A treasure hunt is a game that will call on 8-year-old participants to read and follow clues, work with team mates and persevere until the end, when the treasure is recovered or revealed. Consider offering a classic pirate treasure hunt or put a twist on this activity with a fairy treasure hunt, a scavenger treasure hunt or a treasure hunt for spies.
Pirate Treasure Hunt
Pirates are classically the characters in fact and fiction who raided ships on the high seas, stashing the treasure they collected in chests buried in sandy shores. Have your crew of 8 year olds dress as pirates (if they wish) and provide them a treasure map. You can heighten the imaginative aspects of this treasure hunt by creating a back story about how this precious map fell into your hands. The map should direct them, by way of landmarks in your back yard, to some sort of buried "treasure." Fill a strong box with treats and trinkets to serve as the booty to be split by your successful hunters once they have located and uncovered it.
Scavenger Treasure Hunt
This hunt requires the kids to go door to door, so it works best in a neighbourhood that you are very familiar with. It could work at school, as well. Create a list of some common items that could be collected from your neighbours or adjoining classrooms. For example, you could include a piece of lined notebook paper, a green apple or a #2 pencil. Divide the kids into teams of three or four, giving each team the exact same list of "treasures" to collect. Give the groups a time limit for canvassing the neighbourhood, collecting the treasures within that limit. Award points for each correct treasure chest item collected. The team that collects the most treasures wins a prize!
Fairy Treasure Hunt
Eight-year-old girls, especially, will enjoy this treasure hunt. Stage it outdoors (a wooded area would provide ambience) or indoors. Begin your hunt by discussing a bit about the "wee" fairy folk and how they alternately help and play tricks on people. You might tell the children that the fairies have let you know that they want to reward them for being very good, so they have hidden a treasure for them. Use flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables or other items from nature as the hidden series of clues that, when collected in order, will lead them to their fairy treasure. This treasure could be anything from a box filled with fairy wings and wands to sweets or an assortment of fruits and nuts.
Spy vs. Spy Treasure Hunt
Choose as expansive a location as possible -- your entire neighbourhood or school building, for example. Once you've selected your hiding spots, create the clues that will lead your "spies" to the treasure. Create a spy mission. How about a stash of royal jewels stolen from a museum? Give the participants a short description of the spy circumstances that your group (as spies) find themselves in and assign them their "mission to hunt for the stolen treasure," should they choose to accept it. Read the first clue, which leads them to the second hidden one, which leads to the third, and so forth. The treasure, hidden in a briefcase or box, could be ring pops and candy necklaces or other treats to serve as the successful spies' reward.
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