If you want to find a way of occupying the kids for an afternoon – then why not try a treasure hunt. Actually treasure hunts can take many forms from simple scavenger hunts to treasure hunts which even teenagers and adults will enjoy.
So here are a few tips I have gleaned from the family treasure hunts we still hold.
The thing about treasure hunts is that they can take many forms, and because of this, if we are not careful we never embark on organising one because the very word organising puts us off. We think they are too complicated and confusing.
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. For small children a crib on the old game “Hunt the Thimble” is good mini treasure hunt. And of course, calling it a treasure hunt makes it far more exciting. Replacing the thimble with a favourite toy, adding a little story that involves the chosen toy finding treasure, could not be simpler. And as for the treasure, once they have found the toy, that can be traded for a treat of some kind.
For older children and adults a little more organisation is required. Writing clues for treasure hunts is really the trickiest bit. But even this does not need to be difficult and time-consuming. It can be done over a cup of tea while watching the television.
So here are a few Treasure Hunt Tips. A little planning is important and the first thing you need to do is decide where the hunt is going to take place and where you are going to place the clues.
So let’s say you have decided the treasure hunt is going to take place in the garden. Write down where in the garden you anticipate hiding the clues. Treasure hunt clues can be hidden under stones, in flower beds, under flower pots.
When you have decided where the clues for your treasure hunt are going to be hidden, write down these treasure hunt hiding places down in a list.(Like you would a shopping list). For example, flower pot, hose pipe, apple tree etc.
How to Assemble A Treasure Hunt.
It is important to remember that the first clue you will hand to your treasure hunt team members at the start of the game. And the next step may sound a little confusing but is worth taking on board so you don’t encounter a treasure hunt crisis!
So write down a clue in one or two sentences which describes where in the garden the flower pot will be found. Stick it in an envelope and put “Treasure Hunt Clue 1 Start” on the envelope. This is the treasure hunt clue which you will hand to your treasure hunt participants at the start of the treasure hunt. You treasure hunters will now be looking for a clue which they will find under the flower pot.
So following my treasure hunt hiding places above (flower pot, hose pipe, apple tree), you will need to write a second clue out which will give them a clue that it is by the hose pipe.
Once you have written the clue you need to write on the envelope. Treasure Hunt Clue 2 and Flower Pot. Putting Flower pot will tell you where to hide the clue.
This is useful when you have to rush round the garden hiding the clues. Where to hide each clue is on the front of the envelope. Oh and by the way, you may need to wrap the clues in cling film if you are worried the clues may get wet or damaged.
Once you have written out all the treasure hunt clues hide the clues using your original list. Make sure you keep clue 1 in your pocket and hide clue 2 as in my example, under the flower pot. Clue 2 will have a sentence directing team players to clue 3.
This is the bit I find most confusing personally, but maybe that’s just me. Once all the clues are hidden, with the final clue either being the treasure or directing participants back to the house where they can collect the treasure, you are all set to go.
More Treasure Hunt Ideas
Other treasure hunt ideas you can adopt is using photo clues, or drawing pictures instead of written clues. You could also hide toys or items around the garden which treasure hunters have to find. they then come to collect the next clue from you.
If you are feeling a little more ambitious with your treasure hunt ideas, then why not organise a treasure hunt party? As you can see once you get into the mindset there are lots of treasure hunt games to play.
Things to consider with Treasure Hunts
The only thing I should just mention is that with young children keep it small and simple. Not too many clues and limited to certain play areas. You also need to make sure that all participants know roughly where the treasure hunts spans. Particularly important if you don’t want your garage, shed or bedroom invaded by treasure hunters.
The thing about treasure hunts is that all ages can play and join in. They are great for days when the family are visiting and the kids are getting a little bored.
If too much cheating is going on then give out time penalties or forfeits. (e.g. run round the garden five times).
Treasure hunts are also a great game to play at Christmas, after the presents have been opened. They are also an excellent game to play while you are way on holiday. But best of all they are pretty much free and your family will love them.