Treasure hunting games (or known as scavenger hunts) are a type of game that is very popular among children and teenagers. Besides being suitable to be played at any time, basically this game is also not limited to children. In other words, even adults can enjoy it! Want to try designing an interesting treasure hunting game? Keep reading this article to find interesting game ideas and themes as well as the specific process for planning a treasure hunt game. What are you waiting for?
Part 1 of 3: Planning a Treasure Hunt Game
Step 1. Determine the time and location of the game
Basically, treasure hunting games can be held in the morning, afternoon, or evening. The location is also very flexible; it could be in your garden, home, complex where you live, or at school. To determine the time and location of the game, make sure you consider the age of the participants, the number of participants, the weather on the D-day, and the type of game you choose. Some ideas you can consider:
- If the weather is warm and welcoming, consider having an outdoor game.
- If the D-Day is very cold (or if it suddenly rains), consider moving the game location indoors.
- If there are a large number of participants (or if most of the participants are teenagers and/or adults), try holding it in a city park or similar open space. Your home page can also be used as a game location if the participants are small children.
- If the number of participants is not too much, you can do it at home. If you want, you can isolate private areas such as bedrooms and workspaces.
- The neighborhood you live in is the perfect location to host a treasure hunt on a larger scale. If you want to get your neighbors involved, talk to them about the idea first. By doing so, you will know when is the best time to access your neighbor's house, as well as what items participants can collect there.
Step 2. Decide what kind of treasure hunting game you want to play
Basically, there are lots of hunting game ideas for you to choose from and they all involve a list of items that participants need to find. Some ideas you can apply:
- Provide a list containing the names of the items that participants need to look for. Hide the items and have them collect them; The first individual or group to find all the items on the list will be the winner.
- Ask participants to go to a neighbor's house to ask for certain items. If you choose this concept, make sure you discuss it with your neighbors first, okay?
- Instead of searching and picking up items, have each team take a picture of the items on the list. This concept lends itself to games taking place in the wild, especially since you generally shouldn't take anything without your consent.
Step 3. Provide a prize for the winner of the game
Trust me, the participants will feel more motivated if there is a prize waiting (especially if the game has a time limit). Before selecting a prize, make sure you consider the age of the participant. Some gift ideas worth your pick:
- Toys or candy are gifts that are very much liked by the child participants.
- Movie tickets at the cinema or cash are the perfect gifts for teens and adults.
- Adults prefer gifts in the form of meal coupons at local restaurants, shopping coupons, or baskets filled with various souvenirs.
- Consider choosing a gift that fits the theme of the game. If the theme of your game is superhero then give a prize in the form of a superhero mask and cloak to the winner.
Step 4. Make a list of the names of the items that need to be searched
You can include items that are very easy to find, such as a pencil or piece of paper, as well as items that are more difficult to find, such as photo frames or thread and needle.
- If gamers are required to look for items at a neighbor's house, consider choosing items that are inexpensive and can be easily given to you by your neighbors (such as a piece of paper, a pencil, or a paperclip). You can also give these items to your neighbors before the game starts so they don't have to give away their personal items.
- If gamers are required to take pictures of certain objects, give specific instructions, such as “a statue in a city park” or “a red flower”.
Step 5. Consider the age group of the participants
Basically, the theme and concept of the game should be based on the age group of the participants in the game. For example, don't make games too difficult for children; for example, games involving clues such as detective games. But on the other hand, the concept of the game will actually feel more interesting for teenagers and adults! Also, of course, you can't ask the kids to come over to the neighbor's house and collect things there because the risk is too great. Instead, try asking them to search for items based on the images already listed on the list. Some things you need to consider:
- If the number of participants is very large and the majority of participants are children, make sure you ask an adult for help to accompany each team. In this way, it will be easier for you to monitor the course of the game and the movements of the participants.
- Consider giving prizes to the second and third place winners (especially if the participants are very young children. This way, the "losing" team will not feel lost.
- Consider the age of the participants when choosing a theme. Children are generally more interested in nature or animal themes, while teenagers are generally more interested in themes related to literature, video games, and movies.
