How to Plan a Treasure Hunt for the Kids
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How to Plan a Treasure Hunt for the Kids

Planning parties and events is great fun.  Planning to keep them busy can be challenging.  Depending on the age of the children, it can be down right difficult. But wait!  There are ways to keep them occupied.  Never fear!  A Treasure Hunt is here!

A treasure hunt can enhance any event.  For each age group however, you will need to modify it to fit them.

Let's jump in on the fun.

For ages 3-5 years old, they tend to like to find things.  Think easter egg hunt but better.  For this age group you can do the treasure hunt two different ways.

1) Modified egg hunt- You will need: small bags, candies (hard candies work well to look like jewels), jewelry (beaded necklaces for both boys and girls), play money or grab up a hand full of pennies.

A) Put the goodies into the bags.  You will want to make sure that you have at least one bag for each child.  Or set it up as a contest where the one that finds the most bags of treasure wins.  This may require a few extra bags.

B) If you have a nice big yard, place the bags of treasure around the yard.  Make sure you place them in places that you don't mind the children getting into.  This will help keep your yard from being torn apart and you spending hours later having to clean it up.

C) If the party is in the house, make sure you keep eyes from wondering to the yard to start spotting the treassure, we don't want anyone cheating on you.  Once you are set, you give the chidren the instructions.  Explaining that the each need to find the missing treassure.  You could even tie this into a movie or a story book.  If you have 3 year olds in the group you might want to do the buddy system for them, this way they have a chance just like the bigger kids.

2) The team work method can work for this group as well.  This one is a good one to tie in with a story about finding treasure.  If the story winds up to be about buried treasure you could be in trouble with this one, unless you plan to allow them to dig in your yard. For this you will need; a box (you can paint one black to look like a trunk), candies, jewelry, plastic pirate gold, any other goodies you would for the kids to find.

If you are planning to do this hunt indoors, make sure you hide the treasure in a spot that is obvious, but isn't paid attention to much.  Outside of course, is always best for a treasure hunt.  If you have a nice park near by, this works great to give the children space to run around in.

For this age group, you will only want to hide the treasure box in a simple place.

A) Place all of the goodies into the treasure box.

B) Hide the treasure box.

C) Make a map of the area for the children to try and follow.  Time to watch the fun.  The map works best if you have 5 year olds.  They learn to figrue out the pictures and really get a kick out of it.

For children that are a bit older, 5-7, they tend to like to do things that involve reading a lot.  So for this age group you may want to set up the treasure hunt to include a bunch of clues or even a treasure map.  You will want a nice open space to work with.  If you have a small yard, you may want to look into using a local park for the treasure hunt.  Gather up the following for this hunt: Box, candies, plastic jewelry, eye patches and other fun stuff.

1) Box up your treasure and hide it.

2) Either map, or set up clues that need to be hidden in different areas, each area that holds a clue, needs to lead the children to another clue.  This will keep them busy for quite some time.

Now as we reach the next age group, you can experiment and have a little more fun for kids 8 and up, you can actually bury the treasure. You will need, toy sand shovels, candies, jewlery, other small toys and a box.

1) Paint the box to look like a treasure box, then fill it.

2)  Fill it with the candy, since you will be burying the treasure box, you will want to make sure you seal the box, this will prevent dirt from getting inside.

3) This is best done in an area with a lot of dirt.  Dig a whole big enough to hold the treasure, make it a shallow hole.  Stick your box in cover it.

4) Either create a map a series of clues that will lead the children to the treasure.

5) Designate someone to lead the expedition.  Give them a bag filled with the sand shovels, enough for everyone in the group.

Watch the fun begin.

For teens, it is always fun if you can get your neighbors in on the treasure hunt, either by giving them clues to pass out, or see if they will allow the kids to search their yard during the treasure hunt, then of course you could hide a clue in that spot.  This could turn out to be a lot of fun for your whole neighborhood.  You can also set the kids up in groups, this could make it ore interesting.

Happy hunting!

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Comments (1)
Jill Sims

I love the picture on this article. I have a very similar photo of Amanda's and Eddie's feet when Eddie was about a month old. I then printed it in Black and White. Its the cutest.