How To Set Up a Treasure Hunt In Your Home

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Alison Gerber)

Is there anything more fun than hunting through your house for hidden goodies, treasure map in hand? If you are 5 years old, the answer is probably no, there isn’t. Want to set up a treasure hunt in your house? Here’s how.

What you need:

Paper: printer, and at least one large sheet

Printer + ink

Pencil + eraser


Decorative craft items: aluminium foil, glue, cotton wool, faux fur, crayons, pencils, glitter – whatever you can dream up!



(Image credit: Alison Gerber)

1. Starting at the front door, move through your house and make a rough map. Mark down all the places that might be good to hide treasure, or be used as object markers as they move through the house. Think of items that are easily identifiable to your kids: the rug they play on, their tub of toys, the place they eat dinner and so on.

2. Online, find color pictures of some of those objects you’ve marked in your map. Google Images is your friend here. Items I found particularly easy to source images of: rugs and furniture where I was aware of the maker/store it came from. Print them out. Keep the pictures small so they will fit on (but not overcrowd) your map.

(Image credit: Alison Gerber)

3. Take your large sheet of paper. Is your house long, or wide? Orient it to the basic layout of your house. Starting at the front door, sketch out the direction of the treasure hunt. Don’t include everything in your house, just those object markers and basic directions.

(Image credit: Alison Gerber)

4. Cut out and stick on those printed pictures in their right place.

5. Pretty up your map by going over the pencil with Sharpie, erasing the pencil, and coloring in everything else. If possible, add some 3D elements to your map. Cotton wool makes good “fuzzy stuff,” aluminium foil looks like a mirror.

(Image credit: Alison Gerber)

6. Hang the map/s at the front door and tuck your treasures away in the appropriate places. Keep the best treasure for the end. Now… wait for the kids to get home!