Part 2 of 3: Determining the Rules of the Game
Step 1. Divide the participants into several teams before the game starts
They can choose their own team, or you can choose one too. If the participants in the game are children, make sure you also ask an adult to lead and accompany each team. If the number of participants is large, try dividing them into 3 or 4 teams; make sure the number of members in each team is balanced.
- If the participants in the game are of different ages, consider pairing some of the younger ones with the older ones. In this way, the game will certainly take place more fairly.
- The perfect way to divide teams is to ask participants to count from 1, 2, etc.; people with the same number will be joined in one team.
- Another way to divide teams is to ask participants to choose colored paper at random; people who take the same color will be joined into one team.
Step 2. Provide a list of items to look for along with their deadlines
The game time limit is highly dependent on the number of items that participants need to find; make sure you consider it carefully! Generally, an hour is the most common time for treasure hunting games. If participants are asked to look for items in your neighbors' homes, one hour is also a safe time.
- For toddlers, make sure the game doesn't last more than 15 minutes. 15 minutes is long enough to keep them entertained, but not too long to bore them.
- If the number of items that need to be searched is not too much, 30 minutes is enough.
Step 3. Provide a bag, basket, or cardboard to store the items that have been collected
In addition to making it easier for participants to carry everything, doing so will also prevent them from losing small items. If the participants in the game are children, ask an adult to help carry them; that way, children can still run freely to collect treasures without having to be afraid of falling, tripping, or dropping items that have been collected. However, if participants are only asked to take pictures or write names of items that have been found, you do not need to provide them. Some objects that you can use as storage areas:
- Basket; try to find a basket that has handles to make it easier to carry.
- A less expensive option is a plastic or paper bag. Compared to plastic bags, paper bags feel more sturdy so the items inside will not be damaged.
- Although it tends to be more difficult to carry around, cardboard is the most sturdy storage place. You can even buy cardboard that has been decorated to match the theme of the game.
Step 4. Explain how the game will end
Most treasure hunting games have a time limit; The team that finds the most items within the time limit will be the winner. Some things you need to consider:
- If the game has a time limit, try giving each team a stopwatch. You could also simply tell them when the game time is over (for example, if the game starts at 1pm, tell participants that the game time is one hour and they must arrive at the designated location by 2pm).
- If the participants in the game are children, make sure you also give prizes for the second and third place winners to avoid social jealousy.
Step 5. Tell participants where they should gather after playing
Choosing a meeting location is very important, especially since there is a high probability that some teams will finish faster than others; for that, you need to ask them to wait somewhere while waiting for the other team to finish playing. The meeting location can be likened to the location where the game starts or in front of certain unique objects (for example, a statue of a hero in a game location). Make sure you also have someone on duty at the location to give the prize to the winner.
Part 3 of 3: Deciding on Game Themes and Ideas
Step 1. Realize that there are many ways you can significantly increase your game's creativity
This section focuses on ideas that you can use to enhance the uniqueness and fun of your treasure hunting game! In this section, you'll find ideas about the theme and design of the game; You'll even find creative surprises worth embedding in the game. Choose the most interesting idea for you!
Step 2. Determine the theme of the game
Trust me, it will be easier for you to determine the 'treasure' to look for if you have a specific theme. If treasure hunting games are part of a party, try adapting the game's theme to the theme of your party. If your party has a superhero theme then apply the same theme to your hunting game; choose items that are often used by superheroes, such as masks and capes. Some ideas worth trying:
- Adjust the theme of the game to the interests of the participants. If the game is being held for students from a literature class, select items that are relevant to their reading book. If they are reading a "Harry Potter" book, list items such as brooms, owls, cloaks, and long feathers on their treasure list to find. You can even hold it in the library to keep them interested!
- Match the theme of the game to the time the game is held. If the game is in October, try creating a Halloween theme; Have participants look for Halloween-related items such as pumpkins, black cats, bats, spiders, witches, and skulls.
- Focus on the location of the game. If the game is being held in a city park, make sure you visit the park first; after that, write down unique things that are there (for example, odd-shaped trees or unique statues). Don't ask participants to look for something that doesn't exist!
- Decide on the right theme. Basically, you can choose any theme you find interesting, for example: animals, books, food, certain historical eras, the sea, movies, musical theatre, rainforest, superhero, video games, etc.
