You can use almost anything as treasure:
Choose items that won't break the budget but will provide an exciting finish to any search. If yours is an outdoor activity, you can even create a map to a tea table that has been set up in an out-of-the-way spot in the garden.
Hide the treasure somewhere that is challenging to find but not too difficult. Keep your children's ages and attention spans in mind when planning the difficulty of your route. For a fun way to provide direction, paint symbols on rocks or create other clues to lead your kids along.
Use brown paper to make a map. (A paper grocery bag works perfectly.) To make it look old and faded, use a brown felt-tip pen. Burn the edges of the map to make it look even older and more fragile.
Mark the route carefully, noting any special symbols or markings you may have made. Children who can read can follow written directions, such as, "Walk eight steps forward to the oak tree. Take three steps to the right until you reach the rosebush."
Most treasure maps are found accidentally during the course of a normal day. Put your map in a wide-mouth Mason jar. While an old, lipped bottle is traditional, a Mason jar will allow the children to get the map out easily. Put the jarred map where your child can find it.
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