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Treasure hunt for a children’s birthday party

The treasure hunt was sent in by Monika F. It was played and tested with approx. 10 children at a children’s birthday party (6 year olds).

Preparing the treasure hunt

Note some riddles, tasks and instructions on "old paper". The best way to do this is: brew some black tea, wipe the teabag over the paper and let it dry. Carefully burn the edges of the paper. If the children differ greatly in age ask the younger children's parents for questions to which only their children will know the answers to e.g. holidays, parents place of work or child's hobbies.

Make a big show of the whole thing by making out to be the best riddle solver and treasure hunter far and wide. Then when the paper is rolled out and read, you are totally clueless and want to break off the search because everything is too difficult before you have even read the text. Write a treasure map, bake a cake, cut it open, place the map inside, close it again and cover the cake with chocolate or icing.

Example text:
"We are the wild pirates and are being followed by soldiers for our terrible deeds. A whirlwind took hold of our ship, lifted it from the sea and carried it across space and time to this place. We are stranded and have landed in the middle of Wangener woods. The ship is damaged, the booty is heavy and the soldiers were close. We could not take everything with us. We buried the treasure - you can look for it - it is still there to this day!"

Press further text into the paper with a blunt point, make a big fuss that you cannot find the text etc. Then scrape over the imprinted text with a pencil to make it visible. „Find this sign and the hunt can begin. Help everyone to stick together, be clever and skilled; then you can win the pirate’s treasure!” Start a draft maybe with pole directions with instructions from the house. Explain the use of a compass.

Treasure hunt stations

  1. Note under a stone:

    „Find the name of a bulldog starting with V. Follow the arrows in this bulldog’s colour“. „Oh no, I don’t know; the search is over before it starts etc“

    Answer for the helpers: Green colour.

    Hide the bulldog notes; paint red, green and blue arrows with chalk or spray paint on the floor or attach them to the fence pointing them in different directions. The green arrows point the right way.

  2. Hiding the balloons

    The green arrows lead to a balloon containing a note: „What is the name of the woods near Kitzbühl, where the witches cast their spells? Look for 3 witch vehicles and ride together to the next witch sign.” Moan about the fact that the answer is not known before it is read out;

    Answer for the helpers: Witch woods

    Hide a balloon and 3 broomsticks with a witch woods note.

  3. Witches hats

    The next note is under a witch’s hat: „What does the Italian word „Aschugamano” mean? Find it and carry on searching.”

    Answer for the helpers: Hand towel.

    Place the Aschugamano note under the witch’s hat. Spread out pieces of a hand towel which lead to the next note.

  1. Syllable riddle

    Note with a syllable riddle:

    • A picture of a cow with the o and w crossed out.
    • A picture of a house with the o, u and s crossed out
    • A star with the a and r crossed out
    • A picture of a person with an arrow pointing to the head
    • A picture of a tree.

    Result: A chestnut tree. Let everyone spread out to find a chestnut and then come back; call everyone back in with a whistle.

    Place a note with the syllable clues under the last hand towel. Take a whistle with you; take a pen with you. Even better: Write the answer in the soft ground with a stick.

  2. Chestnut tree

    A bucket with an old football in it is placed on a chestnut tree branch. A note is hidden in the ball. Everyone should knock the bucket down with their collected materials (pine cones, stones).

    Note: „In the game between Greece and Portugal when was the first goal scored? Go through the green tunnel and look for wood for the ship’s planks. The answer to the football questions will help you on the search for a new clue.”

    Answer for the helpers: 57.

    Place the football note in the old football and place the bucket in the tree; Cut away any nettles underneath the tree (garden shears).

  3. Sunken Road

    The children are on a path covered in leaves on the way to the tree trunks. The number 57 is on one of the trunks. A note is underneath: „Follow the trail to the south east. Find the sad face of Thomas in the tree trunk of the young birch. Start digging; the next clue lies among the roots“.

    Mark the tree trunk with a „57“ in chalk or spray paint (subtle; the children should look for it). Hide the Thomas note. Take the compass with you; make a fuss that you cannot fell a tree and it is better to stop looking.

  4. Beech

    The children must look for a marking in the tree trunk which looks like a face. Explain that time has passed and the young beech has now become tall; the growth of the tree has probably carried the note up high: „The roots will show you the way to our hideout where we drank rum and grilled bears.”

    Hide the roots note at the foot of the beech tree.

  5. Roots

    The children must find some pulled out roots and then an old wooden hut. In the hideout there is a knife with a note sticking in the wall:

    „Abseil down into the bear’s chasm. Climb up onto the safe side. You will find a farm there. Follow the narrow trail to the frozen pond. The next note is hidden there.”

    The children should climb down a small rock face (which has shrunk over time; the bears are long gone and trail is now a bike path).

    Attach the chasm note to the shelter with a knife; knot the rope.

  6. Frozen lake

    The children must recall where a flooded grassy meadow freezes over in winter. The next note lies on this meadow under a wooden wheel: „Behind the beech which hugs the oak find the trough where we let our horses drink. We have poisoned the water to stop the followers.”

    Hide the note for the trough under a wooden wheel.

  7. Bathtub

    The children must go past a beech/oak which has grown together to an old bathtub; 8 plastic rings are sunk into the ground from a throwing game. There is a numbers on each note tied to the plastic rings written in waterproof pen. These rings should be fished out with a stick. So that no one fishes with their finger the water is “poisoned”.

    Note 1: Stand up
    Note 2: against the
    Note 3: stormy wind
    Note 4: and fight your way
    Note 5: in a southerly direction
    Note 6: through the high snow
    Note 7: to the hills
    Note 8: and onto the hill

    Sink the rings with notes into the bathtub...

  8. Treasure chest

    The children must come across the idea that they must read the notes successively. Use the compass again. The treasure chest is on water hill, up on top of the cliff on a tree.

    A rope is tied to the treasure chest. The children must loosen the rope and let the chest down.

    Hide the treasure chest in a tree. Tie the rope down somewhere. Tie a rope to a tree to climb the water hill and let it hang down.

To take with you for the preparation

  • Bulldog note
  • Witch woods note in a balloon;
  • Aschugamano note
  • Note with a syllable riddle
  • Football note in an old football
  • Thomas note
  • Roots note
  • Chasm note
  • Trough note
  • Note on rings
  • Bucket
  • Gardening shears
  • Knife
  • Rope for abseiling
  • Wooden wheel
  • Rope for pulling up
  • Rope for the treasure chest
  • Treasure chest
  • Chalk or spray paint (3 colours one being green)
  • 3 broomsticks
  • A witches hat
  • Strips of hand towel
  • All-purpose string
  • Plastic bags for notes in case it rains and a big one for the hat

To take with you on the day:

  • A compass,
  • A pen,
  • A rucksack,
  • A camera,
  • A whistle

Further ideas for a children’s birthday party

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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