Treasure hunts are a competitive way to spend time at a birthday party. It is an enjoyable activity for young and old alike. Your hints and clues must be tailored to the age of the participants. For instance, the clues necessary for a 5-year-old children must be much less complicated than those for college students. Treasure hunt ideas for kindergarten-aged children are not difficult to compile.
Reading a Story
Plant easy-to-identify objects around the home or yard from a well-known children's story before starting the treasure hunt. Read the birthday party attendees the story. Another option is to make up a story around the objects you have hidden. At the end of the story, ask the children to scatter around the yard or home to find any objects in the story, such as a stuffed animal, green egg, a letter of the alphabet or a number. If the story was about letters of the alphabet or numbers, flash cards are uncomplicated to plant around the area. Keep the objects only halfway hidden so the children don't become frustrated before the game is complete. Set a timer and tell the participants whoever has the most objects at the end of the activity is the winner.
Draw small clues on strips of paper or put picture clues you cut out of magazines into different plastic eggs. Five-year-olds have limited reading skills, therefore pictures or simple drawings are best for the clues. For instance, draw a simple rubber duck or find a small picture of one in a magazine. Explain to the children that they must go find the items depicted in the picture clues. Tell the children what areas the objects can found in, such as two or three different rooms in your home or the backyard area. Instruct each child to grab an egg out of a large basket and then to race off to find the object depicted in the picture clue. He is to bring it back to one of the adults or his parents who will keep his treasures in a pile. Then he is to go back to the basket to take out another egg with another clue. Time the contest and whoever has collected the most treasures in the time frame is the winner. Give all the participants an egg at the end of the contest filled with treats so they are all winners!
Real Treasure Hunt
Scatter pennies or other coins in obvious places around the yard or home. Instruct the children there is real treasure to be found on the property. Make up a story about a pirate who had a bucket of coins with a hole in it. As he was searching for more treasures, he dropped his bounty all over the property without knowing it. Give the children about 20 minutes to collect all the treasures they can find and let them keep the coins.
Glue pictures of common objects found in your home or backyard onto index cards, with one picture on each card. Spread them onto a table face down. Have each child select a card, look at the picture and travel to the object to find the next clue. Cut pictures of common objects out of magazines or take your own digital pictures to print out. Use pictures of objects such as a toaster, baby stroller, bottom of a swing, or a potted plant to guide them to their next clues. Attach the other clues to the objects before the party begins. Allow the game to continue until each child arrives at her treasure, such as a goodie bag filled with treats, a pair of flip flops, a movie pass or other inexpensive prizes related to the theme of the party.
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