Good Clues for a Treasure Hunt

By Missy Farage
Take your children on an adventure with a treasure hunt.

If you want to entertain your children with an exciting game, send them on a treasure hunt. Some tips on how to write good clues to lead them on their way will help. Avoid cliches such as "X Marks the Spot" by using creative treasure hunt clues.

Themed Clues

To write engaging treasure map clues, create a theme for your treasure map. Classic examples of treasure map themes include medieval quest treasure maps, pirate booty maps and treasure maps that have been passed down through the family. Creating a theme for your treasure map will allow you to create themed clues that will get your children in the spirit of adventure, and help you plan the scenario of how the hunters will find the clues.

Hunt Along Clues

To create this type of treasure hunting clue, you don't give the treasure hunters a specific location to find, but require them to find a certain object en route from Point A to Point B. Give them hints about what object to discover on their journey. For some head-scratching fun, describe the object they must find in riddle form so the hunters must ponder the riddle as they go.

Navigation Clues

Navigation clues are designed to move the treasure hunter from one location to the next. You can either give the treasure hunters a map that contains points they must reach and check off, or describe the locations they must go to in word or picture form. You can use a cryptic riddle or metaphoric clue to describe the location the hunter must reach. To let the children know they are on the right track and to prevent cheating, hide a talisman at the location. At the end of the treasure hunt they must present all of the talismans.

Question and Answer Clues

Instead of guiding the treasure hunters to a location, mix up the clues by requiring the hunters to find a person. Write hints that describe the physical characteristics or personality of the person they must find. The person they find has the clue to the next part of the adventure. This method requires a larger number of participants than the written treasure maps, but is fun nonetheless.

About the Author

Missy Farage began her writing career in 2008 when her freelance articles were published in the Washington life-and-style journals "425 Magazine" and "South Sound Magazine." She has won awards for her poetry and writing. Farage holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Puget Sound.