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Fun Treasure Hunt for Kids

Submitted by on Sunday, 18 July 20102 Comments

Kids bored out of their mind?  Ran out of ideas for things to do with them?  Just looking for something fun to do?

Whatever your situation may be, here’s an idea that I’m happy to share with you that will give your kids at least an hour (and hopefully more) of fun and distraction.

I did this with my 4 year old son and his 6 year old friend, and they had a total blast with it.  Here’s how it went down:

My son found a little jewel-like thingy one day and asked me if it was a treasure.  That gave me the idea to hide it somewhere and let him go on a treasure hunt for it.  So I drew a treasure map for him and his friend (which was just a map of our place) and marked a big X on one part of the map.  I hid the jewel at the corresponding area in our place.

With map in hand, they went on a hunt to find the treasure.  It was really great, because they had to figure out how to read the map and navigate their way to the X.  Once they were in the general area, they looked high and low, above and under, to pinpoint the jewel exactly.

Once they found it, they wanted to do it again right away.  They were so excited about it.  So I hid the jewel again in a different spot, marked an X on the corresponding spot on the map again, gave them the map, and they were off once more!

They loved this game, and pretended to be pirates during part of it too.  We went through about 5 hunts before they stopped.  Each time I made it a little bit more difficult.  I liked that I could hide the jewel and then continue making dinner while they were hunting.

By the time they had enough, dinner was ready, and our young pirate could join us for dinner, fresh off the hunt!

Give this game a try if you haven’t tried it already.  If you are really keen, you can make the map look really special, like a real treasure map, and your child can dress like a pirate while searching for the treasure!

If you have done something like this before, or if you try this out, leave a comment and let us know!

Cheers and happy hunting!

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Pirate Kid photo courtesy of Mike Baird

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  • Keith Wilcox says:

    I learned this game when I was a teenager and was charged with babysitting my three little cousins (all boys). I didn’t know what to do with them so my aunt, before she left for the day, told me to play pirate and treasure with them. I taught them to use a compass, gave them a hand-drawn map, and we learned land-navigation that day! I hid all kinds of cool stuff and we all had an adventure together. From then on, I decided that was going to be my go to activity whenever I needed to babysit again. Who would’ve thunk I’d end up a stay at home dad? Life gives us precious nuggets of wisdom sometimes. Playing pirate is one of those bits!
    Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..Road Hog! The Unwritten Rules of the RoadMy ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Cool story Keith, thanks for sharing! And I like the idea of using a compass too… great idea! I find this is especially great to do now that so many people rely on GPS to get everywhere… navigation is going to become a lost skill… so this is a great way to keep it alive.

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