Make An Art Treasure Hunt!

by Alissa Marquess on September 8, 2011

Get in some creative play outside with an Art Treasure Hunt!  This creative game is a fun way to showcase kids art by making it into “treasure,” it teaches beginning map reading skills, and it can be played by varying ages.  All you need are little works of art and a place to hide them.

Creative Outdoor Play
Here’s what you do:

  1. Make art!  We sat at the big table and colored on index cards. We made 10 pieces to hide.  In all honesty, we made the art and the map on one day, and then did the hunt the next.
  2. Make a Treasure Map. We did this at their Nana’s house which has a big front yard;  I just stood on the porch and made a really basic map of what I could see- it does NOT need to be perfect!  You can use color to help denote various features and, remember, you’ll be there to interpret for them if your map is a little wonky ;)
  3. Hide the Art. Hahaha- this was the most difficult part for my boys.  They so badly wanted to see what I was doing!  Leland finally settled for standing on the porch with his hands over his eyes and me hollering, “No peeking! Don’t look!”  Don’t forget to make marks on your map where the treasure is hidden!
  4. Go on your Art Treasure Hunt! I handed the boys the map and helped them get oriented. After that they lead the way, dashing around the yard gleefully spotting their artwork.

Art Treasure Hunt Instructions

A couple things I realized:

  • I made a couple cards that said things like, “Leland finds beautiful flowers.”  I would like to do more of those with instructions like, “Spot your favorite tree.” or “Listen for a bird singing.”
  • If I was REALLY clever, I could have made copies of my map before putting x’s on it so that we could go hide things again and re-write the locations on the map.  That, or I could have written the x’s in pencil so we could erase.
  • This could certainly be done indoors.
  • You could use art you already have (perhaps you did the Index-Card-A-Day challenge this summer, for instance.)

I hope this takes you on an artful adventure, happy hunting!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri September 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

Ooh… this sounds like so much fun! I The possibilities are endless! If you want to do this again and again, you could laminate the map, so you could change up the x’s with a dry erase or wet erase marker.

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Alissa September 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

Oh, for goodness sake- yes! laminating it would work great! Thanks ;)

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Jennifer September 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

What a great idea! I know anything that involves hunting for items are a big hit with my kids. I think the map-reading component is right in-line with what my 4 1/2 year old is into these days. My husband just got her a beginning map-reading book from the library and she’s really loving it.

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Erin @ Small Types September 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Ooh, I love this! It’s a fun way to celebrate all the artwork kids bring home from preschool. (Or produce at home.) At my house, I know my two year old would love to help with the hiding part. Great idea!

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