Have you ever done treasure hunts for your children? We have, a few times for birthday parties, and they were always been a big hit. It was quite time consuming, however, to come up with the clues, make the notes, hide them, and so on.
Clued in Kids has simplified the process for parents by creating a wide assortment of treasure hunts that can be set up in less than 10 minutes. The hunts are available in a variety of formats and themes.
- Printable Treasure hunts start at only $5.99 each and include themes for many holidays and even some educational topics, such as math and nutrition. We tried Multiplication Dragons ($19.99), which includes 5 different treasure hunts that offer practice with multiplication tables.
- Two Greeting Card treasure hunts are available: Christmas Treasure Hunt Gift In A Greeting Card and Halloween Treasure Hunt Gift in a Greeting Card ($19.99 each). These are nice because they will arrive at your house in a decorative envelope, ready to go with clues, and even a small prize, like stickers.
- Birthday/Playdate Treasure Hunts are available either as packs of pre-printed clues, or as a kit with 3 hunts and a treasure chest of prizes.
Emily, at 14 was a bit old for the treasure hunts we tried, but was happy to try them out. I think they are best suited for ages 4-12, although of course, children on the younger end of that range would need help with reading and solving clues, while older ones would need little help.
The first hunt we used was Multiplication Dragons (6’s times tables). I printed out the clues, then spent a few minutes changing 3 or 4 of the clue sheets to include more difficult math questions. (I figured Emily could use more of a challenge, so I substituted a few algebra and exponent problems for some of the simple multiplication ones, making sure that the answer was the same.) In addition to multiplication facts, the clue cards held riddles, codes, mirror writing, and mazes.
Then we tried out the Christmas Treasure Hunt Gift in a Greeting Card. This lovely package would be a fun surprise for any child. The envelope looks like a treasure hunt, the bright colorful clues are ready to be hidden, and rub on Christmas tattoos were included for a prize. Ideally the parent would pull these out before the child saw them! Obviously, it’s not the Christmas season yet, but we pretended! I pulled a stocking ornament from our Christmas decorations (more accessible than the actual stockings), and when Emily got to the clue that told her to look under the Christmas tree, I just told her to find the closest item to a tree in the house (which turned out to be a large houseplant)!
The hunts were very easy to set up, taking just a few minutes to hide the clues. Each clue specified on the bottom of the card in small print where to hide the clue—mainly common places around the house—near a toothbrush, in the refrigerator, and so on. A few clues were to be held by the adult, and awarded to the child when he or she performed a task specified on the previous clue. The hiding places seemed to be repeated often between different hunts, however. On just her second hunt, Emily proclaimed, “I might has well just look in all the same hiding places as last time and save time!” I suppose there are a finite number of hiding places in a home, particularly ones that are common to most homes, but we would have liked more variety. Maybe that wouldn’t matter to a younger child.
I especially liked the multiplication hunts, because it’s always fun to practice math in a different way. When they were younger, all of my children would have loved this activity for a playdate or as a break from school time. I think Clued in Kids hunts would be a great thing to have on hand for rainy days or special occasions. And the greeting card sets would be a fun surprise to receive in the mail from a grandparent or friend. Read about some more ideas for Christmas gifts on the Clued in Kids blog.