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Make Your Own Treasure Hunt

When I was younger my mom used to surprise my sister and me with treasure maps.  We would get so excited when she would pull them out and we would have to gallivant all over the yard to find the hidden treasure.  As we got older, my sister and I made maps for each other, our mom, and our friends.  It was just as much fun to make the maps as it was to follow them!

Obviously this activity with your kids requires some planning ahead on your part.  You’ll need to make the map and hide the treasure without your kids knowing.

As far as the map goes, you can get as simple or as complicated as you want.  It somewhat depends on the age of your kids.  In the above map I made my girls walk, skip, run, or hop during different sections.  You could simply count the steps or combine counting with skipping and hopping…it’s totally up to you!  Make it colored or just draw in pen.  It makes no difference.  As an added touch to your map, crinkle up the paper then burn the edges and some holes into it to make it look old.

The treasure you hide can be anything you want too.  I used a few “treasure coins” that my girls had gotten as a party favor.  I will say though, they were a bit disappointed with their “treasure” when they found it.  I think they were expecting some candy or a new toy.  Next time I make a map I’ll hide something they will really like!  My mom never hid anything extremely special though.  We enjoyed following the map more than the treasures we found.  Must be the difference between kids these days and kids when I was growing up.

Once you’ve made a treasure map and hidden a treasure, surprise your kids with the map and watch them have fun running all over the place trying to find their precious treasure!

Have you ever gone on a treasure hunt with your kids?  What did you hide?


  1. I wish I’d know this when my boys were younger, they would have loved it. Although last year, we sent them on a Christmas Day present hunt with silly poems delivering the clues to find their new trampoline. They are 14 & 16 and totally got a kick out of it (and it prolonged the Christmas fun because when they’re older they want just a few – expensive- things!) Stopping by from SITS.

  2. Maggie S. says:

    Great Idea. I’ve heard of people doing this for major gifts. I like the small scale idea almost better. Less frenzy. Just my perspective, I guess.

    Hope you’re having a beautiful SITS day.

  3. Great tips! I tried to make my husband a treasure hunt once, and because I had no idea what I was doing, it was a bit lame. I’m going to bookmark this post!

  4. this is so cute! my mom used to do treasure hunts for my brother and me when it was our birthdays!

  5. Cheryl Kirkness says:

    Looks fun – thanks for sharing!

  6. This is such a great idea! I did this as a kid but what agreat reminder to try it with mine. Happy SITS day!

  7. Kristin Leamy says:

    You girls are chock full of great ideas! This is so fun, and I think I will be using this, perhaps soon. We always do a scavanger hunt for Easter Baskets for the kidlet, a tradition passed down on my husband’s side of the family, and it’s always a blast. We might add this to a new tradition for another part of the year!

  8. I love treasure hunts! My mom would always hide animal crackers and tell me I had to find all the animals that escaped from the zoo. And that’s an easy one you can do inside on a rainy day! Happy SITS day!

  9. misssrobin says:

    I did this when my kids were smaller. Then they made maps for each other. It is a favorite thing that seems to continue once they get it. Cute photos.

  10. Rebecca R. says:

    I really like this idea!! 🙂 Have to try it out with my son when he’s old enough!!

  11. Fun. Gonna try this. After your comment about treasure I wonder what I should hide??? Hmmm..

  12. I remember doing this with my daughters. It won’t be too long when I can do it with my granddaughter. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. How fun! We did something similar to this with our kids but we used clues at checkpoints rather than a map. I think I’m going to try this sometime SOON.

  14. Brook Redhead Reverie says:

    I love this idea…It will help the boys work together, and bring out their adventurous side. Have a wonderful SITS day.

  15. Motivated Mommy of two says:

    Wow this sounds like a great idea, I definately need to try it out with my kids. Stopping by from SITS.

  16. My son would love this!! He tries making maps for us sometimes!!

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