Treasure hunts and scavenger hunts, are fun activities for kids of all ages. They are ideal for a birthday, Christmas, Halloween, or just to pass a rainy afternoon.
The challenge is creating enough fun treasure hunt clues for kids and making them easy enough to solve without being too easy. We’ve therefore put together this list of 45treasure hunt ideas and riddles for both younger and older children.
- How to create a scavengerhunt
- Clue ideas for kids of all ages
- Anagram clues
- Rhyming riddles for kids and teenagers
- Creating a combined scavenger / treasure hunt
How to create a scavenger hunt
Treasure hunts work best for kids on their own or with a small group of children. For larger groups, it’s likely one child will solve more of the clues than the others. You might therefore be best splitting a large group up into two or three different ‘search parties’ and reposition the clues and a new treasure each time. Alternatively, you could create a murder mystery party and include a treasure hunting aspect as part of it.
Scavenger hunts are where you give a list of items children have to find - whether it's a list of things found in nature, books with different characters in them, or shapes.
The first rule when planning a treasure hunt is to start with the treasure itself then work backwards. This way you always know which clue to place next. If it’s for a birthday or Christmas, you may want to leave a small present at each location, then the final treasure at the end of the hunt.
For younger kids, choose clues which are more visual or write extra hints on the clue (e.g. “Starts with B…”). For older kids, if they get stuck, give them an extra clue at this point. For mixed groups, one idea is to have two clues at some points (one easy, one harder) and rip the next clue in half, placing half at each of the locations. This way, both younger and older kids will have fun and develop their team building skills.
The infographic below is one we created for Talk To Teach, a site offering English language immersions in France.
Another thing to consider is safety. At the start of your scavenger hunt, let your kids know where they can and cannot go. You may also be able to specify something like, "You don't need to move anything to see the clues."This is particularly important if you're having a party, as your may not want dozensof children rummaging through the toolsin your garage, or tipping out the drawers in your bedroom.
Clue ideas for kids of all ages
Whatever age your children are, there some treasure hunt clues that are always great fun:
- Jigsaw- Draw a sketch or take a photo of somewhere, then cut it up into a jigsaw. When you piece the jigsaw together, the next location is revealed.
- Treasure map- A sketch of one of the rooms in the house (for older kids, don't label anything, just draw rectangles for the items of furniture). Put an X to mark the location of the next riddle. If you'd like to print the image above to use as a basis of your map, just click it for a close-up, then print it.
- Word search- Either create a 5x5 grid and write a short word like "chair", "table", or "lamp" as part of it, then fill in random letters for the rest, or create a larger word search and write a list of words to find. The letters not used then show the location of the next clue.
- Crossword puzzles- You can also use crosswords and highlight several letters within the blank grid. When these are found, they spell the location of the treasure, or next hint. If you have a teenager in your scavenger hunt game, you may also wish to use cryptic crossword clues.
- Alphabet code- Substituting letters with its position in the alphabet creates codes like3-1-18 to giveC-A-R.
- Passwords- Not every hint has to go to a physical location. Sometimes you can give a hint and the child must say the password to get the next clue.
- Invisible ink- If you write a word in lemon juice, then when you heat the piece of paper the writing will become visible. Make sure you're around for this one and appropriate safety measures are taken.
- Maze- Pretty out a maze and write the letters of the answer along the correct path. Then write a few other random letters at dead ends.
- Rebuses- Pictorial riddles. Scroll down for examples.
- Hints in funny places- One of my favourites is to write a one word clue in big bold letters on a piece of toilet paper and put it in the toilet, face-up. Make sure the ink doesn't bleed.
Then give a clue like:
Anagram: LIE TOT
On the subject of anagrams, rearranging the letters is a great way to create customised clues. These can be household items, or bebased on your kid'sfavourite TV show, book, or toy.
We recommend using an anagram generator to createfunanagrams based on the words you enter. Anagrams can be tricky to solve, so do one or more of the following for any that are more than a few letters:
- Also give another clue to go with them (e.g. "A comic book").
- Give the first letter of each word in the answer.
- For young kids, write the letters randomly around a page and draw a line to each letter's correct position in the answer, as shown above.
Here are five anagram ideas of popular books:
- HARPY RETORT
- BASHED DIET
- ARMED SPIN
- IN ROMAN
- WORST SHEEP
And another three anagrams of popular authors:
- US DRESS
- NOT LIKE
- HAD A DROLL
- Harry Potter
- The Baddies
- Iron man
- Where's Spot?
- Dr. Seuss
- Roald Dahl
Another idea for riddles is to use rebuses - coded pictures that reveal a word or location.
