There is no set of rules when planning a scavenger hunt but to make it most enjoyable consider the interests of the child.
Here are some ideas from a birthday scavenger hunt we had for my daughter when she was young and an avid reader of Nancy Drew:
- The day began in the morning when the doorbell rang and a mysterious package was left at the footstep addressed to my daughter. Inside the package included detective business cards with her name on them, a pocket watch, a pen, and her first clue.
- The first clue led us to a special location where she was to look for something red. A red scarf was tied in a tree and she had to climb the tree (with help) to reach another hint.
- She was directed to a friends house where she had to kayak a short distance in a lake (again with help) to find a floating bottle with the next clue.
- And with assistance she climbed to the roof of the house to find a gift waiting and another clue that guided her to a secret compartment in the pocket watch.
- The clue in the pocket watch led to a surprise party at an ice cream shop where all of her friends had gathered to wish her happy birthday. Her next clue was hidden under one of the tables.
- This led to a clue in her pen, which directed her to our favorite bookstore. Inside the bookstore she was sent to the Nancy Drew section in which another hint was found in one of the books.
- She was then directed to find a mysterious person with a hat who gave her the clue to her final destination: A family birthday party where her final clue was hidden in a walnut shell that led to a treasure box.
Ideas for hiding clues:
- Freeze a clue in an ice tray.
- Carefully open a walnut, take out the nut and replace with a clue. Glue shell back together. And place in a bowl of walnuts.
- Hide a clue in a pen, pocket watch, or compass.
- Get friends involved by having them secretly waiting at different locations with funny hats.
- Get other peopled involved and ask them to wear a bright-colored smiley face that your child has to find.
- Hide clues in favorite stores at the mall (with the permission of management).
- Empty an old chap stick tube and place a clue.
- Create funny rhymes that lead to clues.