Having a virtual treasure hunt is a great idea for your classroom literally anytime. Right now, in the light of Covid-19 it is a great idea for a fun project for your students.
But it is also a great idea to do in the classroom with your students. You may want to do it if you have some time to spare. Or you can do it to reinforce a lesson in literature, history, math, grammar, or any subject you are teaching. You will just adjust the items to search for in order to tailor it to what you are doing in your classroom.
I have done a treasure hunt for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for now, so I will show you the specifics using that as an example.
But first let’s look at some reasons why having a virtual treasure hunt is such a great idea.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Holding a Virtual Treasure Hunt
There are tons of benefits of holding a virtual treasure hunt, but the number one reason is because it’s fun!
I guarantee this will be one of your students’ favorite activities and they will be begging you to do it more than once.
But there are some great side benefits as well. First of all, it gets their brains engaged in a fun way. You will be helping them work on their focusing skills.
Another benefit is that it helps you to fill any gaps in time that you have. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to start a whole new topic or concept. But you have too much time to be idle. This would be the perfect filler once you get it completed and can just pull it out of your files.
Yet another benefit is that it is a great review tool. The items they are hunting for can be related to something they just learned. Each physical thing can be a reminder of what they have been learning about. And they will retain that way better than just reviewing facts on paper or the board.
Where Can You Hold a Virtual Treasure Hunt?
So you can actually hold the virtual treasure hunt anywhere: in your home, at school, at a club, at church. There is absolutely no limit.
Even more specifically, there are tons of options for where exactly to hold your treasure hunt even once you have chosen a certain location. For instance, say you chose to have the virtual treasure hunt on school property. You would then have all of the following options:
- Your classroom
- The school building at large
- The playground
- The gym and/or auditorium
- The library
Some other great locations would be a local museum (get their permission before you start dropping items and filming–and make sure you do it in an off time when there aren’t tons of people that can interfere with your filming or your placed items), your own home or yard, a local park or even the mall.
I know there’s plenty of more creative parents and teachers than me. So tell me what you came up with for treasure hunt locations!
What Do You Need to Put Together a Virtual Treasure Hunt?
This is actually an activity that will need to be fully planned out for the first time you use it with your class. But the great news is, once you have done all the work, the activity is then an instantly ready activity for the rest of your life as a teacher! Here is a list of all of the prep work you will need to do:
- Have a plan
- Decide how you want to record it
- Gather all of the items you need to use
- Go to the location and place the items.
- Record your video or take your pictures
- Make the documents for your students to participate with
- Decide whether you want prizes at the end
- Make sure you have a way to show the video to your class
Have a Plan
The first thing you need is a plan. You will need to plan out the following things:
- Where you will record your virtual field trip
- What your theme will be
- What items (and how many items) you want to put into your virtual treasure hunt
Decide How You Want to Record It
You can make your virtual field trip in the form of video or pictures. I opted for the video format. You can watch it right here:
Gather All the Items You Need to Use
These can be items that are laying around your house or classroom. Or they can be items that you buy fresh for each virtual treasure hunt. I tend to have a treasure chest at the end with “gold coins” in it. Then I can hand out one to each student at the conclusion of the hunt.
If you are looking to buy some items for your treasure hunt, one of the most economical places I have found is Oriental Trading Company (this is NOT an affiliate link–just my best recommendation).
Go to the Location and Place the Items
This is where the whole process starts getting fun. I usually bring my own kids with me to help find hiding spots. They love participating in the fun, so it’s great when I can make a school work item double as family fun.
The one thing I learned to do over time is write down where everything is hidden or take a picture so I won’t forget where I placed it. My brain is getting older!
Record Your Video or Take Your Pictures
This is the fun part! You can make your video or pictures as simple or elaborate as you want. Honestly, how elaborate you choose to get is probably going to come down to how much time you have to put it all together.
Don’t worry about perfection. Your students are looking for what you have hidden. They aren’t looking for cinematic quality!
If you are doing a video, make sure that you focus in well enough on the items they need to find. Also make sure you focus in well on random shots so they don’t automatically think you are showing them an item every time you zoom in on a shot.
If you are doing pictures, make sure you have some pictures with treasures and some without so they have more of a challenge.
Make the Documents Your Students Will be Using
You will want to make a list of the items that your students are looking for. I made my list with a line following so the students could write down where exactly they saw the item. Here is what my form looks like:
Feel free to click on it and use it for your own class/home activity. I made all of the items pretty easy to adapt to what you have around your classroom or home. And whatever you don’t have you could always print a picture to hide. The kids will easily make the connection to the item on the list.
I also used the worksheet as my list of items to collect and then I used it to take notes about where I left the items, so that when my brain failed me I could easily film and then retrieve the items afterward.
It’s also a great idea to keep a bunch of these printed up and filed away so you can pull out a treasure hunt instantly whenever you need a perfect time filler.
Decide Whether You Want Prizes at the End
I always buy a giant bag of coins at the beginning of the year to give out a coin each time we have a treasure hunt. You can buy or make literally any small item as a prize. Or you can make it simply a fun venture in your classroom.
But I have to say, the kids absolutely adore those gold and silver coins. Many collect them over the period of the year. And it’s kind of a great memento of the fun they had in your classroom.
