Finding treasure isn’t just the stuff of pirate legends. You can have a modern-day “re-enactment” of those bygone days – sans the wild raids – by getting your kids on board for a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt.
Give teams or individual children a list of objects to find within a certain time limit, usually 15 minutes. Divide kids into teams – but avoid putting all the oldest or most outgoing players on the same team, as it can give them an unfair advantage. A child working solo can still enjoy the challenge of trying to beat the clock.
To liven things up, select objects according to a theme. Have kids search the house and yard for toys or household items. Give each team a bag for collecting them, and make sure everyone understands boundaries for the game so they don’t disturb neighbors or retrieve items you don’t want them to play with.
Variations of this game are endless. Take your scavenger hunt on-the-go by creating a list of things to look for on a road trip, at a museum or at other landmarks. At the grocery store, give each child the task of locating some of the items on your list.
Kids get to play detective-for-a-day by following clues or solving riddles (written on cards) to find hidden treasure. For children who can’t read yet, use pictures instead. Each clue should direct kids where to find the next one, culminating with the “treasure,” small treats or trinkets. Kids can sharpen their reading and critical thinking skills as they decipher the clues. An indoor treasure hunt is a good boredom-buster on a rainy day. If the weather cooperates, expand the search area to the yard or a nearby park.
Selecting a theme makes kids feel like real investigators. Use pirate props or other items consistent with your theme. Allow kids to design costumes to make the experience more authentic.