Activity for Kids: Pirate Scavenger Hunt

Pirate Scavenger Hunt - Fun Family Summer Activity for Kids

Need a creative and frugal activity for kids this summer? Or maybe inspiration for a fun family night or summer birthday party? Why not have a scavenger hunt? That is what our family did a few weeks ago.

My husband has always loved making a fun list of creative clues for the kids in the form of a treasure hunt. And with a wide range of kids’ ages in our family, this is an activity everyone can participate in. Those all family activities can be hard to come by, especially on a limited budget.

This time, the theme was a pirate adventure for my son. All it took was some advance planning, creativity and a few dollar store surprises! Hide treasures in your yard and leave a few strategic clues to help kids find the prizes! Be as creative as you want.

For younger kids you can keep this very simple and hide things in plain sight, but for older kids think of clues to clever hiding places to keep them busy for a long time. Get creative and make them think!

You can have them measure distances between items with a measuring tape to help locate a prize, use a compass to find the direction to walk from a landmark, have them search for clues you set up around the yard, or count steps from a fence or tree to locate the hidden treasures they have to dig up or find in a tree. The kids will have a blast and your whole family will have lasting memories of a fun day or party!

Here are the photo highlights of the hunt for the treasure!

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This post is originally from October 2008. My son is now 14 years old and still has pieces from this scavenger hunt on display in his bedroom–it’s a special memory!

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  1. I love this idea! I’m going to try to do something like this for my boys. thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Love this! What an adorable idea! And I always get a kick out of International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Lol!
    Jess recently posted..A Fall Wreath with Bling!My Profile

  3. Melissa…I loved this post…what precious time and effort went into this family activity…and I’m sure your son will never stop talking about it!

  4. Ah, I miss the days of creating treasure hunts for our daughters . . . we need some grandbabies, so we can do it again.

    Glenda Childers recently posted..PEACHESMy Profile

  5. And that grin says it all!

  6. What a wonderful day you had.
    Shared experiences like this are really what memories are made of aren’t they?
    We have regulare scavenger hunts in our house [and I’m not talking about the “Where’s your lunchbox, socks, permission form…?” kind!]
    One of my favourite things to do is a gift hunt on birthdays where we hide the gifts in different parts of the house with clues, it really adds another dimension to the gift-giving and receiving process.

    Felicity x

  7. FUN! My youngest son, who is now 15, wanted a treasure hunt at each of his parties for several years in a row. We had hunts in several themes-pirate, Egyptian mummy, and wizards! The invisible ink clues were the toughest! It took a lot of patience to hold the paper over the lightbulb til the lemon juice browned!

  8. My kids would love this-we’ve got to do this soon!
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  9. Great idea. That would be such a great bonding time for our family.
    Ann recently posted..Lovin The BluesMy Profile

  10. What a great idea. Love his smile at the end. My boys would love this.

    Thank you.

  11. What an absolutely fabulous idea! Ive got a pirate of my own who would love to do this! (And I totally agree about the money/creativit.) ~K
    Kristin recently posted..Morning MeditationMy Profile

  12. Wow soooo cute, you guys are so creative!
    Rachael recently posted..Product Review- CSN Step Ladder &amp NapkinsMy Profile

  13. This is such a cute idea and so well done! I’m really impressed … as always.
    Lesley recently posted..Idea 20- Use wallpaper in unusual waysMy Profile

  14. Melissa, what a great and creative thing to do with the family. I love this so much!
    Stephanie recently posted..Fighting for Leukemia- Canvas Giveaway for great causeMy Profile

  15. Melissa, Love this idea! Growing up my mom used to do this will our gifts and as we got older for our birthday money. She would leave riddles/poems/fill-in-the-blanks…we looked forward to that more than the gift I think! Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  16. Cute idea! It sounds like so much fun – I would love to do it and I’m an adult! Very adorable dog by the way – Westie?

  17. Scavenger Hunts were so much fun around my house when my children were young! I’d organize them for birthdays and have them giddy with excitement as they searched and solved clues that led to their present. This year, when my daughter turned 19 she asked for one again!
    Deidra recently posted..Reading While DrivingMy Profile

  18. You are too cute! I love this idea! Scavenger hunts are so thrilling for kids and are inexpensive to do. I do them all the time with the little guy I nanny for. Just simple ones (not nearly as adorable as this!!) he is 3 and it helps him to learn how to interpret clues and descriptions of things.

  19. LOLOL How great!!! It reminds me of Jerry’s mystery trips he would take us on! So glad he hasn’t lost his touch!

    We did something like this once too. We had a “Treasure Hunt” here on our property, and then watched National Treasure. It was SOOOO fun!
    Fiona’s Mosaic recently posted..Retreat SummationMy Profile

  20. oh my gosh – how FUN! love it!!

  21. what a great idea. the scroll is the perfect touch!!

  22. Wow, what an incredible idea – you got me genuinely smiling! I think that is the stuff that lifelong memories are made of. Thanks for re-sharing!
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  23. His smile is simply the best!
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  24. One of my kids favorite Christmas Eve treats was a scavenger hunt for some very small gifts to be opened on Christmas Eve—thank you for reminding me of what fun that can be—with Grand child #1 on the way I’ll need to keep some of these things in mind.

  25. I found this post on Pinterest, however it was linked to what looks like a scraping site. Here’s the pin if you want to track it down. I used google to find YOUR post. Great job. Looks like fun.
    Renee Aleshire Brown recently posted..New LEGO® Printable Writing PromptsMy Profile

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