After a year of rising prices resulting from inflation, many families are cutting back on their holiday spending—including when it comes to gift-giving. Making a rule about not giving presents to other adults is one thing, but you probably want to give your kids a holiday experience to remember (for something other than the lack of presents).
One way to do that—and stick to your budget—is to plan a Christmas treasure hunt at home. Here’s what to do.
How to plan a Christmas treasure hunt
First, a quick primer on “hunts” of this type. “Scavenger hunts” involve players or teams competing to collect and/or photograph the most items specified a list in the amount of time allotted. A “treasure hunt” is the kind where players or teams follow a series of clues (sometimes in the form of riddles) to find some sort of prize at the end. It’s also the one we’re talking about here.
Of course, you can take the time to write your own clues for your Christmas treasure hunt, but if you don’t have the time or energy for that, there are plenty of generic holiday-related clues online. You can either write them out yourself, or use some of the free downloadable and printable clues that are available. (Most are mislabeled as being for a scavenger hunt, so don’t let that throw you off.)
Alternative: a less-time-consuming holiday hunt
Separately, there’s also the kind of hunt where various prizes are hidden throughout a set location, and participants simply need to find them—the classic example being an Easter egg hunt.
Because treasure hunts typically require the ability to read clues, if you have younger children, you may want to opt for this type of Easter-egg-style hunt. But considering that it requires much less time and effort to put together than an actual treasure hunt, it might make more sense to do this version, regardless of whether or not your kids can read.
All you have to do is hide small prizes (e.g. a treat, stickers, a small toy or trinket from the dollar store, etc) throughout your home and/or yard, and then set the kiddos loose.