Indoor Treasure Hunt

Use tea bags to make authentic looking clues and send your family on an indoor treasure hunt! 

This project is one of the virtual literacy through art classes hosted on Facebook Live from 1:30-2pm every Wednesday and Friday. Materials and instructions are posted here afterwards. Tune into the live classes to ask questions, give suggestions, and interact with other students who are stuck at home!

If you want to watch the recording of the live video, check out our Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Materials: 

  • Paper 
  • Something to write with 
  • Tea bags and hot water 
  • A small gift/treat 

Instructions: 

  1. Take pieces of blank white paper and crumple it up into a ball. 
  2. Rip the paper into smaller pieces. Tear the edges, make holes or crumple it some more to make the pieces look old and tatters. Make sure your pieces are big enough to write clues on. I suggest making at least 5 clues, but the more the better! 
  3. Boil water and grab a tea bag (black tea will work best). Steep the tea bag in the hot water. Let the water cool before you use the tea bag! You do not want to burn yourself. 
  4. Take the tea bag and rub it all over the pieces of paper until the tea has stained it. This will create an old and yellowed effect after it dries. 
  5. While the papers dry, think about your clues and your treasure. You are trying to get a family member to go around the house looking for clues and eventually finding the treasure. What do you want your treasure to be and where are you going to hide it? It can be something you made, some candy, a nice letter, a book, or anything else you come up with! 
  6. Now write your clues that will lead to your treasure! There are tips below to help you write your clues. 
  7. After you write your clues, there are tips below to set up your treasure hunt. 

Clue Writing Tips: 

  • Use objects that are easy to get to in your house. You can hide clues in the refrigerator, in a pillow case, under the sofa and more. Don’t hide two clues in the same place!
  • Your clues can be riddles, but they don’t have to be! They can simply tell you where to go next, like “Check the bathroom.”  
  • If you do want to write riddles, here are some techniques you can use:
    • “What am I” 
      • For example, “I sit on a wall and have two hands, what am I?” is referring to a wall clock —so the treasure hunters will know to look for the next clue by the wall clock. 
    • A rhyme 
      • For example, “If you’re thirsty, have a drink. Grab a cup and head to the ____.” The treasure hunters will brainstorm places you can get yourself a water and words that rhyme with drink, in this case it is sink, and will head to the sink for the next clue.  
    • Draw pictures of objects in your house, so when the treasure hunters find the clue they recognize what part of the house the drawing is of and they will know to look for the next clue there. 

Setting up the treasure hunt: 

  • It will help to number your clues in the order you want them to be found. 
  • Do not hide your first clue. Hand that to the treasure hunters when they begin. 
  • It is important to remember that the clues lead to each other. If a clue is about the bathroom, make sure you do not put that clue in the bathroom, otherwise the treasure hunters will not know where to go next. The clue you find in the bathroom should lead you to a new location, and the clue about the bathroom should be in the location the previous clue led you to. 
  • Your last clue should lead to where the treasure is hidden. 

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