If you want to put a smile on your child's face we totally recommend an indoor treasure hunt.
Children of all ages love the idea of a task that leads to a reward of some kind. An indoor treasure hunt can transform your house in to a magical space full of endless possibilities.
I have the fondest memories of treasure hunts throughout my childhood. They all feature my lovely Grandad who would have a two pound coin hidden somewhere in the house for me. It didn't happen every time we visited so it was a special treat and I remember being so excited. The beauty of an indoor treasure hunt is the sense of the extraordinary in the ordinary. My grandparents house was immediately transformed in to such an exciting space when I was pottering around looking for a shiny coin.
Indoor treasure hunts can work in a variety of different ways. They can be themed and the clues and hints can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be. They are a fantastic way to get the kids off screens and working together all in the name of a prize.
Here are out top tips for making a treasure hunt in your home. We hope it brings lots of fun for your little ones.
The Treasure Is Key
We don't want our children to be overly focused on materialistic things but if the treasure (or prize) is genuinely exciting your children are much more likely to invest in this game. The treasure doesn't have to be too expensive or an amount of money (but it can be, of course). A special packet of markers, their favourite chocolate bar or a packet of Pokemon cards (speaking from experience) could be just the ticket.
The treasure could also be a gesture such as a "hall pass" to avoid one of their chores some day or a "ticket" to stay up later or enjoy a little extra time on their tablet, for example.
Make Sure It's Age Appropriate
If you have children of different ages it might be tricky to find a balance. You'll want to keep the older children interested while also making sure it isn't too challenging for the younger ones. One idea is to have a smaller treasure for little ones after the first or second clue. They'll be happy enough to toddle along and follow the rest of them around once they've won something.
Think Outside The Box
It would be a shame to put time and effort in to a treasure hunt and for it to last all of five minutes. Your children will think that you couldn't possibly surprise them. They will assume that they know every hiding spot in the house. Think outside the box and focus on areas of the home that they are not overly familiar with (the dishwasher and laundry room for example....)
Use A Printable Template
To save time and energy why not download and print a treasure hunt template? They are so many different options online such as this Harry Potter themed treasure hunt template.
Set Some Ground Rules
You don't want to rain on their parade but some ground rules may be necessary. For example everyone moves on to the next clue together as a unit. It will help keep things orderly.
Nominate A Leader
Children love to be given the role of leader. It helps give the game a little bit of structure and will give older children an incentive to stick with it until the end. Treasure hunts are a great way for siblings to bond as a team.