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Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}

by | Oct 31, 2008 | Traditions & Memory Making

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Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}

Treasure Hunt Ideas

Looking for creative ideas for fun treasure hunt? Do you need ideas for creative family activities at home or around the neighborhood this summer? Why not have a pirate or other themed treasure 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! Here are the highlights of the hunt for the treasure!

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 kids 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 a lasting memory of a fun day or party!

Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}
Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}
Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}

Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities} Treasure Hunt {Family Activities}

Creating a memorable life isn’t about the money you spend,
it is about what creativity you put into living!


  1. Monica

    Great idea! I recently thought of doing this for my little ones – we haven’t done it yet, but I found some gold coin wrapped chocolates on clearance this week so now I’m ready with my treasure!

    Monicas inspiring blog post..Something Old…Something New

  2. Kristen

    Such a fun idea. My parents used to hide oddly shaped birthday presents and send us on treasure hunts to find them. Sometimes the process is as much fun as actually receiving a gift!

    Kristens inspiring blog post..Jack Frost Nipping at My Toes

  3. LuLu

    isn’t it the truth. children love the simple and creative ideas with their parents! what fun..very motivational to set aside the laundry and plan something fun…I love the moms unite ( I am new to the blog world and have planned all my purchases to be from all these creative moms)

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Happy Halloween

  4. Joan

    A few years ago a church in our neighborhood had a scavenger hunt for their teen youth group. Each group of two people was given a toothpick and told to come back with something larger that someone had given them. Two girls rang our bell, they had traded in their toothpick for a pencil and the pencil for a ruler.
    They hit the jackpot at our house. We had just remodeled the basement and had….ta dah… a railing! They won :)

  5. Kara

    This is awesome! I wish I was going on that scavengar hunt!!!

    Karas inspiring blog post..Get your Flower on…

  6. Rhoda

    Melissa, what a fun thing to do for your son! I’m sure they had a blast. I’d love to get a blog button to you & I’m working on getting mine tweaked, so hopefully I can get on your blogroll.

    Have a happy Halloween weekend!

    Rhodas inspiring blog post..It’s a Giveaway!!

  7. Mrs. Q

    How fun! We were going to do a pirate treasure hunt for my oldest’s birthday party, but our budget wouldn’t even support a Dollar Tree treasure…sigh. So we just had a family birthday rather than all his friends over. He didn’t seem to mind too much, as long as he got presents! :)

    I love your saying…it gives one pause to consider what a memorable life is truly made of…

    Mrs. Qs inspiring blog post..Cry Out

  8. Pam

    what a fun idea, I love it!

    Pams inspiring blog post..Trick or Treat!

  9. Mama Bj

    I actually did a scavenger/treasure hunt for my husband in our early years of dating. We went camping at the beach and I was there ahead of him, preparing the hunt. It was great fun hiding surf wax and matches for the fire, etc.

    I think my kids are at a good age to bring it back. Thanks for the fun reminder.

    Mama Bjs inspiring blog post..Happy Halloween

  10. Denise

    What a fabulous job you did. I have done a much more scaled back version. I LOVE yours though. I bet your son LOVED. BTW, Monica, make sure those coins you found on clearance, aren’t the ones from China, KWIM.

  11. Jaime

    I love it. It’s so creative and totally not something you see every day! I love that you shared the pictures with us as well.

    Happy Halloween to you and your family!

  12. Liz

    Happy Halloween!
    Liz & Mabel

  13. leonetlola (Valerie)

    what a great idea !
    you’re right, it is not the money we depense, it is what we want to do with our kids !
    happy halloween ! (did you see the cake I made ?)
    have a great day (and a great evening!)

    leonetlola (Valerie)s inspiring blog post..Halloween (part 2) : Un bien bon gâteau !

  14. leonetlola (Valerie)

    thanks for the little tag LEON & LOLA !

    leonetlola (Valerie)s inspiring blog post..Halloween (part 2) : Un bien bon gâteau !

  15. Loralee - No Fuss Fabulous

    Oh my goodness! This is the cutest scavenger hunt I’ve ever seen!!! You are so right. It’s not about the money. The love you put into things and the care is what is most important! I am definitely sharing this with friends. Thanks!!

    Loralee – No Fuss Fabulouss inspiring blog post..Happy Halloween!

  16. Melissa

    What a fun time! I once did a scavenger hunt for my daughters birthday party and had a chest filled with mardi gras beads at the end! They had such a fun time.

    Melissas inspiring blog post..Boo! House Update and Weekend Plans

  17. laurie miller

    What a perfect scavenger hunt. It looks like your son was having a great time! Good job!!! Laurie

    laurie millers inspiring blog post..Apples

  18. teresa

    Holy Shipmate- too cute. I will have to save that idea and do with my grandchildren- we did someone a little like that with our children when they were small, at the beach. :} Happy memories! Talk about scavenger hunts…we must be thinking alike
    I have a little picture scavenger hunt contest going on over at my blog started last week, ends Nov 7th. :}
    Love how you told the story with pictures :}

  19. Sandy

    Scavenger Hunts are the best! So fun for the kids!!

    Happy Day – I’ll wave as I drive by this weekend :)

    Sandys inspiring blog post..If You Think Apples Were Good – Try Pears!

  20. Amy from Texas

    How fun is that? Cute little pirate you have there!

  21. Amber

    This is a reeallly fantastic idea, I am so pleased you posted it, I think we should try it with our family too! Thanks so muchfor sharing this idea!
    ~Amber :)

  22. sarah

    oh yes just a great idea and budget friendly, my kids love this, in fact adults love it too…


    sarah @ a beach cottages inspiring blog post..A Beach Cottage Toolkit

  23. Reginia

    What a fabulous idea! I am going to be trying this with our family and friends soon!! YAY just the idea I have been looking for!
    Thanks for the great post!

