How to Create a Backyard Treasure Hunt

Customize Your Hunt

There are plenty of ways to personalize the basic treasure hunt. Some adjustments are logistical. You want all of your partygoers to feel involved and rewarded, so party size is a variable to consider. You'll want a copy of the clue for each child, if they're all working separately. If you're dividing them into teams, have one clue for each team. You could make a rule about rotating which hunter does the reading at each clue.

Think about age, too: For young hunters, maintaining interest can be tricky, so you might want to hide a little prize at each clue location to keep them excited.

Other adjustments are purely for fun. If your party has a theme, why not run it through the treasure hunt, too? A pirate theme is the most natural – eye patches for each hunter, clues with burnt edges, and a pirate-style treasure chest.

But other themes can work. For a fairy party, give each hunter a wand, sprinkle clues with glitter, and hide a bunch of wearable fairy wings as the treasure. They can wear them for the rest of the party and then take them home as party favors.

Hiding a map piece with each clue is fun, too. Each piece fits into a puzzle that turns into a finished map at the end, showing the location of the treasure.

To start off your hunt, gather the whole group together. You can weave a short story about pirates setting off to find buried treasure, for instance, or just straightforwardly announce that you're having a treasure hunt and explain how the game will work. Let the kids know there's a special prize at the end (or prizes for coming first, second and third). Then read off the first clue and let them go.

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