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How can I Plan a Treasure Hunt?

Planning a treasure hunt is an exciting way to create an unforgettable adventure. Start by choosing a theme, then craft clever clues that lead to hidden treasures. Ensure the difficulty matches the participants' abilities. Incorporate puzzles, maps, and riddles for variety. Remember, the journey is as rewarding as the discovery. What secrets will your treasure hunt reveal? Continue reading to become the ultimate treasure hunt mastermind.
Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

To begin planning a treasure hunt, make a list of items that the participants need to find. You can come up with a theme and select items that correspond with that theme, or you can select random items.

Next, come up with a list of ground rules, such as forbidding contestants to purchase items from a nearby store. Include boundaries. Make it clear whether players may ask neighbors or people on the street for items for the treasure hunt or whether they can only use found items. Children must have adult supervision for a treasure hunt that goes outside of their everyday boundaries, especially if they are going to interact with other people.

Two young boys
Two young boys

Decide whether you want participants to compete as individuals or teams. It is best to choose teams if children are participating in the treasure hunt, so they can stick together. You may decide to select captains and let them choose their team members. Children's teams should have adult team leaders. Hand out the lists, giving one to each player or each team captain. With each list, provide a pen or a pencil to mark items off the list as they are obtained.

Inform contestants or team leaders whether they need to check in after locating each item or after all the items on the list have been found. If you choose the latter, set a time limit by which all teams or contestants must return to the point of origin. If no person or group has collected all of the items on the list by the end of the time limit, the individual or team with the most items wins the treasure hunt.

If you prefer a different format for your treasure hunt, create a treasure map with plenty of clues that will lead participants to a specific location. Whichever person or team arrives at the location first, collects the treasure and returns to the starting point, wins. The treasure can be a wrapped package, which may only be opened upon reaching the starting point. The winners get to keep the contents of the treasure.

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Discussion Comments


Latte31 - I love treasure hunts. They are so fun. I know that some companies offer a team building treasure hunts during their corporate events.

These events are intended for bonding and developing a sense of cohesive among the group. Instead of having a single winner, the entire team gets rewarded and really makes for a memorable day.

I think that if the treasure hunt consists of prizes like business or leadership books it would really get the groups excited.


A treasure hunt for a birthday party is ideal. A scavenger treasure hunt is really fun when you have a big yard and can hide the items well.

You can hide the child’s birthday present and have the children help find them. The other children can receive a little goody bag full of candy for their efforts.

You can offer clues that rhyme which make it even more fun for the children. A treasure hunt for kids really allows them to explore and have a good time as they develop their problem solving skills.

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    • Two young boys
      Two young boys