Treasure hunts are a fabulous way to get your kids up, active and energised. What’s more, they are a fantastic and all too rare opportunity to get kids and siblings playing and working happily together, whatever their ages or abilities. One of the nicest things about a treasure hunt is the ability to vary the difficulty of clues and assign different roles, so that all ages can participate fully.
But what about the treasure itself? What do you do when the sugar police come to town?!
Leaving sweets and treats every time may please the treasure hunters, but not so much their tummies or teeth. So if you’re on the look out for some fun and original treasure hunt ideas, here are 15 innovative ways to create that extra bit of “gold” at the end of a treasure hunt. They’re creative, extend play, and are mostly FREE (yup, we said it!). So if you’re looking to make a treasure hunt part of your day with the kids, and want some lovely ways to reward them for their play, then read on!
Just one thing to note: if you’re on the look-out for cool treasure hunt prizes that you can BUY for a party, check out another of our blogs: a review of the 15 coolest buys (plus top tips for a successful party)!
Treasure Hunt Ideas: Fun new ways to create great prizes
- Hide a favourite toy for your child to be reunited with at the end of the trail – if they’re up for adventure and not likely to be upset by it (please no tears!) then you could even concoct a story around it. Maybe their teddy has been captured by the pirates and you have to rescue it!
- Pick a favourite story and make that the “treasure”. Then cuddle up and read it together once your treasure hunters find it. Nothing better than some mummy or daddy time on the sofa!
- Hide a promise or special note – how about a note promising a trip to the park?
- Hide a few pennies for them to add to their money box, or to spend on your next trip out. It’s a great way to teach them to recognise coins and to learn value concepts too
- Take it a step further by hiding a credit note, saying “I.O.U. $1”, for example. Then get them to exchange it for coins with you afterwards. It’s a great little way to teach them about money and get them counting coins
- Make the end of the treasure hunt part of an ‘event’ – like a teddy bears’ tea party, or a mini home disco. Then invite them to come and join in the party
- Do some baking first and allow them to find their home-made cookies or cupcakes at the end of the trail. You’ll soon find your day filling up with fun activities together
- Hide some craft supplies and allow them to let rip with their creativity afterwards
- Do a puzzle together, and hide the last piece of the puzzle at the end of the trail. The satisfaction is so great for them when they complete two challenges in one!
- This one is for slightly older children who can follow the trail independently. How about wrapping your treasure hunt into a game of hide and seek …and hide YOURSELF at the end of a trail of clues. (Okay, so you might not fit in a wardrobe these days, but you can hide in an empty bath, or under the bed covers!) Once they find you, turn it into a game of tickles or pillow fights and listen to their squeals of delight!
- Use your treasure hunt as part of a birthday party. It’s fun to get the kids to hunt for their party bags, and it’s a great way to finish off the entertainment! (Don’t forget that here at GoTrovo, we offer purpose-made party kits, so all the hard work has been done for you!)
- If you want to go all out on the jewels effect, it’s very easy to pick up some cheap plastic gems online, or indeed some lovely coloured stones from your local garden centre.
- Hide some reward stars to put on their chart – a really nice way to reinforce how happy you are with their behaviour.
- Okay, so none of us wants to openly admit to the screen time thing, but we all know it’s a reality and sometimes we parents NEED it! (Heck, sometimes the kids need it too!) But to ease the guilt, why not make them “earn” it, but engaging them on some active, treasure hunting fun first. And if you really want to get them moving, check out our low cost physical forfeit sheets – ready made exercises for just a few pennies! What’s not to love?!
- Why not grab your free treasure hunt including fun letter from a pirate – it’s LOADS of fun for the kids to receive! Just look for the FREE TREASURE ‘send to me’ icon to the right of this post 👉
Whatever you choose, we hope this has sparked some ideas and reinforced the versatility of a treasure hunt. We’re always on the hunt for new ways to look for treasure, so do comment below if you have anything to add! In the mean time, happy hunting!