Birthday treasure hunt for kids - forests are an ideal venue

16. September 2018 - Anika Semmer

Birthday Treasure Hunt for Kids – How to Turn It Into an Adventure


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A birthday treasure hunt for kids is an adventure that awakens the children’s imagination and is incredibly fun. With a few creative ideas, it becomes an exciting experience.

There is an explorer in every child. Not for nothing do pirates on a treasure hunt, detectives on a gangster hunt and adventure heroes like Indiana Jones fire the imagination and are much loved. With an exciting birtday treasure hunt for kids, the little ones become heroes themselves and experience a real adventure without smartphones, Playstations or computer games.

The best thing is that with a few tips, each birthday treasure hunt for kids can be designed differently and individually and adapted to the age of the children – so you can easily organise a new birthday treasure hunt for kids every year. With creative ideas and unconventional surprises that no one expects, a birthday treasure hunt is a great experience even for older children.

In addition to the basic birtday treasure hunt tips, here are some creative ideas for surprising the kids with unexpected tasks to make it an exciting experience.

Depending on the season and weather, be sure to ask on the invitation to bring appropriate weatherproof clothing and shoes.

How to Make a Birthday Treasure Hunt for Kids a Real Adventure

Birthday treasure hunt for kids - girl about to reach her destination

Is this where the princess is being held captive?

Every scavenger hunt or birthday treasure hunt for kids begins at a starting point. There, the children learn what it is all about and are given the first task, the first clue or a treasure map and equipment for their great adventure.

Then the children follow clues and walk a pre-determined route. At the end, the treasure, a surprise or the solution to their adventure awaits them.

1. Creatively Planned and Well Organised

Let your creativity run wild! If there is a motto (see below), then tailor the whole birthday treasure hunt for kids to it. Then think about the right atmosphere for the treasure hunt: a detective treasure hunt in the neighbourhood or town, the search for the treasure of the Knights Templar or the princess’s jewels through the forest with a ruin as the destination. A forest is also ideal for all other treasure hunts.

Think of varied stations and tasks in advance and make a list of what equipment the children will need and what you will need to mark the route. What kind of treasure awaits the treasure hunters? Make a checklist!

2. Creative Ideas for Marking the Route at the Birthday Treasure Hunt for Kids

Chalk arrows don’t show up on the forest floor, but all the better on the road. Another classic idea is to hang, stick or put down a piece of paper to indicate the next stop on the birthday treasure hunt for kids. Glow-in-the-dark lights make great signposts for the children to collect at night.

6 more creative ideas

  • Coloured ribbons – for young children, preferably all the same colour and only one type of marker
  • Puzzle with the treasure map printed on it and puzzle piece by puzzle piece to show the way
  • Coloured eco-friendly spray chalk
  • Message torn into pieces that is the final clue to the treasure and is picked up by the children
  • Place arrows made of pebbles, branches, moss
  • Hide a compass to give directions
  • Invisible black light paint that lights up when shone on with UV light (note, children should definitely be equipped with a UV torch for this)
  • Reflector tape that lights up when shone on with light

3. Birthday Treasure Hunt for Kids with a Theme

Ideas on how to make a birthday treasure hunt for kids special

A message in a bottle with a treasure map?

A theme makes for a story and a birthday treasure hunt is a great highlight for any great adventure theme that kids love. Every real adventure tells a story and the more the outfit, atmosphere and location match, the more the children’s imagination is awakened.

If you are planning a birtday treasure hunt for kids with a theme, you should definitely design the tasks, stations and clues to match the theme! The treasure should then be the crowning glory of the treasure hunt – in the case of the dragon’s legendary gold treasure, for example, a dragon piñata that the children smash in the finale and inside which the gold treasure is hidden. There’s even a real fight against the dragon. 🙂

Fantasy themes

  • Bottle mail from Captain Wooden Leg
  • The Search for the Last Unicorn
  • The Dragon’s Fabled Golden Treasure
  • The Cursed Treasure of the Knights Templar
  • The Secret of the Elven Forest
  • The Strange Treasure Map
  • The treasure of the last great pirate
  • Count Dracula’s Legacy
  • Adventures in the Jungle
  • The greatest heist of the century
  • The forbidden statue in the jungle temple

4. City, Forest, Castle Ruins, Night – Places That Fire the Imagination

You choose the place where the birthday treasure hunt for kids will take place to match the theme. While a treasure hunt for a children’s birthday party at night for children from the age of 7 (with parental guidance) is sure to give kids goosebumps, it also requires a lot of preparation and supervision. A wooded area is actually always suitable – it’s best to equip the kids with a walkie talkie so you can always help and never lose sight of them.

Ideal places for a birthday treasure hunt for kids

  • City / neighbourhood – goes great with the detective / gangster hunt theme
  • Castle ruin – fits all fantasy themes, knight, princess, dragon, vampire
  • Forest – great for knowledge questions, tasks for naturalists
  • Zoo – for knowledge questions and tasks in the form of a rally
  • Garden – for children under 7, strange things happen there as a search and find treasure hunt without notes and writing

5. Unexpected Surprises Add Excitement to the Birtday Treasure Hunt for Kids

Surprise the birthday child with the treasure hunt! And of course, in keeping with the theme, do so with an exciting event. For example, an unaddressed mysterious parcel can be left on the doorstep with an exciting detective case hidden inside, sending the little detectives on a gangster hunt or in search of stolen stolen goods. Or you can wrap the treasure map as a gift to be unwrapped in the circle of friends.

Involve relatives, neighbours or other parents or ice cream parlour owners from whom the children expect clues – the more interactive the more surprising!

In the middle of the forest, there may also be a strange hiker sitting on a camping chair who, if asked, will hand over an important piece of equipment to complete a task.

6. Varied Tasks That Demand Imagination, Brains and Cohesion

Together we can do it - team tasks strengthen cohesion


The more varied the tasks, the better. When planning the birtday treasure hunt for kids, you should first walk the route and look out for conspicuous objects, clearings, street signs, buildings, letterboxes, etc. You should also think about the tasks to be done. Then you should think about the tasks to be done.

Creative tasks, e.g. collecting certain leaves and laying a pattern on the ground, can be rewarded with a hint via the walkie talkie.

You accompany the action-packed tasks and small competitions at prepared stations and give the next clue at the end. Here you can find ideas for action-packed tasks for a spooky Halloween scavenger hunt for children.

Riddles, thinking, arithmetic and knowledge tasks are great fun, especially for children from 7-10 years old. Ideally, the solution is a hint as to what happens next.

And then there are my favourite tasks: Games where all the treasure hunters work together and have to solve them as a team.

7. Equipment for Tasks That Children Love

There is equipment that naturalists, little detectives and explorers will find great fun and that can be used to design great treasure hunt tasks. You can give this equipment to the children at the beginning or you can hide it as little search stops – the kids love it.

  • UV torch – it reveals invisible clues in the dark
  • Torch to shine into gullies, dark corners etc.
  • A coding disc to solve coded clues
  • Houdini’s padlock, which is not so easy to open
  • Magic box for puzzling
  • Combination lock to pick
  • An exciting letter lock to pick
  • A puzzle box with an important clue inside
  • Magnifying glass to enlarge tiny messages
  • Adventurer set

Discover many more special kids’ birthday ideas! All year round you can browse the leisure ideas portal and find inspiration for gifts and ideas for activities with kids, friends and your partner.

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*There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you order something from amazon, for example, Abenteuer Freundschaft will receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more.


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