Indoor Treasure Hunt for Children

The grandchildren are in the house, and bad weather is keeping them there. You need something fun to get them moving. Try a classic treasure hunt, sometimes called a scavenger hunt. Create (or print out) clues. Distribute them so that one clue leads to another. Place some "treasure" — a toy or treat — at the final destination. Hand the first clue to a grandchild, and get out of the way!

You may have to set some rules ahead of time, such as no running.

If more than grandchild is on hand, let them take turns reading the clues. Make your treasure hunt a workout for the brain with clues that require some thinking. Rhyming clues have built-in kid appeal. A version for preschoolers can be created with pictures that you draw or print out from the computer.

Ready-Made Clues to Use

I've created a list of clues about ordinary indoor objects. Copy and print these to save time. You'll find the answers at the end. You may also use these clues as inspiration for your own list. Since your home may have more than one of some of these objects, the grandchildren may have to check out more than one location before they find the next clue. That makes the game last longer, gives them more exercise and adds to the fun.

  1. I have four legs, but I don't have feet.
    I come in handy when it's time to eat.
  2. My job is to put an end to sleep,
    Which I do with music, a buzz or a beep.
  3. For fast heating or cooking, I am tops.
    And, oh, that good smell when my popcorn pops!
  4. I'm packed really full of boxes and cans.
    I may hold a broom or a mop or a dustpan.
  5. Flour and sugar and coffee and tea,
    I keep these handy but hard to see.
  6. I can take you to places you've never seen,
    But first type your password in on my screen.
  7. I'm loaded and unloaded, but I'm not a truck. Having a helper like me is a great piece of luck.
  8. I rain on you when you need a scrub.
    I'm very much like my friend the tub.
  9. I make it possible to have fresh food.
    Everyone agrees, I'm one cool dude.
  10. Watching your favorites is lots of fun.
    But don't watch too much! Kids need to run.
  11. I never get angry but I do get hot.
    I'm the perfect place for a pan or a pot.
  12. It's my job to give all your clothes a tumble,
    Which I do while making a bit of a rumble.
  13. I have a round knob and also a lock.
    Visitors and salesmen may give me a knock.
  14. I'm one part chair and one part bed.
    Up with your feet and down with your head.
  15. I take your clothes for quite a spin.
    But first they get wet. That's how I begin.
  16. I'm filled with feathers or other soft fluff.
    To sleep without me can be quite tough.
  17. Turn me on and I'll give you a light.
    I'm used some in the daytime but mostly at night.
  18. A story, they say, can take you away,
    But a book still needs a place to stay.
  19. I have drawers and also a nice flat top.
    For homework I'm helpful -- Keep working. Don't stop!
  20. I'm hungry! I'm hungry! Please feed me a slice.
    I'll spit it back out all brown and nice.
  21. I'm not a selfie, but I do show faces.
    Find me in bathrooms and a few other places.
  22. Adults go here when they first wake. And at other times when they need a break. 
  23. Most every day, you step on me.  All I require is a bend of your knee. 
  24. I go round and round and get really hot. 
    In larger families, I'm used quite a lot.
  25. I'm paper, but I'm not used for writing a letter.
    The spot by your potty suits me much better! 
  26. I have hands but no arms and also a face.
    And my hands always move at the same steady pace.
  27. I may have eyes but I really can't see.
    People love to make fries out of me.
  28. The more I dry, the wetter I get.
    A little one can be used for soaking up sweat.
  29. I hold all the words you need to know. 
    Use me to make your vocabulary grow. 
  30. I'm never wicked, but I do have a wick.
    I come in all sizes, from skinny to thick.

Answers: 1. Kitchen or dining table 2. Alarm clock 3. Microwave 4. Pantry 5. Kitchen canisters 6. Computer 7. Dishwasher 8. Shower 9. Refrigerator 10. Television 11. Kitchen stove 12. Clothes dryer 13. Front door 14. Recliner 15. Clothes washer 16. Bed pillow 17. Lamp 18. Bookshelf 19. Desk 20. Toaster 21. Mirror 22. Coffee maker 23. Stairs 24. Clothes dryer 25. Toilet paper 26. Clock 27. Potato 28. Towel 29. Dictionary 30. Candle

Other Types of Treasure Hunts

When the weather is nice, treat the grands to an outdoor treasure hunt. 

You can create another type of treasure hunt by taking pictures of odd nooks and crannies in your home. Print out the pictures and place them as you would any other clues.

If your grandchildren are old enough to have phones with cameras, it's easy to set up a photo scavenger hunt. Make a list of things they might see in a particular location, and give them a set period of time to take photographs of as many as they can. They can work in a group, in teams or on their own, if they are old enough. You can do this in your own home or in a park or other safe area. You don't want them to do this in a place where they'll need to watch for traffic. Also, it's best not to put people on your list as it can be an invasion of privacy to photograph others without their permission. To make the hunt more challenging, assign each item a point value based upon how difficult it will be to find. Tween grandchildren seem to especially enjoy these types of hunts. 

