Want to vary up that teen's birthday or other party? Treasure hunts are a great way to introduce some excitement and encourage some friendly competition. The only real limitation is your imagination and that of your young party-goers. Lists and riddles can be worked with to provide maximum challenge and intrigue.
X Marks the Spot
Of course, the classic hint or clue for any treasure hunter is the X that marks the spot. If you've actually buried the treasure, this is an ideal method. You can change the difficulty level of finding the X by how you alter the space around it, adding or removing branches, plants or stones. If you really want to help the hunters out, leave existing footprints or tracks in the soil.
In treasure hunting, maps are the most important part. You have a lot of options for how to draw the maps and instruct the kids. You might give clues to the suggested route on the map itself, or provide riddles as to the best direction. Include references to the topography, trees or features around the site in the riddle. If you have directions added to the map, supply the teens with compasses to help lead them. To make the map aspect more challenging, Treasure Hunt Fan suggests removing pieces of it for them to find.
Riddling and Encrypting
When drafting your lists for the treasure hunt, consider using word or letter jumbles that the teens must decrypt before going about the hunt. You might also include riddles. A newspaper, for example, might be cued by saying "what's black and white and red (read) all over." It might take a little time to develop the riddles, but the fun they'll inject into the treasure hunting process may be well worth the effort.
Geoffrey St. Marie began writing professionally in 2010, with his work focusing on topics in history, culture, politics and society. He received his Bachelor of Arts in European history from Central Connecticut State University and his Master of Arts in modern European history from Brown University.