    Reginias inspiring blog post..~~Happy Halloween~~

  24. Darla

    Funny you should mention this, we are going to do a little geocaching this weekend. ;)

    Darlas inspiring blog post..Asthmatic Bronchitis

  25. Kathy

    What fun! I loved the skull under the branches and the creative things you did with the clues:>)

  26. Kat

    This is such a cool idea. Good for any age, just change up the theme if needed.

    I am so definitely going to do this for a family adoption party. We don’t do the individual grand scale birthday parties but we do a once a year large adoption party. How much fun this will be once our crew is too old for the children’s museum.

    Love it!! ~Kat

    Kats inspiring blog post..A Good Season for Missions

  27. Kristin

    Your site is a new favorite of mine. I love all the great ideas. I’ll be checking back often.

  28. Jackie Von Tobel

    I love this post it reminds of my early birthdays. My mother would use string and wind it through the house over chairs under tables and you had to follow it to the end to find your gift. Simple but fun.

  29. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    When my son turned 7 last month we had a pirate party complete with treasure hunt. The boys who attended are STILL talking about it. :)

    Laura Ingalls Gunns inspiring blog post..Happy Halloween!

  30. PamperingBeki

    This is such a fun idea!

    I love doing things (especially at the holidays) that create big memories like this, rather than spending lots of money.

  31. Amy Elder

    So sweet to see your little guy. It’s been a while. My little one would love that!

  32. Jenn V.


    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very kind comments.

    I love the idea of a scavenger hunt. We used to do that during my boys’ birthday parties and it was always a HUGE hit. I have never done it “just because,” but I am going to have to try this! I am always looking for creative, fun ideas for my boys.

  33. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    Ah, Melissa, this looks like such fun! What great memories too:)

  34. Jen

    We have done this, and it’s always a blast. I haven’t done a pirate theme though…what great fun!
    I do them for different holidays. I even did one when I was at my wits end….it tied fun things and chores together. They would have to clean the toilet before they found the clue etc….great for me, and encouraged them to do a better job. :)

    [email protected] Beauty and Bedlams inspiring blog post..Family Traditions – What’s in your jumping pile?

  35. Christi from Charm & Grace

    Melissa, what a beautiful post. I love seeing the excitement in your son’s eyes in each of your pictures of the hunt for buried treasure. My middle son is now 14, but a couple of years ago his birthday party was all pirate-themed, even down to a pirate ship cake that I made (from a recipe found on the internet.) Your pictures really took me back … those are some wonderful memories. You are so right… it’s not about how much you spend, but about what kind of memories you make as a family.


    Christi from Charm & Graces inspiring blog post..Grace for the Journey… Happy "Falling Forward"!

  36. Lisa from celebrate CREATIVITY

    Adorable photos. My parents used to conduct scavenger hunts and I did a few too many years ago. What a fun reminder to pull this idea out again, dust it off and play all over again.

    P.S. Your photos would make a great scrapbook page-lol.

    Have a great week!

    Lisa from celebrate CREATIVITYs inspiring blog post..A Bursting Star

  37. Lisa

    What fun! You did a great job! And I love that Winston helped! I will have to get top work on a hunt for my son to find Christmas gifts, I think.

    Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolatess inspiring blog post..Bloggy Giveaway Winners!

  38. Carrie

    Oh, my boys would love this! And my girl too! ;)

  39. A Frugal Housewife - Jody

    We haven’t done a scavenger hunt in a long time. Maybe I will have to put one together for our Thanksgiving gathering.

  40. Jill Hamilton (NCJill)

    If you love the idea but don’t want to plan it, go to Our family LOVES this! :)
    Cute adventure for your little guy!

  41. meg duerksen

    i LOVE this melissa! i am inspired. we have done this kind of thing for easter baskets to make them go on a hunt to find them. but it’s been YEARS since i did that. life gets in the way an you forget to be creative ON your kids not just for your kids. making something for them to participate in. i love this. he looks so happy. :)

    meg duerksens inspiring blog post..FOUR

  42. Jennifer

    Your scavenger hunt was really well done! This may have already been done, but our favorite scavenger-hunt-type-activity is Letterboxing! You get the clue from the website and then off we all go to find it. So much fun!


    Jennifers inspiring blog post..List of Ways to Curb Spending through the Holidays

  43. Lisa

    We’ve done this several times, only on a very large scale. We have ten children and several drivers, so our hunts range all over our home state of Colorado. We use hand drawn maps and creative clues, with a range of prizes from milk shake certificates at McDonalds to golf club passes. It’s way fun and wonderful bonding! GPS geocaching is for sissies! (Your photos are adorable!)

    Lisas inspiring blog post..Snowing…

  44. Terri

    Oh my gosh, your son is adorable! What a wonderful day (and great photos for the record books!). Lovely!! xo Terri

    Terris inspiring blog post..Quality! But at what price?

  45. Jennifer

    That is just so darn cool! I hope you don’t mind, but I posted a link on my blog. LOVE this idea!

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..Pirate Ships oh my!

  46. Marie

    We love treasure hunts! Several years ago we start doing this for our grand kids birthdays and they loved it so much that we now do it for all holidays and that includes Christmas! The treasure hunt is almost more exciting then the gift! And everyone gets to take part! We have been creating memories over the years, and that is ” priceless.”



  1. Creating a Memory Shelf for Children {or Yourself!} - [...] we did the pirate scavenger hunt for our son a few months ago, he collected quite a few “treasures.”…

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