- Choose a theme. Themes make your treasure hunt fun especially if you choose a theme based on the interests of those participating. For example, if your son likes pirates, you can make a pirate treasure hunt for him and his friends.More great themes include: princesses, dinosaurs, jungle, fairies, mermaids and popular tv and film characters
- Plan your clues. Find clues online or brainstorm clues based on the age of the players. The players need the clues to get from one spot to the next. Riddles are great for older players who need more challenging clues. In contrast, younger players may enjoy fun clues like rhymes. If there are very young players, you can just use pictures as clues. Choose the number of clues according to how much time you have and how many players are participating. Try to make the clues stick to the theme of your treasure hunt. If you are making a dinosaur treasure hunt, relate each clue to a different dinosaur.An example of clue sequence would be: Clue #1: When your hunger strikes your mood, it leads you here to get some food. (Place Clue #2 in the kitchen.) Clue #2: Hooray, you’ve made it to number two. To get to number three, put these on before your shoe. (Place Clue #3 in the sock drawer.)
- Plan your treasure. Choose a variety of prizes that relate to the theme of your treasure hunt. There may be players with food allergies so be sure to ask if you’re including snacks or treats. Plan the treasure in private so no players can cheat. You could make a treasure chest and fill it with toys and treats. Prizes can include candy, pencils, toys, coins, sweet necklaces, glow sticks . If you design your own treasure chest, you can ask other players to help you decorate it. You may also skip using a single treasure chest and use individual prize bags. For a no-frills approach, simply decorate brown paper bags and fill each with prizes.
- Hide your clues. Make sure that the players cannot see you as you place the clues around the house, office, or outside if weather permits. Make sure you keep the clues accessible if you have small children playing. Place the clues far apart and in locations that aren’t similar. You don’t want a player finding the wrong clue. You can get the kids to eat a snack or plant the clues while the kids are at school. Make sure that they are always supervised so you don’t risk having someone wander over to sneak a peek at you while you are hiding the clues.
- Send them on their treasure hunt. Gather the players and explain the rules. Make sure they know what’s out of bounds. You don’t want them wandering into a dangerous room or a restricted area, like outside, if they aren’t allowed. Split a larger group into teams and make sure there’s an equal amount of skill in each team. For example, avoid placing all the fast kids or good readers in one team. Get the players to be in costume if you are doing a themed treasure hunt. Make sure each player gets a chance to read a clue out loud. Also, ensure that everyone is participating and that brainstorming is fun and no one is being picked on. Don’t let a single person dictate all the answers and directions. Make sure each team works together and cooperates.
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