Make Your Own Treasure Hunt!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Read on for some great starter ideas for treasure hunts you can have with your friends, classmates, or family. Have fun on your hunt!
In this version of a Treasure Hunt, players (or teams) must collect photos of objects or themselves in different locations/situations. For instance, your list might include a picture of a blue jay. Or a player's picture taken with a clown at a local landmark. Or of a team forming a human pyramid at a playground. The possibilities are endless!
What you'll need:
- a digital or instant camera for each player/team
- a list of objects/locations/situations for each player/team
Give players a time limit, then send them off. Make sure they know that they have to find someone to snap the photo. And make hard-to-get photos worth more points
Make a list filled with silly, hard-to-find items. Each player (or team) gets a copy of the list, and has to find as many of the items as possible in a certain amount of time. Put a limit on how much money each player/team can spend (if any), and remind them of the Number One Rule: NO STEALING.
Here are some good items to put on your list:
- old magazines
- the smallest or largest of a certain item (like a flag or a zucchini)
- funny photographs (see Photo Hunt, above)
- a person, like a librarian, a police officer, even the principal!
Set a time when all players/teams have to report back to Scavenger Hunt Headquarters and present their treasures. The player/team with the most items from the list is the winner!
Clue hunts require some work, but they are a lot of fun. You will need:
- A number of locations in which to hide clues. Let's say 5.
- A clue that leads to each location. 5 locations = 5 clues.
- A copy of each clue for all the players. 3 players x 5 clues = 15 clues.
- A "treasure" for each player/team. 3 players = 3 treasures.< /LI >< /LI >
First, hide a treasure in each location. Each team will find the locations in a different order, and the last place they go should have the treasure. Next, hide all the clues. You should have one of each clue left over. Those will be the starting clues. Gather your players together and give each one a starting clue. Then let them go! Have a special prize for the player/team that finishes first, and the one that finishes last.
- Assign each player/team a color. Put each clue in a color-coded envelope in each hiding space. That way, the teams won't read each other's clues or take each other's treasure.
- The "treasure" should fit in your envelopes. It can be a certificate, some stickers, a picture, or a small prize.
- It works better if there are more locations than there are teams.
- Make sure you don't hide a clue in the place it points to! You might want to play through each team's hunt just to make sure that everything is working right.
- A house works great for small children, but big kids will need more space. Try the back yard, the school, or the whole neighborhood!
- Your clue should have two parts: general and specific. One part of the clue should direct players to the general spot (room, yard, tree), and the other part of the clue should give the details of where to look for the envelope (in the jar, under the big rock, on Julia's desk).
Map hunts, like maps, come in many shapes and sizes. A map can represent:
- the rooms of a house
- the streets of a neighborhood
- the halls of a school
- the trees and bushes of a yard
Once you have a map, and have hidden your "treasure," you can create several kinds of hunts. Here are some suggestions:
- Mark an "X" on the map, and simply hide the treasure in that place, or use that place to hide your starting clues for a Clue Hunt, or your lists for a Photo Hunt or a Scavenger Hunt.
- Mark an "X" on the map, and use it as a starting point. Write instructions on the map for players to follow from the X to the treasure. For instance: "Walk 30 paces east, then turn right and walk 10 paces. Climb over the fence, find the big rock and look behind it."
- Use the map instead of a list for a Clue Hunt or a Photo Hunt. Mark an "X" at each location where players have to take a photo or find a clue. Or, your clues can be listed on the map.
In the I SPY Treasure Hunt CD-ROM, there are a variety of maps. Try to think of ways to point your players to the treasure using words, pictures, riddles, rebuses, puzzles, games, landmarks, the stars, and other people. Creating a treasure hunt can be ten times as fun as playing one!