Literacy at Home: Pictorial Treasure Hunt

After weeks away from school, Cindy and J were ready for a new way to play together. Cindy knows J likes solving mysteries as well as hiding and finding things. So she invented a treasure hunt. First, Cindy drew pictures of household items on individual sticky notes. She hid each note with a drawing of an object behind that actual object in their home.  Each time J discovered a note, he’d decipher the clue to determine where to look for the next clue. Each time J found a note, he was rewarded with the thrill of another clue. He loved it.

Later, when Cindy had trouble enticing J to play outdoors, she created another treasure hunt drawing clues of items in their yard. J eagerly ventured outside to solve the mystery and find the treasure.


Photo: J finds the final treasure inside a rain boot!

This decoding of symbols, pictures and letters is literacy development at it’s finest– fun, relevant and integrated into meaningful interaction. Thanks for sharing your rewarding experience, Cindy!


A) Invite child to draw/write some of the clues and/or set-up a treasure hunt for an adult.

B) Number each clue and add a word to each of the notes that will make a message. At the end of the hunt, read the words in order to decode a message.

C) Hide clues a bit farther out venturing into the neighborhood/walking around the block.

Leave a Reply