An essential activity for any party is the Treasure Hunt – really kids live for treasure and it is so easy to achieve. I leave this to last in any party, ending on a high note – it is always the most exciting thing – and you cannot equal the excitement with any other activity.
There are two important things to keep in mind regarding treasure hunting:
- You really need to know that there will always be one child that is incredibly good at seeking things out, and will notice your treasure long before you mention the hunt – so try and keep the treasure hunt in a section that they aren’t partying in.
- Also there will always be one child that cannot find anything – even if the treasure is glued to their nose – brace yourself and offer tactful but not obvious help. Whatever you do don’t find the item for said child – small ego’s are remarkably fragile.
Keep your prizes simple, basically a plastic animal to fit the theme or a matchbox car. One nice treasure item is worth more to a kid than a heap of stuff that they can’t carry. For older kids you can get nice gadgets at the camp shop like caribeeners or little compasses. For night time parties glow sticks are a great treasure – cheap and thrilling.
If you are going the party pack route then now is the time… And I will write more about these party packs in the next post…
So here are se7en Quick Treasure Hunting Ideas:
The Trail Dash: We left a trail of foot prints (think The Foot Book) to some green eggs for a Dr. Seuss party.
The Short Dash: We did this for a scrap book party – a crazy scrabble around the garden and everyone had to find a gluestick so that they could do their scrapbooking.
The Mad Dash: They rushed around and filled a dog bowl with little colorful dog biscuits, once the bowl was filled they got their reward.
The Collectable Dash: Send them out to collect and gather… sometimes it is easier for them to collect something towards a goal: We once had paper cars floating round the garden – heaps of them – that we stuck on a huge cardboard poster of an auto transporter. And as everyone brought a car for the poster they got their treasure.
The Puzzle Dash: In this gendre you can have pieces of puzzle scattered round the garden – to link to their party theme. For example, pieces of a monster for a monster party. Once the puzzle is done they get their reward.
The Puzzling Puzzle Dash:
Here we hid puzzle pieces round the house, basically a photograph chopped into bits, and they had to build the puzzle and figure out that the puzzle picture was a clue to the treasure spot.
The Fishing Hunt: Let the guys fish for their treasure, gather a couple of waterproof treats – little plastic sea creatures are perfect!
Space – Planet Party: We lurched from planet to planet at intoxicating speed, the father person had a plane to catch, and we had a heap of challenging clues and factoids for them to discover in order to get to the next planet… we had a quick activity for each planet and they had to hunt the area for clues to the next stellar venue.
The Fairy Party: As they arrived each fairy person had some sherbet sprinkled on their tongues. This was the magic powder that would enable them to see evidence of fairies while it lasted… (just for the afternoon!)… and we hunted and hunted for fairy artifacts. The fairies left a teeny tiny picnic in one spot and a whole lot of petals were hidden in another for the flower fairy craft. There were teeny tiny little natural things to find: sea shells, precious stones, pressed flowers that they used with there craft… as they powered their way through a whimsical afternoon.
The Spy Party: Here the goal was to track down an unsavory character (the pinata) and he left clues all over the show. As they improved their spy skills so their ability to track him down became easier… he left fingerprints (on the cake); he left codes to unravel and so on…
Treasure Party: We went on a round the world trip gathering treasure from the four corners of the world. Spices, cowrie shells, precious stones, ancient coins, golden beads and so on… just bits and bobs that were actually lying in around the house. The clues were all brainteasers, for example: a quiz on the computer, spot the difference photographs and complete a giant crossword. Finally with all their treasure they put together a board game and had something to take home with them.
Submersible – Underwater Party: For this party we gave each child a map of the house as if it were a local aquarium, and they had to challenge their way through the kelp beds,the shark tank and so on. Gathering little fish, party popper streamers for seaweed, they had to dig for sea shells and so on. Just before the end of the party we put it all together and made underwater dioramas.
The Circus Party:
For this party the kids went around on a circus tour, gathering paper collage bits and pieces to add to their bag. We finished up making a circus collage.
The Explorer Party: Here are some photos of the hand book they got… and we worked our way through it like a text book, collecting little goodies as we went!
All these treasure hunt ideas can easily be added to or adapted to any party theme… go on, they are such fun