Introduction: HOW TO PLAN a FUN TREASURE HUNT
Even though this treasure chest filled with candy is a fun find for most kids, the real treasure is in the hunt!
From picture clues to word scrambles and anagrams, the kids enjoyed hours of fun during our latest treasure hunt. Now our lively youthful group varied in ages from 5-15 which worked great with the oldest helping the youngest. However, don’t leave the fun just to the kids because my parents have lots of fond memories of adult treasure hunts which they called road rallies!
So to relive the fun, I am excited to share our clues and happy treasure hunters in the midst of their hunt, as well as, share the simple steps to create your own treasure hunt for the young or young at heart.
HOW TO PLAN A FUN TREASURE HUNT…
STEP ONE: Define your treasure hunt boundaries. This could be your basement, your yard, from the city to the state park as we did, or perhaps set the treasure hunt stage within 50 miles from the starting point. Just be sure to let all your treasure hunters know so that they don’t get to far off course.
STEP TWO: Start jotting down different potential clue locations.
STEP THREE: Start creating clues for each location. Below you will see some ideas for help in creating your clues…
ANAGRAMS- Scramble up the letters of a word.
The clue leading to this large anchor down at the city park could have been done many different ways. For example perhaps a quick little rhyme for example…when the ship is at bay, it helps it to stay Or you if you had younger treasure hunters, perhaps you could draw a picture of a boat or print one out and then draw an arrow to the anchor.
We decided on an ANAGRAM- just mixing up the letters that spell anchor…. CHONAR. Now I actually thought this would be the easiest clue sending the kids quickly home for their lunch intermission, however, this proved to be one of the toughest for our group not thinking to put the A first and not having a word with the usual “CH” sound When they called us for an extra clue, which is when I was going to give then the little rhyme, it just clicked and they figured it out!
WORD SCRAMBLE – Just write out the name and cut out each letter, mix them up, and stick them in a baggy!
A WORD SCRAMBLE is another easy way to share a clue and it usually slows the hunters down a bit.
The word scramble clue from the compost tumbler was R A I N B A R R E L which leads me to another FYI…don’t forget to tell the kids to be gentle and respectful of the flowers and other people’s property. These are really sweet kids but with all the excitement they started digging through the flowers on top of the rain barrel!!!
WRITE DOWN SOME INSTRUCTIONS…
For some clues you can just give them a LITTLE DIRECTION as we did above and then taped the clue under the furthest bench.
The clue leading to this lovely hidden spot protected by spider webs said…”Face the water and pledge your allegiance then look to the donuts and find your clue!”
There is a flag by the jungle gym so that is why we said, “pledge your allegiance.”
This clue was the first of many at the city park. The clue to get them here stated… Go where Pong was born, face South and count five trees to the left of the garbage can.
OK, you are probably what the heck is Pong right? Well it is a fun game the kids made up and play at the basketball court at the city park, so they new where to go. Also because we are by so much water and you can see Mackinac Island from this park, the kids were able to figure out which direction is south.
(If you are wondering why this clue says Space, I will explain more at the end of this post.)
SKETCHES AND PROPS
For the clue leading to the state park bridge overlook I combined a SKETCH plus a PROP… I drew a quick rough picture of the bridge and then taped a quarter to it since the kids know that the view finders cost a dollar. We are so lucky to live by such beauty
To get the hunters home from the city park, they received a simple clue with a SKETCH of this birdhouse in orange which of course is the from our striped garden bench and birdhouse project. Since the kids helped me paint it this summer they knew exactly where to go.
For the clue leading to this spot, we just took a PICTURE of the front of the sign.
We hid the clue in a little cavity on the top of the stump shown 2 pictures above. For the clue leading here we gave two PICTURES…one picture was a close up of the very old tombstone by the stump and then we wrote on the back of that picture to check out the nearest stump and then to simplify the search we just included another picture of the bridge taken from that tombstone to give our hunters a little perspective help You can see the kids hunting above, what you cannot see is the oldest hunter holding up the perspective picture as he got closer and closer to the clue. The next thing that happened was Reece running from stump to stump Just an FYI, we hid the clue in the stump so that the kids would not be digging around any of the tombstones.
STEP FOUR: Bag up your clues, gather supplies, and go hide clues!!
Once you have written all you clues, decide what order you wish them to be in. I wrote the number of each clue in the top right corner. I put all of the clues in a zip lock baggy. With every clue I wrote a letter, punctuation (I used one apostrophe), or wrote Space on one side of the clue and instructed them to keep them until it was TIME.
When they got to their last clue, I just wrote…It’s TIME
__ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __
Which led, after a bit of deliberation, to …
PAPA’S BIKE TRAILER
For more of our clues and tips on planning a fun treasure hunt just go to...
So they went to the tent to reveal the candy treasure, eat it all in one setting, get belly aches, and live happily ever after