Creating a treasure hunt for kids is an inexpensive, creative way to spend a long summer day or bring a group together for a special celebration or activity. Kids often enjoy the thrill of the search, figuring out clues and riddles, and of course, finding the treasure at the end of a long hunt. Whether indoors or out, your treasure hunt is certain to be memorable.
Choose a local playground to have your treasure hunt. Write out the clues and place them on each location. For example, a clue for a basketball goal would read, “Find something with a net, throw a ball and make a basket.” A monkey bars clue can read, “Find something with bars to grip, don’t let your hands slip,” or “Find something with bars to climb, up and up, time after time.” Lead kids to the slide by writing, “Find something to sit on and go down, if you go too fast, you might frown.” Place the treasure at a park bench near the playground with the final clue that reads, “Find a place to take a seat, sit right down and rest your feet.”
You do not have to go far to have a treasure hunt. Place clues throughout the backyard to lead kids to the final treasure location. A clue for a swing can read, “Look for a seat you push with your feet.” Find the sandbox with this clue: “Go to where you like to make castles and pies that you do not bake.” Lead children to a water faucet by writing, “Go to where the water flows, you might even find a hose.” If you have a fruit tree, a clue can read, “Be very careful when looking for this clue, watch that fruit does not fall on you.” Hide the treasure near an outdoor fireplace or grill, and lead the hunters there with a note that reads, “Go to where the fire gets hot, it is black and metal, like a pot.”
For an indoor treasure hunt, try a word association hunt. Write four words on a card, and kids must find an item that fits all four of the clues. For example, “circle, liquid, drink and kitchen” all lead to a cup. The clues, “bottle, liquid, hair and bathroom” lead to shampoo. Let kids find the remote control with the four clues, “buttons, hand, channel and family room.” Clues for a telephone can read, “numbers, plastic, talk and kitchen,” while a list for crayons will read, “colors, long, draw and paper.” Make the hunt last as long as you like, and hide the treasure at the final destination.
Create a treasure hunt for a specific holiday like Valentine’s Day. Write out a rhyming clue that leads the hunters to the next object. For example, lead kids to a box with “I left you a treat that is for sharing because you are so sweet and caring. You must be as sly as a fox. It is by something that comes in a…” Lead to a bouquet of flowers with “Use all of your smell powers. Find something with the scent of…” Find anything red with the rhyme, “Think and use your head. Look by something the color…” Make the final treasure a special holiday cake and lead kids to it with the clue, “Hopefully this won’t give you a bellyache. Look for something that tastes as sweet as a…”
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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.