Here are three rebuses to inspire you:
- Catalog (Catalogue in British English)
Creating a combined scavenger / treasure hunt
Some children love to collect objects and will find a scavenger hunt great fun. Others will more enjoy the challenge of solving riddles. You can combine both and create a great game to please everyone.
To create a combined game, do the following:
Hide the treasure
When creating a treasure hunt, it's best to work backwards. You therefore start at the end.
Choose where the treasure will be hidden and place it there (make sure the children don't know which room you're in for this).
Create the final clue
Create a 'final' clue with 6-10 parts revealing where the treasure is hidden. Hide each clue and make a note of where it's hidden. This could be:
- A jigsaw puzzle (or image cut into 6-10 pieces).
- An anagram with one letter per piece of paper.
- A word anagram with one word per piece of paper.
- Small toys e.g. toy carsand give the instructions, "All 7 toy cars must be found before you receive the final clue."
Write the main riddles
Write one riddle for each of the final clues (these can be in any order).
Write ascavenger hunt list
If you want to simply use several chocolate eggs, or one item multiple timefor this, skip this step.
Write a list of objects that fit under a given theme like Halloween or Christmas. Choose objects your child will be familiar with but you don't have too many of, for example:
Either leave them where they are, or hideall the items in one room. Place a riddle under each item in the scavenger hunt.
Give the children the list
When the children receive the list of items, they must scavenge for them, then solve each riddle to find the final set of clues. Once they have this, they put all of them together to find the treasure.
This is a great way of encouraging team building and is a good game for larger groups.
Rhyming riddles for kids and teenagers
Rhyming clues are a great way to get kids and teenagers to think out of the box. As with other treasure hunt clues, if they struggle with the answer, give them the first letter as an extra hint.
Click any of the riddles below to see the answer.
It lets the cat out, so she can explore, You just need to find the right door.
A game where bishops never walk straight, The queen strides quickly, pawns number eight.
The prime minister, president, and king, Are all named after this measuring thing.
They wait in the hall when master's at home, Yet travelling in pairs, with him they roam.
Shoes (or boots)
Write the word PET next to CAR, Aladdin’s was magic, it did fly far.
On paper, when I bite, my teeth collapse, Whatever I bite, I attach.
I have brown feet and my clothes are green, On top of a pot I'll often be seen.
T is at my start, T is at my end,I contain more T when you meet a friend.
I’m unwelcome at home, poisoned and trapped,Yet with every computer, I come wrapped.
Is found in the ground and used as bait,I'm orange and tasty. Quick, before I'm ate!
Though wave's in my name, you won't see me do it.I'll make things hot and easy to chew it.
A kind of fly, oh so beautiful,Creamy and white, almost spreadable.
My bark is silent and not heard at all.At my full height, I grow very tall.
Four kings and queens are kept within me.Their hearts, clubs, and spades all easy to see.
My name means metal, rigid or cruel,Yet I make things flat, am just a tool
With a head of skin, a body laced tight,Adding much emphasis, struck with delight.
Rearrange EPICS to make something hot.I'm added to food - a little, not a lot.
A magic word all children are taught,Creates great results, requires little thought.
Please (The child must say “Please” to receive the next clue).
I wave my hands all day and all night,If I wave too slow, I’ll soon be put right.
Clock (or watch)
The fifth and forth note in musical speak.Need to sit down? Then it’s me you must seek.
If kept by an outgoing type is packed,If empty, there’s never a time you must act.
What have you got in your pocket, my gosh?It's on the floor, not in the wash.
A previously worn item of clothing that's not been tidied away.
I’ve a golden head, a golden tail too,But you won’t see them both at the same time.I rest with my friends in a bed made of leather.To steal me is considered a crime.
Warning, this place gets very hot.Right now it's cold, so look in a pot.
A pan on the stove
I'm friendly to all who come through the door.Though they might not see me, here on the floor.
A welcome mat.
When it's sunny, I'm likely to vanish.I'm hung in the hall and look rather mannish.
I contain all the words from A to Z,Including aardvark and zoology.
Without a word, you'll sure notice me.Every morning, I won't let you be.
I'm full of water but won't get you wet. I take your clothes for a spin to remove the sweat.
- Make the scavenger hunts and clues challenging… but not too challenging.
- Incorporate props into the treasure hunts and clues.
- Integrate the event area into our treasure hunts and clues.
- Reinforce your message with the treasure hunts and clues.
- Plan the hunt first. ...
- Draw pictures for each of the clues. ...
- Hide the treasure and the clues while your child is supervised somewhere else.
- When you're ready, tell your child it's time for the treasure hunt. ...
- Talk with your child about the treasure hunt.
- Ask participants to find old computers running on outdated operating systems. ...
- Ask participants to find video or tape cassettes.
- Ask participants to find old cell phones and take a picture. ...
