How To Have a Family Treasure Hunt in Your Backyard

List: Posted: 03/10/11

What could be more fun than a backyard family treasure hunt? Every backyard is different, and that means that your treasure hunt is going to be unique. However, you can use the following tips to help you come up with a treasure hunt that your family is going to love and remember.

The first thing that you need to do is look at your backyard and come up with some great places to hide the clues that will ultimately lead to the 'treasure.' Depending on the age of the participants in the treasure hunt, you will need to make the clues easier or harder to find and figure out.

Find several places where you will be able to hide clues that will lead the hunters on to the next leg of their adventure. Make sure that the places you choose are safe and there are no spiders or other creepy crawlies. The best places to hide the clues might be in places which have specific family memories attached for them, which only your family will know - for instance: "Clue 9 is under the place where Johnny fell down last spring." Or "Clue 10 is in the place Tiddles got stuck in."


Start the treasure hunt off in the morning in a way that will get the family motivated. Perhaps you could fold up a piece of paper with the first clue and place it beneath their breakfast plates. This clue would lead them to the backyard where the other clues await.

 

As the hunt progresses, put a smaller piece of treasure such as a piece of candy in the hiding place along with every 5th or 10th clue (depending on how long your treasure hunt is). Make the pieces of treasure get bigger and more exciting the closer they get to the main treasure to build excitement and to keep younger ones motivated. If you have a lot of small treats such as miniature chocolate Easter eggs, put a mini-egg with every clue to make everyone really compete to see who can get the most eggs. Wrap the candy in paper or plastic if it is wet outside, to avoid spoiling the candy.

Make sure that you have some great booty at the end of the treasure hunt, too! The kids put a lot of work into finding it, so give them something they'll truly appreciate. A giant chocolate egg works at Easter, but for non-seasonal hunts, end with a toy your child has been wanting for ages. If you have more than one child, make sure each child has a toy at the end to avoid squabbles or upsets. 

 

You could even put a reward for your partner at the end too, such as a pair of tickets for a fun night out. With such fun prizes, you family will be counting the days till the next family treasure hunt! 

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