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 too 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 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 knew 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 birdhouse 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.
A FEW OF THE OTHER CLUES WE USED…
I thought I was clever with the clue leading to this spot, I just wrote… Opposite of live beginnings! Well, these clever kiddos got it super quick!
Ever since I can remember, my mom gathers all her grand children when she has them and gets a photo of them all scattered about on this rock.
So I just wrote….Nana’s favorite photo spot and the kids new right away. My mom, a bit more clever then I, said I could have just given them a travel brochure for Picture Rocks! That would have been fabulous, don’t you think? It did take them awhile to find the clue though since it was tucked up within the roots of the tree on the rock 🙂
The clue for this spot just simply said….Lily’s favorite sport. So we tucked it under the closest basketball hoop.
For the clue leading to the mailbox we wrote…
__ __ __ __
First letter = 4th grandchild 7th letter
Second letter = 2nd grandchild 1st letter
Third letter = 4th grandchild 2nd letter
Forth letter = 3rd grandchild 1st letter
Which turned out to be…MAIL and that clue said… “Hungry?” which led them all to the picnic lunch that we set up for them in the gazebo while they were at the city park following the first half of clues 🙂
This was so much fun to have waiting for them and boy were they ready for some food and drinks 🙂 If you want to see how to create our Duck Tape Party Ware just bip on over to my guest post at the White Lights on Wednesday blog 🙂
We kept it really simple and I packed the lunch boxes the night before and then loaded them in the back of the car without the kids noticing.
OK…now that you have your clues, on to step four 🙂
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
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 🙂
A few more tips to make your treasure hunt an enjoyable success..
Once we had all our clues bagged up, we gathered our supplies (shown five pictures above) and set out to hide them. The silver duck tape came in handy when hiding the clue on the dead end sign shown above. We had to hide this clue really well because the kids would be passing the sign several times before it was time for this clue be revealed. 🙂
We hid some clues under rocks.:)
Tacks came in real handy too, for tacking clues to trees and this sign.
Also, be sure to leave yourself enough time to hide the clues. My mom and I had a blast running all over hiding clues but it did take a bit longer then we thought. 🙂
We also gave one of the kids a fanny pack with my cell phone so that they could call if they needed any additional clues, which reminds me to tell you…Number and write down each of your clues and locations so that you have a master list to refer to if they call and say they are having trouble with clue #4 for example. 🙂
Lastly, you could use anything for your treasure and treasure chest. I only spent about $10 on candy and the kids were thrilled. All this fun activity took was a little planning which was a pleasure to do.
Make your party stylish and one of a kind with DUCK TAPE Party Ware 🙂
Enjoy our CAMPFIRE DESSERT BAR 🙂
Enjoy a fun and easy meal with Tacos served in a bag from our WALK ABOUT TACO BAR 🙂