This type of clue can be used for all ages depending on how you take the picture. If you are making a treasure hunt for small children just take a picture of where you have hidden the next clue. If you are making a hunt for older children or adults, you can zoom in on the object and just take a picture of a part of the object. Another strategy you can use with pictures is to take a picture of where the next clue is or the treasure and then cut it up and have the treasure hunters have to put it back together like a puzzle so they can find where their next destination is.
Rebus Puzzles are picture puzzles usually made with words or letters. They cryptically represent a word, phrase, or saying. Probably most of us have seen Rebus Puzzles at one time or another but didn’t know what they were called. The following are typical examples of a rebus puzzle.
Often times rebus puzzles are created by adding or subtracting parts of words. These are probably the easiest to turn into clues.
A cipher is a way to make a word or message secret by changing or rearranging the letters in the message. There are lots of different types of ciphers. One of the most basic ciphers that many of us may have used when kids is a number cipher, in which each letter of the alphabet is represented by a number. For example a=1, b=2, c=3, and so on. Using this method, can you figure out what the following cipher text says?
This type of clue is a variation on a normal word search puzzle. You create a word search pattern using letters from the word of the clue as well as letters from another word or phrase. Then you have the treasure hunters cross out all the letter found in the other word or phrase and the only letters left make the words of the clue. Depending on the age of the treasure hunters, you can put the letters in order, or mix them up. If the treasure hunters are a bit more advanced then mixing the letters up and having them unscramble them would be a bit more challenging.
Here is an example. The instructions of the clue might read, cross out any letter found in the phase “I am cool”
Once this is done, the only letters left (from left to right on each row) are u-n-d-e-r-t-h-e-b-e-d (under the bed).
Using rhymes is a very popular way
to write clues for a treasure hunt today.
There is just something about a clue that rhymes,
feels more like a treasure hunt from olden times.
The difficulty of the clue you should gauge,
depending on the treasure hunter’s age,
A simple description and quite direct,
or a difficult riddle to create a challenging effect.
There are a few different ways that you can disguise words to make clues. One way is to hide a word in a sentence. For example the word SOFA could be hidden without the underlining in a sentence like...”There are three features of a telescope that enable them to extend the power of our vision.” The clue would read something like... "Your next clue location is hidden in the following sentence. The letters are written side by side and sequentially, but may involve more than one word in the sentence."
You could also write a clue location with dashes in the place of every vowel in the sentence or phrase. For example, “under the bed” would become _nd_r th_ b_d. You could increase the difficulty a bit by removing the spaces. _nd_rth_b_d
The possibilities for writing clues are endless. There are so many different kinds of puzzles out there that you can adapt for clues to treasure hunts. Other things I’ve used for clues include sudoku puzzles, crossword puzzles, trivia, GPS coordinates, maps, brain teasers, logic puzzles, and math.