How to Make a Treasure Hunt Riddle

Written by alicia rudnicki
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How to Make a Treasure Hunt Riddle
A skull and crossbones can mark the spot of each new clue in a pirate treasure hunt. (pirate flag white image by Tomislav from

Treasure hunts provide entertainment for holiday celebrations and other parties. Children love finding their way from clue to clue, solving riddles and discovering hidden treasure along the way. With a bit of brainstorming, parents can create their own treasure hunts using fun riddles.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Thesaurus
  • Rhyming dictionary

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  1. 1

    Identify an event for which you want to create the treasure hunt. If it is a birthday party, begin by brainstorming a theme that will help guide your choice of clues and treasure. The website Birthday Party Ideas offers detailed descriptions of many possible themes.

  2. 2

    Seek online sites for treasure hunt advice. According to the All That Stuff website, "the clue to a great birthday adventure lies in silly riddles, clever hiding places and a big payoff."

    How to Make a Treasure Hunt Riddle
    (treasure chest image by sumos from
  3. 3

    Select a location for the hunt that is appropriate for the age of the participants. For very young children, a single room in a house may be enough. Location will affect placement and writing of clues.

  4. 4

    Choose where the treasure hunt will end. Then work backwards to decide the clue hiding places leading up to the main treasure. Base the number of clues on the birthday child's age plus two. A treasure hunt for a five-year-old would have seven clues, which means one get-started clue that is given to the children and six clue sites to find. This should keep the event short and sweet, leaving time for other party games.

    How to Make a Treasure Hunt Riddle
    Short and sweet is a good rule of thumb for a treasure hunt. (candy image by Soja Andrzej from
  5. 5

    Begin writing the riddles. Having a thesaurus on hand can be helpful as well as a rhyming dictionary. Children love rhymes, rhythmic language and interesting words, so build some into your writing. Here is an example of an opening clue for a kindergarten pirate hunt that begins in the kitchen. It might say, "Yo, ho, ho mateys. To the galley you go, look up and look low." Then they might find the next clue somewhere near the floor.

  6. 6

    Use more complicated language and analogies for older kids. The pirate party opening clue could be changed this way: "Yo, ho, ho mateys. To the galley you must go. Find the waterfall and the cave below." So they need to look in the cupboard below the sink. Keep in mind that some clue locations may require moving potentially harmful substances such as cleansers. Finally, dare to be corny; write riddles that are funny. It will increase the fun factor.

    How to Make a Treasure Hunt Riddle
    A spigot can become a "waterfall" in a riddle. (lavabo image by Danielle Bonardelle from

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