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How to create a treasure hunt for kids parties and make it fun

Children can be hard to entertain. The last party my 10 year old daughter went to was the usual sort of thing, makeup, clothes, bit of party food, and a Cocker Spaniel running around going mad. Unfortunately the one thing that stood out was the almost obsessive attentitreasureon to their smart phones.  The moment the girls weren’t being spoon fed what to do next they were back on their phones.

So how do you entertain them and keep their attention?

Treasure Hunts are easier to produce than you might think. Here at Cluego we travel all over the world to write bespoke events for specific clients but writing around them home and garden can be just as entertaining.

Where to start?

First decide if you want the kids to work as individuals, pairs or small teams. I tend to opt for teams that way they can work together, use their phones for photos and no one is going to feel left out.

Set the boundary to the treasure hunt. Small kids are going to need to stay in view but the bigger they are the further they can roam, the garden, street, local shops, the park. You will know best.

Timescale, the more content you can include the longer it can last. You’re going to find it hard to get much more than 20 minutes from a home or garden but the further afield you go the longer it can last.  Our London Oxford Street treasure hunt has over 40 different questions and challenges spread over a 400 x 400 meter grid. This lasts between two and three hours.

Parks are great as they usually have lots of content, plenty of space and relative safety. If you want to add extra safety you can assign a parent/helper to each team.

What to include

For really young kids I would aim at a scavenger hunt. A list or plant some items for them to find.

A great way is to draw a box to box graph where they connect the boxes when they found the item.

For example

A Blue Bottle————————————————Bathroom

A Red shoe—————————————————Wardrobe

Mix up the boxes and your away.

Next up you could make a list of items that need to be physically collected :-

A daisy

A stone with a whole

A clothes peg

A bottle top

Keep the list simple and ensure that items are easily findable. For older kids you can add questions and challenges.

Questions need to be cryptic but not impossible.

For example

What is red and round and fills the clear house. ———————Tomatoes (as found in the green house).

Use pictures and ornaments around the house for content.  Look for details that need searching for.

It’s worth emphasising to the kids that the treasure hunt is hands free, you don’t want smashed heirlooms!

Make the questions independent of each other. That way they can do them in any order they like and don’t have to get the answers right, they can just move on.

Challenges are great ways to bulk out a package and add more contend in difficult areas, So for example.

Head for the Kitchen and complete the challenge———————There they can Ice a cake

Photo challenges are always good fun and serve as a lasting reminder of the party. I make my photo challenges “open to interpretation” so I use things like

The team 6 feet in the air (kids lay on their back with feet in the air)


The team in the palm of your hand (perspective photo or even the word TEAM written on your hand) Like I say it’s fun to leave it open to interpretation let them use their imagination which kids are usually good at!

I was recently asked by my local primary school PTA to produce a treasure hunt as a fund raiser. Families worked as teams and each paid £3.00 to take part. In order to ensure that the smallest kids felt included I included a Scavenger list of items to collect, questions for the adults to answer around the village and at each question location I hid a small laminated card with a picture of either Gold, Silver, Diamond, Ruby etc. The kids had to match the question number with the right treasure item.

There are loads of great ways to create treasure hunts for children as well as adults its just a case of being creative with your questions and challenges. Ultimately do not make it too hard for them and make it fun!


We have developed a free game for school children in years 1-6 which you can download here.

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