No matter what age your kids are, a treasure hunt is always an exciting theme for a party. You can plan a treasure hunt in a variety of ways, such as with a certain theme, like a pirate hunt or a treasure hunt around town. For a successful treasure hunt party, determine the type and difficulty of the clues based on the general age of the participants, as well as the area the kids will be searching.
Use picture clues for your youngest treasure hunters, such as toddlers and preschoolers, who can't yet read or fully grasp the concept. Create a simple sheet with four or five pictures of items they should look for. Use items they are familiar with, such as a favorite teddy bear, a ball and a pair of shoes. If you want to make it a little more challenging for this age group, take a close-up, partial picture of the objects and the kiddies will have to figure out what the picture is before searching for it.
Basic Word Clues
For young school-aged children, create simple, one- or two-sentence clues for a treasure hunt game. If you want the kids to find a pair of sunglasses, the clue might read, "I make you look cool and protect your eyes from the sun." The kids would then look for sunglasses, which will have the next clue on or near the item. You could include directions for where to find it. You might add to the sunglasses clue, "I sit in the pocket of one of dad's jackets."
Challenge Riddle Clues
For older kids, like tweens and teens, plan tougher riddle clues that they have to really think about to decipher. If you are trying to lead the teens to the biggest tree on your property, the clue might read, "I'm the biggest and oldest of anyone around, but to learn my true age, you'll have to knock me down." For a treasure hunt around town, you could create riddle clues that require them to use a smartphone to look up information. If the clue is about a certain statue in a park, for example, you might write, "In remembrance of my famous 18th-century ride, I stand watch from the tallest hill with pride." Research would lead them to the statue, where the next challenging riddle would be waiting.
Older kids can also have fun with clues that they have to decipher to know where to go next. You can do a different type of deciphering clue for each one. One clue might be a word scramble sentence. The kids must unscramble it to get the clue. Other clues might be a mini crossword or word search puzzle, a message written backward that they must look at in a mirror, or math clues that could give the kids coordinates to a specific location. Make sure you give the kids any tools they might need for deciphering some of these clues, such as a pencil and paper, a compass and a map if necessary.