Make Sure You Have a Way to Show the Video to Your Class
This can be whatever media source you have in your classroom. Just make sure it is big enough for all of the students to see well. It would be very frustrating to them to not be able to see what they are looking for.
If you don’t have a screen large enough for the whole class you could always split the class up and assign each group to a form of media so they are all covered in the way they need to be.
This is just one example of how to do a virtual field trip. By changing up the location, the theme, the items hidden, and the treasure or prizes, you have literally unlimited options available.
And your students would be thrilled if you did this activity on a regular basis.
Let me know what your virtual treasure hunts looked like!
If you liked this article, I think you will also like the following articles:
Unique Classroom Ideas: Get Your Students Published
Writing Prompts That Reinforce Social Emotional Learning
Create a Scavenger Hunt for Your Classroom
Using Literature to Combat Bullying
How to Organize a Saturday Teacher Spa Day
New Year Party in the Middle School Classroom: Unique Classroom Ideas
This Post Has 49 Comments
Oh, wow. I’ve seen these going around in other circles, but not for classrooms. What a great idea! Love this.
Thank you, Jordan!
I love how clever everyone is getting with their home classrooms. A virtual treasure hunt sounds like so much fun!
Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe sounds like the perfect book to base a scavenger hunt on! i love the idea of a virtual hunt especially with technology allowing us to photograph or video ourselves.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of my all-time favorites because it is so easy to adapt to just about anything you can think of. It is a full and rich book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
This is absolutely great idea!Virtual treasure hunt will be very enjoyable and full of fun! Love this!
I love the fact that are so many virtual things to be doing right now 🙂
I do think it is helping a lot in this time to have tons of digital resources to work with. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Ann! ♥
The virtual treasure hunt looks fun. Such a great idea to keep kids busy
This such a great idea. I am going to do it with my kids.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy doing it! ♥
Wow…This is much unique and amazing idea…am sure that kids will have much fun with this…
Virtual treaure hunts must be so much fun. I wish I could participate in one.
What great ideas to make learning more fun for the kiddos. The last day of school for my kids was yesterday and we are excited about the summer.
This is so cool! Good timing too, my singles church group is having a virtual treasure hunt Monday evening that I will be participating in, very exciting!
I am so into this, there needs to be one for me to do! I think I need to do a treasure hunt with my nephew when he’s over.
This is such a great idea. The kids in my town would love this.
A virtual treasure hunt sounds really exciting and creative something that you can use to teach as well as engage in a fun activity.
Such fun idea! Yes, the missed field trips and not having recess have been the main disappointments in our house, lately.
Great idea for a virtual treasure hunt for students.
I have done a simpler and live version for my preschool with colors, numbers, shapes, animals, and etc. They love it!
This is epic. I just love this idea and the creativity I’ve seen since all of this has started, thank you! ❤️
This is such a wonderful idea and I am sure kids will love it and will have a lot of fun doing this activity.
I think this is a fun activities for millennial and teens. They would love it for sure!
Ooo how fab is this. such a cool idea and something that all the family can get involved in too x
Never heard about a virtual treasure hunt before but I think it’s very educational. I used to love them when I was a kid they used to do it on Sunday school at church.
I think me and my family would be very good at a treasure hunt! Would love to try this!
I have two lovely neices I can do it for them.
I love playing treasure hunt as a kid and what a fund game with creative ideas and props! ~ Glad to you that the children can still have a good time during the outbreak and staying indoor!
– Knycx Journeying
I particularly loved the idea of Treasure Hunt! When in school, I loved participating in it!
Such a fun an great idea. Love treasure hunting and the kids would love this too!
verrrrrry cooool! what a great way to keep our kids engaged. i love this idea!!!
how fun is this. I may do this with my kids to break up the routine.
Great idea! I agree with the previous comments, the children will be happy.
Thank you, Lychia!
A virtual treasure hunt is such a great idea! With the kids being cooped up so much, they need a way to get out and breathe some fresh air.
How do you manage to come up with such good ideas all the time?? Its amazing how a treasure hunt can be made virtual! Covid has definitely stretched human’s ability to see, perceive and achieve things!
love the idea of a virtual treasure hunt. i love treasure hunts even as an adult. i am sharing this right now with a girlfriend who’s a teacher. i bet she’ll love it.
What a wonderful idea! My daughter would love this, and doing it virtually is a must. It would help her feel more connected with her other digital learning classmates. Thanks for sharing!
This is an awesome idea! My kids can do these with their friends too!
This is such a great idea. Kids love treasure hunts.
This is fun idea for kids! I’m sure all kids would love and enjoy this virtual treasure hunt awesome!
I love the idea of a virtual treasure hunt. This is very interactive!
I love the idea of a virtual treasure hunt! I am sending this post to a few of my kids’ teachers. Great idea!
This seems like a great game to play with the kids.
But I must get to know more about this to make it even better play.
Anw, thanks for introducing the idea!
These are great ideas. I like the Treasure hunt. idea.
What a fun and unique idea for a classroom! My kids would love a treasure hunt like this one!
cute & little
Such great tips for right now! We’re learning from home so I’ll be trying some of these out for the girls and seeing what they think. Thank you!
I used to love going on treasure hunts! I always remember the school camping trips away we had when I was younger and they used to set up fun activities like this. so cool