both upstairs and downstairs when indoors, lead them from one piece of playground equipment to another at the park, or hide clues along a nature trail under rocks and attached to gazebos. Place a snack along the treasure route to give hunters a break on their quest.

Place the treasure at the end of the route, or have hunters return to the beginning to be awarded a prize. Fill a treasure chest with candy or dollar store toys, hand out gift cards to the movie theater or mall, or let a surprise picnic be the treasure at the end of the hunt. Let teenagers and adults share the videos and pictures of the treasure hunt.

Items you will need
  • Theme
  • Route
  • Clues
  • Snacks
  • Prizes such as gift cards or candy

About the Author

Kimberly Dyke is a Spanish interpreter with a B.A. in language and international trade from Clemson University. She began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in education, parenting and culture. Currently residing in South Carolina, Dyke has received certificates in photography and medical interpretation.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images