How about a treasure hunt?

Having a treasure hunt is one of my children’s favorite things to do. On birthdays I hide their presents and then make them hunt for them using clues.

There are many variations of doing this, and we have probably tried them all.

The following one is the one usually come back to.

Get a stack of index cards.

Think of places around your house where you can hide these cards.

As you think of a place write a little poem to find the location.

Some examples:

Go to the place
Where you wipe your feet
Lift it up
And look underneath.

Where does Mom spend time
hitting keys?
Open it up
A Clue you will see

How many clues has this been?
Figure it out now,
Not later.
You may have to use
the calculator.

Think about how the children will go from location to location. Personally I like them to run all over the house. So I will have a clue which leads them upstairs, followed by one which leads them to the laundry room, followed by one which leads them to my bathroom, etc.

The easiest way to hide the cards after you finish writing them up, is to put them in order and then walk around the house just like the children will do to find them.

You can have as many or as few clues as you can think up.

Even children who can’t read yet can have fun with this game. Just have them bring you the card after they find it so you can read the next clue to them.

What’s at the end of the treasure hunt? Whatever you want. I have found that the hunting part is what excites my children the most.

Today I am going to hide a Netflix movie that just came for them and some popcorn. And possibly a nap for me, if I can figure out how to hide that.

12 Responses to “How about a treasure hunt?”

  1. Sara Says:

    We have done this on occasion when we all have cabin fever. We’ve done it for birthdays as well. It’s always fun. And I’m like you, the more they run all over the house, the better (plus, up and down the stairs a few times and they get a little worn out). I hadn’t thought to do it for something more mundane like a movie and popcorn. I’ll have to try it.

  2. Julie Says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. Cabin fever be damned. We’re going to have a treasure hunt this afternoon!

  3. Crisanne Says:

    What a fun idea!!

  4. tanya Says:

    We do the same thing for Easter.

  5. Christina Says:

    What a great idea! We have some days to pass without any daddy relief and this may just help us out tomorrow night - thanks for sharing so many great ideas!

  6. Sarah Says:

    We used to pester my Dad for treasure hunts all the time. He’d often set something up in the same style you talked about. Other times he’d draw a map. I can remember him trying to get one of us to write a hunt for the other, but we never fell for it!

    The prizes totally didn’t matter, it was all in the hunt!

  7. bonnie Says:

    I used to make up treasure hunt clues in rhyme, but now my older children do this for my little ones. My baby is eight (soon to be an Auntie!) and, before I know it, she will be the one making up the clues.

    Loving memories beat everything! Sending blessings and encouragement your way. Enjoy your nap.

  8. Mary W Says:

    what a cool idea - my middle son has a February birthday and I was looking for an indoor birthday idea (February can be either warm or cold here)

  9. jody Says:

    How fun! I think I will try this tonight with a movie as well!

    The Easter bunny used to hide our baskets when I was little. We had fun hunting them down.

  10. Gwen Says:

    My oldest is three and he LOVES treasure hunt. I made some simple cards that say things like LOOK - the Os are made to look like eyes - on the COUCH and then I draw a picture of a couch. That way he feels like he can read it himself and it helps with word/object association. Someday when I get real motivated I’ll download some clip art and make the cards on cardstock and have them laminated. Right now we just use post-it notes. :)

  11. Jill A. Says:

    We LOVE treasure hunts here. For my 3 yo I just draw pictures on the cards since he can’t read. He thinks he’s a pirate and NEEDS to hunt treasure everyday. I love the ideas you’re posting here — motivating me to do more with my little guy.

  12. bob Says: