Top Five Clue-Writing Tips – Dr Clue Scavenger Hunts (2024)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 by Dave Blum

Here are my Top Five Clue-writing Tips for creating excellent treasure hunt clues:

1. Use wordplay: I love playing with words when brainstormingscavenger hunt ideas. Anagrams are great — you can send someone to a statue of Ben Franklin, for example, by writing, “Head to the mixed-up ‘Neb Flanrink seatut”.” One of my first corporate team building activities, in Golden Gate Park, asked people to find the street of the “breakfast cereal liquid, missing an eye.” Can you see how you’d get “MLK” Boulevard out of this?

2. Employ puzzles: There are so many great puzzles to choose from when looking for treasure hunt ideas: crosswords, wordsearches, sudokus, acrostics, jumbles. Do a survey Online; many puzzles are available for free, with self-generation software.

3. Pursue trivia: Pick a topic you have some passion for, and ask some trivia questions.Give some ofthe answers as grayed-out letters, and there’s yoursecret message. Our buddy Trent once topped a scavenger hunt list with a wonderful trivia puzzle he wrote about Monty Python, his passion.Right on Trent!

4. Code it: Our world is full of languages that make terriffic codes and ciphers. Why not make a clue using Morse Code, or Braille, or Sign Language?

5. Get physical: Don’t confine your treasure hunt clues to the written word. I’ve seen clues written on origami swans that you have to fold to read. One year, my wife Jen and I wrote a clue in Cracker Jack boxes; another year we used Animal Crackers. We get all sorts of treasure hunt ideas from pop culture!

The sky really is the limitin clue writing. And when it comes to team building exercises, make sure you cater to the different learning styles. Combine visual clues with kinesthetic. And don’t neglect audio clues (on CDs for example). Just Have Fun!

What are the most memorable clues you’ve seen?

Top Five Clue-Writing Tips – Dr Clue Scavenger Hunts (2024)


Top Five Clue-Writing Tips – Dr Clue Scavenger Hunts? ›

First, decide where you want to hide your clue, then think up a way to describe that object or location. Many of these riddles rhyme, so after thinking up your item, you may want to find a pair of rhyming words that relate to the object, and write the clue from there.

How to write clues for scavenger hunt? ›

First, decide where you want to hide your clue, then think up a way to describe that object or location. Many of these riddles rhyme, so after thinking up your item, you may want to find a pair of rhyming words that relate to the object, and write the clue from there.

What are some good scavenger hunt clues? ›

40 best clues for your ultimate scavenger hunt
  • You cut me on a table, but I'm never eaten. ...
  • A band that doesn't play instruments but has plenty of styles. ( ...
  • Everything ends with me. ...
  • How many glasses of water can one drink on an empty stomach? ( ...
  • I am not a lamp, but I can light up. ...
  • I am not an organ, but I have 13 hearts.
Oct 12, 2022

How do you write a good clue? ›

8 Tips For Creating Good Clues In Your Stories
  1. Understand What You Can Use Clues For.
  2. Think Of Clues As Information Or Secrets.
  3. Define What You Need Clues For & Why You Need Them.
  4. Make A List Of All The Clues Ideas You Can Think Of.
  5. Plant Clues Into Your Story, But Leave Some Free.
  6. Make a List of Campaign Objects.

How do you write treasure hunt clues for kids? ›

How to Write Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids. First, simply identify an item you want to be found. Next, match a clever phrasing that indicates where the item is located but in a somewhat mystifying way that requires some problem-solving.

What is an example sentence for scavenger hunt? ›

They were on a scavenger hunt, they said. The money for the scavenger hunt was left over tuition for school and from local sponsors. This example is from Wikipedia and may be reused under a CC BY-SA license. There is also an outdoor classroom for schools and groups, and a scavenger hunt scorecard.

How can I make my scavenger hunt more interesting? ›

Come up with scavenger hunt clues to help your participants find the items on their list. Feel free to get creative and write riddles, poems, and puzzles that will reveal the locations of the items.

What is five senses scavenger hunt? ›

The five senses scavenger hunt helps us explore the world around us using all five senses — sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. This activity helps kids to calm their bodies and minds and come into the present moment. It can be especially helpful when kids feel scared, worried, anxious, or stressed.

What is a scavenger hunt of words? ›

In a vocabulary scavenger hunt, students “hunt” for target words or the way those words are represented in books, magazines, articles on the web, in school, or at home. For example, they either look for the word “quickly” or an example of something that was moving quickly.

What is the three clue rule? ›

Whenever you're designing a mystery scenario, you should invariably follow the Three Clue Rule: For any conclusion you want the PCs to make, include at least three clues.

How to write clues for a mystery? ›

The best way to discover clues in your setting is to go into the story. See what your protagonist sees. It's easy to focus on dialogue and action and miss the ways setting can enhance your mystery. The details of the setting add breadth to your story and are the best place to plant clues.

What are the basic rules of clue? ›

In a nutshell, each player has a turn to roll a die and move an assigned token along the squares and into rooms in the "mansion." Throughout the game, players participate in sleuthing activities along the way until someone thinks they know exactly which three cards are hidden in the secret envelope.

What is a bed without sheets and I'm always dirty? ›

50. Flowerbed. I'm a bed without sheets and always dirty.

How to give clues to find a gift? ›

Clues should be linked to memorable places or objects throughout the house, eventually leading to the gift's hiding spot. If you have more than one gift, try hiding different presents along the way with clues that eventually lead to the most important one. Route the hunt throughout the home, and vary the hiding spots.

How to make a simple treasure hunt? ›

How to Plan a Treasure Hunt for Kids
  1. Choose a location for your treasure hunt for kids. ...
  2. Choose a theme and format for your kid's treasure hunt. ...
  3. Decide where you will hide your treasure, and work backwards. ...
  4. Create your kids' treasure hunt clues. ...
  5. Do a final treasure hunt run-through.

What are common rules for a scavenger hunt? ›

How to play:
  • Create a list of things to find, hear or do. ...
  • Create a time limit (optional).
  • Give children the list and let them scavenge around and find, smell or do all of the things on their list.
  • The player or team who ticks everything off on their list first, or ticks off the most items before the time is up, wins.

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