Mysterious, educational but, above all, fun the treasure hunt is an excellent game for entertaining and keeping children busy during a party.
Since the dawn of time, people have spent a great deal of energy searching for treasure. Forget the images of Ali Baba’s cave or that of pirate Jack Sparrow, full of gold and precious stones, treasure can also take the form of territory coveted by a king or even the famous holy Grail. It can also be a quest for love or the search for freedom.
Hardly surprising then, that the traditional treasure hunt has been adapted for the 21st century under a new name - geocaching. Popular the world over, geocaching is a leisure activity where GPS technology is used to search for a cache (or geocache) locally, nationally or anywhere in the world. A geocache is a small strong watertight box containing a visitors’ register and one or more small ‘treasures’, generally items of little material value. We all have a dormant child within us, with fond memories of past treasure hunts we won, or oh so nearly won!
For kids, treasure hunts continue to follow the same principle. They have become one of the major leisure activities at recreation centres and are the most popular party game for children aged 3 to 12. Treasure hunts lead children from cache to cache, searching for the elusive treasure, which can take the form of a box filled with sweets or small gifts.
Organising a treasure hunt requires considerable preparation on the part of the organiser, it’s so easy to forget some simple but essential element and risk disappointing the children.
The first thing is to invent a story and a scenario, inspired by a theme which fascinates the age group of the children concerned. Pirates, princesses and knights, for example, are some of the most popular themes with kids. Once the initial story has been written and the scenario worked out in detail, the organiser then needs to invent and compile a number of puzzles to get the children thinking, as they discover each hiding place. Once assembled the puzzles will lead the children to the treasure or enable them to solve the quest.
Lastly don’t forget to prepare the treasure or other reward before everyone moves on, perhaps its time for the birthday tea!
Since you are reading this article on treasure hunts, I suspect you are already wondering how to organise one yourself. Here are a few tips to help you better understand how to organise this activity. We explain them in detail here.
You will also find other ideas for games on our party games page page, in particular detective mysteries or treasure hunts.