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How to write riddles for a treasure hunt

Updated April 17, 2017

Treasure hunts are popular at children's parties, whether the participants are miniature pirates hunting for buried treasure or explorers seeking out new worlds. Adults can get into the fun as well, indulging their inner sense of adventure. Create a treasure hunt with clever clues to lead partygoers to treat bags, party favours, a pinata or some other prize.

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  1. Plot a route for the treasure hunt with a paper and pencil. Determine which rooms you will use for an indoor hunt, or how much ground you want to cover for an outdoor hunt. Calculate how many clues you need for the treasure hunt.

  2. Look for objects, plants or architectural features along the chosen course that can become part of a riddle. An item of furniture, a tree, a bridge or a large rock might provide a hiding place for a clue.

  3. Compose a riddle for each clue that gives instructions for finding the next clue. Incorporate the hiding place or surrounding area of the clue. Try using a famous quotation, a description or a rhyme. Use a rhyming dictionary for inspiration if you run out of ideas.

  4. Tailor the riddle to the age and ability level of the participants. For example, if you are hiding a clue on a balcony, you might use a quote from Shakespeare for a group of adults, such as "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" from the famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. For children, a simple rhyme can achieve the same thing, such as "Climb up high to see the sky" or "I'm standing on air, just follow the stair."

  5. Photograph hiding spots and attach the prints to the clues for young children who cannot read yet. Make it harder by taking a close-up of just part of the object so it's not easily identified.

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About the Author

Denise Howard has been writing since 2004, specializing in home and garden, travel, music and education. A private music instructor and professional accompanist, Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in music, studying both piano and voice.

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