Create A Toddler Treasure Hunt Party Activity

A treasure hunt is a fun activity for a group of toddlers. Create this special activity complete with treasure maps and prizes for your next toddler party.

Supplies:

Stickers - Get stickers with as many different designs as you will have teams. Have four or five duplicates of each sticker design

3 x 5 cards - may use any card stock cards

Small prizes - one per participant

Digital camera and printer OR markers and paper

Setting up the hunt:

Before the event, decide whether to have the children hunt on their own or in small teams. Teams of two are a good size since the teammates can help each other, but it is not enough children to get confusing. For each team, assign a sticker design. For example, if you have three teams of two players you might have the cat team, the frog team and the duck team.



Place a duck sticker on each of four note cards, cat stickers on four more note cards and frog stickers on the remaining four cards. These will be the items the teams must collect on their hunt. Locate unique positions for all of the cards. For example, you might place one duck card in a potted plant, another attached to the refrigerator with a magnet and so on.

If you have a digital camera, snap a picture of each card in its "hidden" location. For each team, create a "map" which is a piece of paper with printouts of the four goal pictures. So, the duck team will have a picture of the plant, a picture of the refrigerator and pictures of the two remaining hiding spots. The frog team will have a map with four different pictures hinting at the locations of the frog cards.

If you do not have a digital camera, create a map by drawing simple icons representing the hiding spots. Make sure you choose hiding spots that are easy to draw!

Try to mix the difficulty of the hiding locations. While a refrigerator is pretty easy -- most toddlers will know it is in the kitchen - a plant in a house full of greenery may be less obvious. Or, make the clues trickier by doing a close-up of the hint object. For example, a close shot of a towel looks like a large field of terry cloth and may not immediately send the participants to the hand towel rack in the bathroom. At the top of each "map", place a sticker that matches the design the team is seeking.

When each team has collected all of their sticker cards, they may turn them in for their prize. This way, every team wins. For younger toddlers, consider pairing them with older children or let parents help if needed.

Fast version:

If you do not have time to plan a full treasure hunt and create a map, you can always simply hide small toys for the children to find. Place small plastic dinosaurs, animals, bugs, bubbles, plastic jewelry or other inexpensive toys in hiding places where some portion of the toy is visible. Make sure the toys are not too small to pose a choking hazard for the age you are creating the hunt for. It is also a good idea to keep aside a few toys to help a participant who does not find any of the treasure.

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