Treasure hunt
or Scavenger hunt


A treasure hunt or scavenger hunt is terrific fun on a picnic but needs a little preparation in advance of course. Someone has to prepare the game by making up clues etc.

If you have a large number of people taking part, you can divide them into teams. Even grouping into couples is more fun than hunting individually and is also safer.

Depending on the ages of the group and the terrain of the picnic site, determine how far the boundaries will extend and make sure that it is safe territory for children – no main roads to cross etc.

No time to think up clues and write them out?

Then here's a hunt all ready for you to print out now:

Kids' Outdoor Scavenger Hunt.

For only $6.95 (about £4.50), this one will be emailed to you and you can print out as many copies as you like right now. The company is run by a friend of mine so I guarantee you'll get good service.

Introduce the first clue to everyone and tell the hunters they will get the next clue when they find the first one.

You can then place the second clue at the location they find by following the first clue.

At the final location they should have to bring back something to prove they got there!

Alternatively you could give each team individual clues and send them on different routes to end up in the same place.

Another version of the game is to give each team a page of clues, each of which needs an answer. They have to find each location in the clue to find the answer.

For example:

  • What animal is named on the signpost at the entrance to the field?
  • What colour is the bench under the oak tree?
  • How many miles is it to XX from the signpost at the crossroads?
  • In which year was the church built? (hint: see plaque)
  • How many flower pots are there outside the house at the corner of West Street?
  • Stand on the top of the steps facing the monument and what can you see?
  • How many shops are there in North Street?

autumn leaf

Another kind of treasure hunt game is when you have to collect things.

In this type of hunt, as well as, or instead of answers to clues, the hunters have to bring back objects they’ve been asked to find.

Remember to list things that the players could reasonably find and not to make the clues too difficult – they are always easy when you know the answer!

And give each person a bag or box to collect the items in.

Examples could be:

  • a pine cone
  • a seed
  • a smooth stone
  • a feather
  • a red leaf
  • something with a hole in it
  • a piece of plastic
  • a beautiful object
  • something fuzzy
  • a wild flower
  • something which makes a noise
  • etc.
play letters

On the “Go” signal, they follow the first clue, going this way and that to find the next clue or answer to the next question.

The winners are the first back to home ground with all the answers and/or objects or an object found at the final location.

Alternatively the prize itself can be left at the final location.

If the treasure hunt is for small children, make sure there is some sort of prize for everyone!

If your picnic has a theme, then the clues and prizes could also follow that particular topic.

Top of Treasure Hunt

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