Set up the hunt so that each clue card leads the hunter to another clue card, and then another, until the hunter finds the last clue card and along with it, the treasure. Or you might want to hide several small treasures to be discovered along the way, say a tiny box of raisins, a whistle, and a novelty eraser. A card that says Treasure or The End accompanies the last gift -- perhaps a new book, a story cassette, or you! How the clues are presented depends on the children's ages and reading ability. Make picture-word cards for prereaders and beginning readers. For example, draw a table or a bush and an arrow pointing to precisely where the next clue can be found. For beginning readers, also print a simple phrase, like "under the table" or "in the sandbox." For older children, write a riddle: "On top of me you put your plate. Now under me go find clue 8!" Under the table, they would find the last clue: "A whale has beached in the yard. See what it has dragged from the sea." In the sandbox, they find the treasure-a pair of bookends made out of conch shells. Plant all but the first clue card (and small prizes, if you choose) in the order they are to be found. You might want to walk through the hunt once yourself to double-check that the clues are in the right places. When it's time for the hunt to begin, hand the first clue card to your child.
Materials: File cards, pencil, small prizes (optional), book or other treasure item.