Step 3. Instead of listing the item names explicitly, try defining the items
Game participants must then solve the clues you provide before looking for the item in question. This concept is perfect for games where you have to take pictures of the correct items! You can also create clues in the form of puzzles, for example:
- Instead of “toaster”, you could write: “I made your bread warm and crunchy.”
- Instead of writing “bookmarks”, you can write: “I am the keeper of your pages”.
- Instead of writing “thread and needle”, you could write: “We are a couple; your mother used us to fix something that was broken".
- Instead of writing “brooms”, you could write: “Witches use them to travel, but most people use them to clean floors”.
Step 4. Turn a treasure hunting game into a bingo game
Start by making bingo boxes and writing the name of each item in each box. Before the game starts, ask participants to cross the box containing the names of the items they find later; The first person to successfully draw a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line will be the winner.
- This concept is suitable for games held in nature or city parks.
- Consider choosing items that are already available at that location. For example, if the game is being played on the beach, consider including the following items: seashells, sunbathers, sand castle, seagulls, barking dog, and towels.
Step 5. Provide a list of items to look for and ask participants to write the name of the item in the blank space provided
For example, you could ask them to look for something that is blue, feels soft, and is green. The participants will then write down the names of the items they managed to find (such as blue marbles, stuffed rabbits, and a leaf) in the blank space provided. The first person to complete the list will be the winner.
- This concept is suitable for games that are held in the wild.
- Make sure the items you write down match their location. For example, you can't ask participants to look for something green if the game is in a sandy desert, right?
Step 6. Consider the age of the participants
Do not plan a game system that is too difficult for children or too childish for adults. Children are better suited to short treasure lists, while teens and adults are better suited to long treasure lists with clues. Some ideas worth implementing:
- For children, do not include more than 10 items, and write a treasure list in large letters and attractive colors. You can also include a picture of each item just in case some of the participants are still learning to read.
- For children who are a little older (10-15 years), include about 10-15 items, and write the treasure list in large letters and attractive colors. The difference is, you don't need to include a picture of each item in the list.
- For teens and adults, write a treasure list in normal font size; You can still make the treasure list look more interesting by choosing colored letters. Instead of writing out the item's name explicitly, try to include clues that people of that age generally find more attractive.
Step 7. Match the treasure list theme to the game theme
In this way, the treasure list will look more attractive in the eyes of the participants. For example, you could write a list of treasures on drawing paper or put a specific image in the bottom corner of the paper. Some ideas worth trying:
- If the theme of the game is the beach, try writing a treasure list on beach-style paper (for example, paper that is blue like the waves on the beach). You can also put pictures of sand, coconut trees, and beach waves at the end of the list.
- If the game is being played outdoors, try writing a treasure list on patterned or leaf-shaped paper.
- If the game is being played to pass time in English class, try putting pictures of the book students are reading in the corners of the paper. For example, if a student has just finished reading the book “Harry Potter”, you can insert pictures of owls, wands, and broomsticks in the corners of the paper.
- If the theme of the game is Renaissance or Medieval era, try using old-fashioned parchment paper; stamp the paper with unique characters that look like they were written with a calligraphy pen.
- Try choosing a custom theme to make the game even more enjoyable.
- Prepare a bag, basket, or cardboard that participants can use to collect items.
- If participants are required to take pictures, make sure you also provide a camera for each team.
- Consider setting up a treasure trove that is interconnected with one another.
- If the game is being played outdoors (such as in a city park or around a residential complex), make sure you give away a cell phone for each team playing. That way, you can always keep an eye on their movements and help out if a team gets lost or gets lost.
- Consider setting up additional prizes for the losing participants. You especially need to apply this idea if the participants in the game are children who tend to have a harder time accepting defeat; doing so will save you from crying or angry children.
- Give each team a camera so they can take pictures of the items they have found.
- To keep the game fair, provide souvenirs for everyone involved and a grand prize for the winning team.
- If the game is held at night, make sure you provide participants with flashlights or similar lighting.
- If the participants in the game are children, make sure you ask several adults to lead and supervise each team.
- Do not ask participants to enter other people's homes without permission! Before holding a treasure hunt game, make sure you have coordinated with the neighbors.