- Ask participants to find old magazines and share exciting insights that they learn.
To solve the Treasure Box puzzle, you need to make various combinations of gems. If you match a line of 4 gems of the same color, they form a Rocket, which will make all gems that are in the same row, vertical or horizontal, disappear.How do you plan a simple treasure hunt? ›
- Choose a location for your treasure hunt for kids. ...
- Choose a theme and format for your kid's treasure hunt. ...
- Decide where you will hide your treasure, and work backwards. ...
- Create your kids' treasure hunt clues. ...
- Do a final treasure hunt run-through.
Each item is worth a certain number of points and the team with the most points wins. The hunt is designed to fill the amount of time you have for the event. We recommend 2-3 hours.How do you write a clue Riddle? ›
- Choose an answer. Remember to choose a concrete, general answer.
- Brainstorm about your answer. Write down everything that comes to mind about the answer that you've chosen. ...
- Use a thesaurus. Choose three important words from your brainstorming list above, and look them up in a thesaurus. ...
- Use figurative language.
Try to have no more than 10 items. It might also be a good idea to include a picture of the item, in case some of the players are still learning how to read. For older children, use large fonts and lots of colors, but omit the pictures. Put between 10 and 15 items on your list.What's a good scavenger hunt prize? ›
Candy, small toys, books or certificates for ice cream are good prizes for kids that are both fun and inexpensive, according to Families with Purpose. You might also create a cardboard treasure chest filled with chocolate gold coins for that extra creative touch.What is inside treasure box? ›
Treasure boxes or baskets are filled with everyday items and natural materials, like different sized and textured balls or scraps of paper, shells or leaves. Children have lots of fun discovering what's inside.
- Camping out? Keep me near. ...
- Turn me on, fill me up. ...
- Open me up, there's lots to see. ...
- You say we're pals, that we're best friends. ...
- Don't frown at me, I made it clear. ...
- In a bowl or on a hook, just keep me somewhere you can look. ...
- Rub away, if you must. ...
- I'm always running, though I never walk.
- John Dillinger's Hidden Money.
- The Forrest Fen Treasures.
- The Treasure of San Miguel.
- Lake Toplitz Nazi Treasures.
- The Beale Ciphers.
- La Chouette d'Or.
- The Lost Fortune at Key West.
- The Treasure of Lima.
a game in which each person or team attempts to be first in finding something that has been hidden, using written directions or clues.What is the greatest treasure of all time? ›
- The Amber Room.
- Sarcophagus of Menkaure.
- Ark of the Covenant.
- Honjo Masamune sword.
- Lost Library of the Moscow Tsars.
- Crown jewels of Ireland.
- Sappho's lost poems.
- Dead bishop's treasure.
The finder's rights depend on how the found property is categorized. If the found property is lost, abandoned, or treasure trove, the person who found it gets to keep it unless the original owner claims it (so actually, unless the original owner claims it, the rule is “finders keepers”).Do people actually hunt for treasure? ›
Real-life Indiana Joneses, America's most successful treasure hunters have discovered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of lost gold, jewels and other precious artifacts, thanks to a mix of passion, ingenuity and dogged perseverance, with plenty of luck thrown in of course.Can a treasure chest be empty? ›
Not all Treasure Chests have items or Gold inside and may spawn empty.What do you put in a sensory treasure basket? ›
Here are some ideas for a Montessori treasure basket:
Large shells and large non-chokeable rocks, a big, smooth stick (like driftwood) Brushes: makeup, toothbrush, baby brushes, paint brush, nail brushes, hair brushes, shaving brush. Ribbons: different widths and colors. Pinecones: a variety of pinecones.
Buried treasure structures generate in beach biomes, and can also generate underwater. The treasure chest is almost always buried by some material. Most of the time the chest generates buried in a beach, so it has a sand or gravel block covering it.What should be in a memory box for kids? ›
You can add anything that has a personal story attached to it to the box. This might include jewellery, cards, toys, or tickets from places you visited together that hold special memories. It can help to attach a small note to the object as a reminder for your child.
Consider display options:
In general, there are three places you can place mementos: on the wall, on a shelf, or on a table. While your initial instinct might be to put photos on the wall, don't be afraid to mix it up and display them on a shelf or table.
Riddle: If there are three apples and you take away two, how many apples do you have? Answer: You have two apples. 69. Riddle: A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters.How do you make a good riddle? ›
- Come up with an answer. If you know your answer, you can brainstorm how to ask the right questions. ...
- Describe your answer. Color, shape, smell, taste, sound, uses. ...
- Write your riddle! It doesn't have to rhyme, but if you want it too, work hard to come up with questions that rhyme. ...
