Family Games

Hidden Objects Portable Treasure Hunt Game

By: Highlights Editorial
Jar of rice with objects hidden inside for kids to find and count.
minute activity
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking

Just because you know where something is hidden doesn’t mean you can find it easily (think about the last time you lost your keys). Help your kids develop their nose for uncovering hidden objects with this portable treasure-hunt game. The kids make the treasure container, write the list of hidden objects and then time themselves (or a friend) to see how long it takes them to find everything. It’s a little bit of focus and a whole lot of fun.

Reminder: Small materials, such as buttons, can be a choking hazard for small children, so close adult supervision is a must.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Make a list on a piece of paper of the 20 small, colorful objects.

  2. Pour some rice into the container, then add a few objects. Add more rice, then more objects. Alternate until the rice is 1 or 2 inches from the top. Put the lid on the container.

  3. Make a label for the jar that says, “Can You Find?” and lists the small objects inside. Tape the label to the jar.

How to Play:

  1. See how many items you can find in 1 minute. (Shake the jar to shift the rice.)
  2. Play again, but this time see how long it takes you to find all the objects.
  3. Play alone or with a friend and time each other.

Extend the Fun

Younger children: Small objects aren’t recommended for children under 3. For a younger child, use larger versions of everything. Get a large plastic container (try a large yogurt container or a 32-ounce takeout container) and hide fewer but larger toys (such as bath toys, large plastic blocks, large plush pompoms and so on). To make the labels, you can write (or help your child write) the objects’ names, and your child can draw pictures of the objects next to their names.

Older children: Once your child can find all the objects easily, encourage trying to do it with their eyes closed. Your child will have to focus on using the sense of touch. And if that’s still too easy, ask your child to identify each object as they find it. So not only will your child have to find it, they’ll have to pay attention to its shape and size and remember what was on the list. (Not as easy as it sounds…)

Get ready for some memorable game nights! With this stack of activities, you get to pick how you find fun together. Engage and entertain kids (and grown-ups!) in a variety of ways — working cooperatively, taking turns or competing to solve double puzzles.

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial