Things to Think About Before You Start
1. Set plenty of time aside to plan the hunt
If you want to make this hunt decent quality you are going to have to set aside at least a week before the hunt to plan. Usually I start around 3 weeks ahead but this is because I don't want to work on it every single day and usually I only work on it for an hour or 2. Basically, make sure you have at least 48 hours (of pure work) to work on the hunt. Of course you could always spend less time but this is the prefered amount of time to create a decent hunt.
2. Will you be planning this alone or with other people?
Of course the job would be easier if you had a partner but I'm not saying you can't do it alone. Actually it might be a bit easier if you had a partner so try to find one or a few if you can.
3. Where will you be having this hunt?
Have a spot set out that won't be soo big of an area, espcially if kids are playing in the hunt. Also make sure the area is safe and clear of breakable things.
Some good areas for teens/young adults:
-Around the house or back yard
-Large shops with several floors like Ikea or Macy's
Good areas for kids:
-Inside the house
Good areas for Adults:
-A shopping street
-Around the city/county
-Around your University
Creating Your Hunt Step by Step
1. Theme (optional)
Think about what theme you would like for the whole hunt. When you think of a theme you can then make the prizes or clues according to your theme.
2. Decide if you want to do a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt
These two types of hunts are very similar except the scavenger hunt is where you have a set of clues to lead your hunter to different objects that they must acquire to win the game. The adult/teen edition of the game would be to have the hunters take a picture of this item. This makes it more fun because you will then be able to make clues that lead to monuments or people. This version would be the better choice if you want a large group event so people can race each other.
A treasure hunt on the other hand will have the hunter start with just one clue which will lead to another clue and another one until the end where there will be a big present. Some ideas for this is to have a little present at each clue and then a huge one at the end of the hunt. This method can also be used to lead the hunter to a surprise party, a romantic date, or a prom proposal at the end of the hunt. This version is best for one person or a small group of people working together.
3. Create clues
This is probably the hardest part of making the hunt. Always keep your hunter in mind because kids may not be able to solve clues you create, however, if the clues are too easy for your friends then the game will be boring. When you write your clues remember to use words to make it correspond with the theme, if you have one. Through experience, adding inside jokes to the clues makes the game much more entertaining and personal. If you want a fun little challenge you can even make the clues rhyme!
"I have legs but can not run, arms but do not hold, what am I?"
The difference between scavenger and treasure hunts is that one has hunters start with all the clues and one has one clue leading to another clue's hiding spot so the clues can be used for both.
If you would like more help to write clues or make the hunt harder. There is also a part 2 to this guide you can find on my profile.
4. Hiding the clues (only for Treasure Hunts)
Now that you have the clues written you must hide them. I suggest hiding them under, or in things to make it harder to spot for older hunters. For younger hunters it is best to keep it not hidden. For example, if you have older hunters you can hide the clue in a book. Or maybe even as a computer file.
Hide the clues in areas where it won't be destroyed by the weather or other mammals. I recommend planting the clues on the day of the event.
5. Starting the hunt
Finally, you have finished planning the scavenger hunt and it is time to watch your masterpiece come to life.
Scavenger hunts: Start with giving each player or group their sheet of paper with all the clues on it and tell them the boundaries if needed. Tell everyone that the first person to finish will be the winner and will win the biggest prize. There can also be a 2nd and 3rd place winner too.
Treasure hunts: Start with giving the first clue to the player or the group. Then set the boundaries and let them start the game.
Now enjoy watching the games begin. It feels great to know how well your hunt went because it is not an easy thing to create. Also watching how much fun everyone is having makes you feel like you are on top of the world. Pat yourself on the back, you should be very proud of what you've done. Even if it didn't go as well as you had hoped.
I hope this article helped and always HAVE FUN!