Today we’ve been making a treasure hunt for Mr Frugal when he comes in from work and it took me back to the ones we used to do for the kid when they were younger. We haven’t done one for ages though so we thought it was time to sort that out! We’re starting with one for Mr Frugal – mainly because he’s not in at the minute so clue writing and hiding is much easier but also because we haven’t seen him in a week as we’ve been away so the kids wanted to do something for him as a surprise.
Obviously, the idea of a treasure hunt is to follow a series of clues that will ultimately lead you to a ‘treasure’ – they’re so easy to make and the good thing is that you can tailor the clues for children of all ages.
For under fives, I would just do about 5 or 6 clues, all based in and around the house – either picture based (ie. draw a picture of a bed with an arrow pointing to the pillow and hide the clue under the pillow) or very simple clues that you can read out for them.
For older children, you can do more cryptic clues and you can base it in the house, garden and even the car if you want to. You can make the clues rhyme or not if you’re writing traditional style clues or you can make the hunt more interesting if you make the clues even harder to solve:
- Write the clues out as anagrams – so, ‘in the habt’ would mean that the clue was ‘in the bath’.
- Write the clues in code – a simple code to use would be a=1, b=2, c=3 etc. Your clue for in the bath would then be ‘in the 2-1-20-8’.
- If any or all of the children have a phone you could take photos from weird angles or really close up and send the next one to their phone each time they find a clue. Alternatively, you could just print the photos out and hide as you would normal clues.
- Use invisible ink to write the clue – use a white wax crayon or a white candle to write the message on and the children can draw over the paper with a fat felt tip like a highlighter.
I’ve done things a bit back to front today by letting the kids make one for Mr Frugal so our clues are quite basic as they’ve done it all themselves. I’m sure they’ll have just as much fun as they would if they were doing the hunt themselves though as they get to watch their Dad figuring our their clues and finding the prize they’ve hidden for him at the end (a huge bar of chocolate).