Something for the Children #52: Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues

Something for the Children #52: Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues [image: clue; and bird on hanging bird feeder]

“Look by the bird feeder in the tree….”

One of my children’s favorite Sabbath games is Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues. It may just be their very favorite! It is not hard to play. A sunny (or at least, not rainy) day is helpful. 🙂

The basics

You will need some sort of paper. Scratch paper works just fine. Long and skinny paper, like a shopping list or to-do list notepad, works super nice.

What is going to happen is somebody is going to make clues. They will write the clues on pieces of paper, and then hide them. The clues will lead everyone else around the yard somewhere and help them to think about Jesus and Sabbath and nature.

I have learned a pretty easy way to make sure your clues go in order. Want to know what that is? Go backwards!

I don’t mean you have to actually walk backwards, but start at the end when you are the one hiding the clues. One by one, work toward the beginning.

Here’s how it works.

Getting started

The hunters need to go inside or somewhere where they will not see the hider while he is hiding the clues. It’s nice to have a little something for them to do during this time because it can take several minutes to get the clues all set up.

Make something fun for the hunters to find at the end. I like to write a special note for each hunter, if I have time to think ahead a little bit. You could also write out a nice Bible verse, or hide a little plastic animal, or…

What other ideas do you have?

Hiding places

Think about some places where you want to hide the clues and the “prize.” Be sure to think about whom you are hiding them for.

If you are hiding for Mom and Dad, for example, you probably want to be a bit tricky. If you are hiding for little brother or sister, you probably want to make it a bit easier so they don’t get frustrated.

If Mom or Dad are the ones hiding the clues, they can make it easier or harder, depending on how old you and your siblings or friends are.

Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues [image: arrow made of sticks, pointing to small patch of clover]

“Find an arrow on the ground; in clover, green, the clue is found.”

Think: up high, down low, behind, under, on top of, in between…

Think: rocks, branches, grass, flowers, steps, garden plants…

Think fun, but also always think safe and kind!

The clues

Okay, so when you have decided on your prize and a place to hide it, put it there.

Now think about a clue that would help someone find that place without telling them exactly where it is.

Your clue can rhyme if you want it to, but it does not have to. If you don’t know how to write very many words yet, you could even just draw pictures. That is okay, too.

Remember, we are trying to spend some time out in nature remembering God who gave us such an awesome gift. 🙂

Here is a picture of some clues Strawbriella and Little Brother made for me one time.

child's treasure hunt clues

The clues Strawbriella and Little Brother made for our Treasure Hunt used drawings.

Here is a picture of some clues I made for Strawbriella and Little Brother that day.

parent's treasure hunt clues

The clues I made for Strawbriella and Little Brother used rhymes.

That should give you some ideas, anyway. (I will write out these clues at the end of this post, in case that would help you out.)

So your prize is hidden and you have come up with a clue. Write your clue down (or draw it) on a piece of paper just big enough for your clue. Write a “1” on it (on the front or the back; it does not matter).

Then decide where that clue will hide. Hide it there, and write another clue, which will lead the hunters to the clue you just hid. Write a “2” on that clue. The numbers will tell how many things are left to find when you are playing the game. Plus, they will help you to stay in order.

(Otherwise, what sometimes can happen is someone will notice an easier-to-find clue when it is not time for it. If they think that is the one they were looking for when it is not, it would make some of the clues never be found.)

When that second clue is done, find a place to hide it. Hide it there, and write another clue, which will lead the hunters to that one. Of course, you will write “3” on this clue.

Keep going in the same way until you think it is enough. You can see Strawbriella and Little Brother made four clues for me. I made ten clues for them, since I could think up ideas faster and write faster. It was easier for me — and they gladly would have hunted for more! 😉

The Treasure Hunt!

When you write your last clue, do not hide it! Instead, call your hunters and let the Treasure Hunt begin!

Hand them the clue you kept out. It will lead them to the next clue, and the next, until they reach the prize.

It is a lot of fun.

You know, when it gets closer to Christmas, I really want to share about my Wise Man Treasure Hunt. It is a lot of fun, too… but that will have to be later.

For now, it is the perfect time to play Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues. If you try, let me know how it goes!


The clues we used for our Treasure Hunt

The clues Strawbriella and Little Brother made for me

  • Look by the tree with the bird feeder
  • Now go and look at the grass
  • Now look at the grass
  • Now look at the stump

The clues I made for the children

  • Sometimes we call these “evergreen”; There’s 2 in buckets — Have you seen?
  • Shooting BBs, climbing hills; Both can & clue sit nice and still.
  • Sit a while; it’s not a test; Side by side will work the best
  • There’s a trailer and a tire; Clue sits where there once was fire.
  • Balls are fun, but for today; Get the clue — the ball can stay.
  • Find a clue here, if you will; In spring, it’d be by daffodil!
  • Not too cold, but pretty close. Look down by your little toes!
  • Sabbath is a day for rest; But tools — and clue — are in the chest
  • Just like Jesus from on high; This gets signals from the sky [IMPORTANT NOTE: This clue was hidden on an old, now unused satellite dish. Never, never hide a clue near or on a satellite dish that is now hooked up. That is very, very dangerous.]
  • Find an arrow on the ground. In clover, green, the clue is found.

Linked up with The Adventist Home Educator this week.


Something for the Children #52: Treasure Hunt with Hidden Clues — 8 Comments

  1. What a wonderful and fun idea! Thank you for sharing. Always looking for new activities to use with the children in our small group.

  2. We love treasure hunts too! We do them as a group for this family reunion camping trip we do every year but are starting to do it more with our daughter now that she’s a little older.

  3. Love this idea could even use idea for the younger kids when the AY are doing a scavenger hunt so they feel included by hunting for their own treasure.

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