how to organize a treasure hunt

How to organize a scavenger hunt? Ideas + Clues + Map

Make a scavenger hunt for kids for a birthday for example, how to create the scavenger hunt, how to organize the treasure hunt, I give you here the steps, ideas, examples of clues, treasures, a free treasure hunt to print, etc.

An unforgettable moment for a child, a TREASURE HUNT! If you've ever been on a treasure hunt as a child, you're sure to remember it! Do you want to create and organize a treasure hunt for one or more children, but don't know how? What clues to give, how to make a treasure map, what kind of treasure to give at the end of the treasure hunt, where to start? Well, you'll find the answers here, so that the kids have a great time on their next treasure hunt!

Treasure hunts are still the stuff of children's dreams! And it's easy to see why!

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chasse au trésor de sorciers et de magie pour les enfants
chasse au trésor de sorciers et de magie pour les enfants

Why organize a treasure hunt?

A treasure hunt is always fun, whether alone or in a group, and children always enjoy themselves! They can be organized for a variety of occasions, such as birthdays, Easter, Christmas or the vacations. There's no end to the treasure hunts, and did you know that there are also treasure hunts for adults? The great thing about treasure hunts is that it's impossible to get bored, and it's impossible not to enjoy them. Your success is guaranteed. But you still need to put the finishing touches to your treasure hunt. Treasure hunts are fun, full of good times, interactive and sometimes require children to be creative and imaginative. You'll learn a lot about them and their determination to find the treasure. You might be surprised at what they're capable of! And let's not forget all the laughs on the treasure hunt. And it's good for kids and parents alike to play the clown!

How do you organize a treasure hunt?

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when creating and organizing a treasure hunt for children:

  • What atmosphere do I want to create (scenarios)?
  • How old are the children who will be playing the treasure hunt?
  • Is it a treasure hunt for one child or several?
  • Indoor or outdoor treasure hunt in a garden or park?
  • What kind of puzzles can I create?
  • Are the riddles age-appropriate?
  • Will I draw all the riddles? Or print them out?
  • On what type of paper will I write the riddles (parchment?)?
  • How do I make a treasure map?
  • What will be the treasure for this scavenger hunt?
  • Do I have enough time to organize the treasure hunt?

Turnkey treasure hunt scenarios

For a good treasure hunt, you need to choose the atmosphere of the treasure hunt you're going to organize. Is it going to be a pirate treasure hunt, or a Harry Potter treasure hunt?

To help you, here are a few ideas for treasure hunt atmospheres:

  • pirate treasure hunt
  • forest treasure hunt
  • nature treasure hunt
  • unicorn treasure hunt
  • superhero treasure hunt
  • prince and princess treasure hunt
  • knights treasure hunt
  • Christmas treasure hunt
  • seaside vacation themed treasure hunt
  • and so on

Know the age of children playing the treasure hunt

Of course, you need to know how old the children playing the treasure hunt will be. Will they be young or old? And more specifically, are they 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11? The level of the riddles will obviously be different between a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old. If there are several children of different ages, you'll need to modulate the riddles and clues.

Treasure hunt for one or more children?

When the scavenger hunt is played with several children, there are a few points to bear in mind. Depending on the number of children involved, you'll need to ensure that every child can play and see the riddles.

Treasure hunt in the garden

jardin pour une chasse au trésor

If you're lucky and the weather's nice, why not organize the treasure hunt in the garden if you've got one. And why not in a park if you can? An outdoor treasure hunt is always fun. If the treasure hunt takes place in your garden, you can even bury the treasure! But don't panic if you can't do your treasure hunt in the garden, you can just as easily do it indoors. A treasure hunt is just as suitable indoors as it is outdoors.

What kind of clues for a treasure hunt?

To get from one place to another, or from one puzzle to another, you have several options. You can hand out the riddles, or play a game of hot and cold to get the children to go to their next riddle, or get them to guess the location. To get the children to guess the locations of the next riddles, you'll need clues before the big clue at the end indicating the location of the treasure. Riddles are a good way to give them the future location of the treasure hunt. For example: the dishes come out all wet (hide the clue in the dishwasher (empty of course)), you spend hours there every night (hide the clue in their bed), etc.

What are the riddles for the treasure hunt?

Depending on the age of the children, the riddles for the treasure hunt won't be the same. If the children can't read, you can start with connecting elements, coloring, riddles and so on. If the children know how to read and are a little older, you can use riddles where logic can be put to the test. If they're learning multiplication tables, you can make riddles with calculation games. You'll need to strike a balance between simpler and more complicated puzzles.

Where to write treasure hunt clues?

Here are some ideas for writing treasure hunt clues. For a theme like pirates, either you have scrolls, which I don't think you necessarily do, or you have scroll drawings to print out, or you can create the scrolls yourself. A good technique is to soak paper in water infused with black tea. Wow effect guaranteed!

How do you make a treasure map?

As with the clues, you can either have a beautifully designed treasure map, or you can create your own treasure map for the treasure hunt. To do this, simply soak the paper in water infused with black tea. On your treasure hunt map, you can draw the rooms in your house or garden, with trees and flowers. Invent places, for example. Instead of a bedroom, note a cave; instead of a kitchen, note a tavern; instead of a bathroom, note sacred fountains, etc.

Treasure ideas for a treasure hunt

pièces de trésor pour une chasse au trésor

Now that you know how to organize a treasure hunt, of course you need a treasure! After all, what would a treasure hunt be without treasure? First of all, there are several types of treasure, both tangible and intangible.

Let me explain: you can give the gift of a family moment, an Easter egg, a birthday present or a Christmas present. Then there are treasures to share and those for just one child. I've prepared a few treasure ideas for you:

  • birthday gift
  • Christmas gift
  • Easter egg
  • forest walk
  • board game evening
  • pancake party
  • a token for parents
  • a meal to cook as a family
  • a snack with friends
  • a picnic wherever they like
  • sleeping in a tent with or without parents
  • go to the cinema
  • go to the pool
  • go to a restaurant
  • an extra hour playing video games
  • he or they decide on the evening TV program
  • play a game of their choice with their parents
  • make waffles for a snack
  • ...

How the treasure hunt works

During the treasure hunt, you'll be the master of the game, their guide. You're the one who'll make sure everything goes according to plan. You're there to guide the children, but it's important to remember that they have to do as much as possible on their own, and that they have to think together. If there are several of them, make sure there's real group cohesion and mutual support, and that no one ends up on the sidelines.

Free printable treasure hunt

Would you like a preview of a Les Parents Créatifs scavenger hunt? I've put together a free scavenger hunt for you to print out, with 4 riddles to keep the kids entertained for around 20 minutes. Set off on the adventure of the "Club of 4 and the mysterious disappearances".

The final ingredient for creating a treasure hunt from A to Z: time.

I won't hide the fact that it's going to take you some time to create a treasure hunt from A to Z. It will also depend on the type of treasure hunt you're planning. A treasure hunt with a few riddles, or a treasure hunt with several riddles and a whole scenario behind them. 

Now that you've got all the ingredients, I hope you'll enjoy your future treasure hunt with the kids! One thing's for sure, they'll have a great time!

Les Parents Créatifs treasure hunts

If you're looking for a little adventure, we've got ready-made treasure hunts to make your life easier. You receive the scavenger hunt in your mailbox, just print it out and everything is explained in the instructions for parents. What's more, bonuses are included...

Want to organize a treasure hunt?