Outdoor Treasure Hunt for Kids

The article provides insightful guidance on organizing an engaging indoor treasure hunt tailored for children, fostering excitement and creativity within the confines of the home. However, if indoor activities aren't feasible or if you're seeking alternative adventures, consider venturing outdoors for an array of stimulating games to enjoy with your child. From nature scavenger hunts to outdoor obstacle courses, there's a plethora of enriching experiences awaiting discovery amidst the open air. 

Introduce your grandchildren to another classic, the treasure hunt for kids. Here's how it works. Well ahead of time, the adult writes down clues, then distributes them so that one clue leads to another, culminating in some "treasure" at the end. Then the fun begins! If the children are old enough, they read the clues. The grandparent helps with hard words and gives extra clues if necessary. 

Make Treasure Hunts More Fun

The treasure hunt is especially fun with school-age kids who can read the clues themselves, though they may occasionally need help. With a lot of grandchildren on hand, the treasure hunt is likely to turn into a mad dash. With a single grandchild, it will be more leisurely. With multiple grandchildren, you'll want to make them take turns reading the clues and be sure to provide enough "treasure" for each child at the end. 

Readymade Treasure Hunt Clues

Treasure hunt clues are more fun if they require a bit of solving. Puns and rhymes add to the fun. I've created 30 clues to get you started, all involving common outdoor objects. You can copy and paste these to save time. Answers are at the end. You can also use these as a starting point to create your list, customized for your outdoor environment. 

  1. I'm a friend to parents who like things neat.
    They really like it when you wipe your feet.
  2. I give privacy from the folks next door.
    If you have bad neighbors, you need me more.
  3. Everyone loves me. I'm pretty and smell sweet.
    Look down to find me! I'm near your feet.
  4. I swing out and in to let you through.
    I sometimes creak, and that's your last clue.
  5. On me, you can speed like a bird in the sky.
    My two wheels will make you fly!
  6. I sit very still when I don't have a rider.
    Sit down and learn why I'm called a glider.
  7. I have a ring, but you can't wear it.
    Sometimes so loud that you can't bear it.
  8. I'm sort of like sneakers, but for a car.
    I help it run really fast and far.
  9. In day I store the light of the sun.
    At night I shine when the day is done.
  10. I'm like a small house, but no one lives in me.
    Tools and gadgets are all you will see.
  11. I'm a giant piece of petrified matter.
    If you dropped me, I'd make quite a clatter.
  12. Some people think I'm nasty and yuck,
    But without me for your trash, you'd be out of luck!
  13. I might be filled by male or female.
    Whichever it is, I'm still the mail.
  14. Use me to give thirsty plants a drink.
    Or use me to clean your car, fast as a wink.
  15. Turn me to the left, and you just might get wet.
    I'm great for giving a drink to your pet.
  16. I make music for you when you're out in the yard.
    I make the most music when the wind blows hard.
  17. For fine feathered friends, I'm quite a treat.
    A spot to raise babies just can't be beat.
  18. Climbing me can be quite a lark.
    I'm not a dog, but I do have a bark.
  19. I make lots of smoke when I get hot.
    I make yummy food that you'll like a lot.
  20. Hopscotch and skating fit me to a tee.
    Don't walk on the grass. Just walk on me!
  21. I make your job a little less hard.
    I move dirt and other stuff around the yard.
  22. I measure all the power you use.
    I hope your bill isn't bad news! 
  23. I'm full of water, but don't take a sip.
    I'm for feathered friends who want a dip.
  24.  I'm full of special smells, especially in the spring.
    Use me to give your food some zing!
  25. Some people think I look a little weird
    With my pointy hat and my long white beard.
  26. When it's chilly outside, I can't be beat.
    Light me up and then make a toasty treat.
  27. Fill me with seed and hang me high.
    I'll bring visitors down from the sky.
  28. I'm a comfy spot without a doubt,
    Although it can be tricky to get in and out.
  29. I'm not really needed during the day,
    At night I'm turned on to show you the way.
  30. Delivery services look for me.
    Make sure I'm placed where I'm easy to see. 

Answers: 1. Doormat 2. Fence 3. Flowers 4. Garden gate 5. Bicycle 6. Garden glider 7. Doorbell 8. Car tire 9. Solar light 10. Tool shed 11. Landscaping rock 12. Garbage can 13. Mailbox 14. Garden hose 15. Faucet/water tap. 16. Windchime 17. Birdhouse 18. Tree 19. Grill. 20. Sidewalk 21. Wheelbarrow 22. Electric meter 23. Birdbath 24. Herb garden 25. Garden gnome 26. Fire pit 27. Bird feeder 28. Hammock 29. Porchlight or outdoor light 30. House numbers

Finishing Touches

Choose the clues that fit the features of your outdoor space, or write your own clues. Don't forget the treasure that goes at the end. You can use a jar of coins for the grandkids to divide or fill a box with pirate "treasure" that you can find at the dollar store. The box can also be filled with inexpensive toys such as bouncy balls, bubbles, silly string or yo-yos. It's best not to use candy or treats because the ants are likely to find them first. In summer I like to put a big tub of water balloons at the end, but be sure the kids are in their play clothes because water balloons are irresistible! 

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