Moving on the squares: The character Miss Scarlet always takes the first turn in Clue. After Miss Scarlet starts the game, go clockwise around the table for turns.How do you end a Clue? ›
Once you've asked enough questions to eliminate all but three of the cards on your CLUE Sheet (one suspect, one weapon and one room), you're ready to solve the murder! Yes, I got all three cards rIght! You win! Congratulations, you've solved the murder!How many cards do you give out in Clue? ›
The dealer separates the 21 Clue cards by type - there are 6 Suspect cards, 6 Vehicle cards, and 9 Destination cards. He or she shuffles each type separately, face down, and then selects one of each type, sight unseen. These three cards represent the SOLUTION to the crime.Do you roll 1 or 2 dice in Clue? ›
On a player's turn, they will take the 2 dice and roll them. This is how many spaces you are allowed to move. You can choose to use your movement to get to different locations or remain where you are. Players are allowed to move vertically and horizontally across the board but never diagonally.How do you ask questions on Clue? ›
When entering a room, stop and ask a CLUE question about: one suspect, one weapon and the room you've just entered. Bring the suspect's character and weapon token you're asking about into the room with you. The player on your left must be the first to try to answer your question.How do you structure a treasure hunt? ›
- Plan your route. ...
- Scout out locations. ...
- Write and number the clues, and put them in numbered envelopes. ...
- Give yourself lots of time to plan. ...
- Get helpers' buy-in. ...
- Set it up. ...
- Prepare for contingencies. ...
- Add in some random rewards to keep things interesting.
And so on and so forth. In the final destination, include a “CONGRATULATIONS” note or prize to signal the end of the scavenger hunt.
The first person or team to collect the items on the list is the winner of a scavenger hunt. Sometimes, the game is played within a set period of time, and the team or player who obtains the most items from the list becomes the winner.What are good prizes for a game? ›
- Trophies. An oldie but a goodie, trophies are always a fun prize! ...
- Coupons. Another classic prize, but it works! ...
- Gift Cards. ...
- Light Up Shot Glasses. ...
- Lottery Tickets. ...
- Batteries. ...
- Subscription Gift Cards. ...
- 8.Travel Size Toiletries.
Using numbers in place of letters is an easy way to create the code (eg. 1=a, 2=b, 3=c, etc.), but using pictures or symbols can add a little something special. Using the number code 2-1-20-8-18-15-15-13 = BATHROOM, so once deciphered, hunters would know to look for their next clue in the bathroom.How do you find clues in hunt? ›
Using the dark vision allows hunter to see the clues in vicinity. Far clues are visible as faint, blue sparks. Near clues shine with blinding blue light. Note, that if you already found the beast's lair, or eliminated the area, the clues will not attract you, even if you haven't claimed them.What is full of holes but still keep water? ›
Sponge is full of holes but still holds water.
What's always found on the ground but never gets dirty? Answer: A shadow.What is hard to find but easy to loose? ›
This is Expert Verified Answer
MONEY - Money is the thing we hardly brings it after working hard and it hardly comes but if we spent it uselessly then , it's easy to lose .
By making Suggestions, you try to determine - by process of elimination -- which three cards are in the confidential Case File envelope. To make a Suggestion, move a Suspect and a Weapon into the Room that you just entered. Then suggest that the crime was committed in that Room, by that Suspect, with that Weapon.How many treasure hunt clues are there? ›
There are 20 total clues in GTA Online's Treasure Hunt. We've marked every single one of them on the map below, including details of their exact whereabouts.What is the rarest treasure in Minecraft? ›
- Emerald Ore.
- Heart of the Sea.
- Totem of Undying.
- Music Discs.
- Mob Heads.
- Enchanted Golden Apple (Notch Apple)
Yes, buried treasure can be under rocks. Most of the time the treasure chests are under sand or gravel blocks, however depending on the biome and where they spawned, the chests can be under different blocks. They can also spawn under coal ore, diorite, and dirt as well as spawning with water or air above them.How far down is buried treasure in Minecraft? ›
Many players have shared that in their experience, buried treasure generates roughly 40 blocks below the ground level. However, due to the way the game creates terrain, it's also possible to find these chests at higher or lower elevations.What makes an item a treasure? ›
Under the existing definition, objects are designated as treasure if they are found to be over 300 years old, made of gold or silver or found with artefacts made of precious metals. 'Treasure' also includes groups of coins and prehistoric metalwork.What is treasure in sentence? ›
Noun a legend about the pirates' buried treasure Central Park is one of New York City's many treasures. Grandmother's nurse has been a real treasure. Verb He treasures that autographed baseball. My grandmother's ring is my most treasured possession.How do you describe a treasure? ›
wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate. wealth, rich materials, or valuable things. any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized: This book was his chief treasure.