Treasure Hunt (Hunt for "Gold")

Hunting for treasure is a universally compelling play theme for kids. And, when we take the treasure hunt outside, kids have a chance to see their outdoor space with fresh eyes and discover all of the special hidden spots nature provides. In this activity, inspired by the book How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwartz, kids create a treasure map and hide treasure for friends to find.

Many early Spring flowers are yellow, which is why we include this as part of our free, March Activity Calendar. Need a copy? Get yours at

The Guide

Spark play with a story: 

Read or watch and listen to a read-aloud of How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwartz. Wonder together if you could make your own treasure hunt. What kind of treasure might you find?

Look around for "gold": 

Yellow is always a special color to spot in our natural settings. In many places, the early spring (late March/early April) many of the brave, early flowers are yellow. And, it's not by accident. The early pollinators (flies and some bees, for example) are attracted to yellow, and these flowers provide an incredibly important source of food for them.

Make a treasure map: 

Offer your child a piece of paper and some markers and head outside to your outdoor play space. To make the treasure map look old, use a piece of a brown paper bag. Kids can also tear strips of paper off of the edges and crumple it up to make the map look weathered. Walk around the space together and wonder which landmarks could be added to the map to help someone find treasure. Is there a big tree in your space? A rock? An area with mud?

Collect treasures to hide: 

Ask your child what treasures they might hide for others to discover. Do they have a collection of special rocks, nature treasures or even a special toy that someone would be thrilled to discover? Add an extra bit of adventure to play by wondering what kind of story you can create together for the treasure hunt. Kids can pretend the nature treasures are special gems and gold hidden by pirates. Or maybe each of the hidden objects is a special ingredient and once found, they can all be combined to create a magical potion.

Hide your treasure: 

Invite your child to hide the treasure somewhere in your outdoor space. Suggest that the treasures can all be placed together in one spot or could be sprinkled around the outdoor space. Treasure can be hidden under rocks, in grass, underneath trees, bushes and other objects in the play area. Kids can decorate a cardboard box to transform it into a treasure box. Once kids have hidden the treasure, invite them to mark the secret hidden spot or spots with an “X” on their map.

Treasure hunt! 

Hand the treasure map to friends or family members and invite them to seek out the treasure. Add in costumes or paper towel binoculars to make the hunt feel extra special. Use the treasure hunt as a spark for imaginative play. Once discovered, how could you use this treasure? What special powers does this treasure have? What adventures await those who discover it? Or, if the hunt itself was a big thrill, kids can hide the treasure in different places and add more “X’s” to their map.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Hunting for treasure is a super way to support kids’ focus skills and spark creative and imaginary play. When kids create maps of their outdoor space, they see their space with fresh eyes and notice all that there is to discover. Map making also supports spatial awareness.

Try a Free Lesson

T4t hero

Tinkergarten Plus or Pro

Teach Tinkergarten in your community or classroom!

Tga hero

Tinkergarten Anywhere

Enjoy Tinkergarten as a family anytime, anywhere!

Ready To Get Started?

Choose a Product

New To Tinkergarten?

Try for free Invite Friends To A Free Class