Exploring Nature Play: Treasure hunts

Searching for treasure at Shiremoor Adventure Playground, North Tyneside

The magical thing about treasure hunts is that they are fun, exciting, challenging and are never the same twice.

Taking part in a treasure hunt has been one of the children’s favourite activities, during school visits to the adventure playground. They create fun and exciting ways to explore an outdoor space.

The children can work individually, or in teams, to try and find hidden articles, locations and places by following a series of clues. This can lead to serious levels of competition which ensures everyone is completely engaged in the activity.

One of the best loved treasure hunts has been where individual clues were stuck onto a collection of wellies and hidden around the playground. The children had to find all the wellies and then ‘break’ the code on them. By ‘breaking’ the code, they discovered a list of baking ingredients that they used to make pizzas. They finished off the session by cooking their pizzas around the fire.

Another favourite was following clues which eventually led to bags of treasure. The treasure can vary depending on the seasons. One idea is to use sunflower seeds or daffodil bulbs. The children can plant them at the playground or take them back to school to remind them of their adventures.

One teacher commented that,’this is a fantastic team building exercise and challenges the children’s understanding and problem solving skills.’

C (age 9yrs) said, ‘I have special memories of each treasure hunt. Sometimes the adults who help us are quite competitive and we run about following clues.’