Game ideas: Hot or Cold Treasure Hunt

Last Wednesday afternoon, my eldest daughter requested my attention to play a game as I was going through our huge stack of weekly ironing.  At first, I was not much in the mood for that. All I wanted was to get on with my chore. But then I remembered that this was also why I had gone for part-time work, taking Wednesdays off, spending quality minority language (ml) time with my daughter.

So I told her to go on.  She gave me the 5 pieces that make up a tiny toy and asked me to hide them around our living room, whilst she covered her eyes as I did so.  As she began her search, the ml benefits of this game dawned on me, and I regretted I had not thought of it before, when she needed to learn prepositions! It is also a good tool to teach the shades of temperature.

  • Prerequisites: communication skills, mobility skills.
  • Number of players: 2+
  • Game play:
    1. One player hides a series of little objects around a room whilst the other(s) do(es) not look.
    2. The other(s) then start(s) looking for the items.
    3. The first player guides the other(s) by saying whether the other(s) is growing warm or cold as they draw near or move away to one of the hidden items.
    4. If there are several players to search, let them search in a cooperative way, so they feel like they are working together instead of competing…that will save a lot of arguments!


  • Use a wide range of temperature words (very hot, hot, warm, mild, cool, cold, freezing cold) to describe how close the other player(s) is(are to the items.
  • Use lots of prepositions (on/under, inside/outside, close/away, on top/under, beneath/below/above, in between) to comment and guide them in their search; e.g: “No, it is not on top of the table”, “have you looked behind the sofa?”, “I did not hide any item inside the furniture”…
  • You can also use a small puzzle to hide.  It will then give a nice quiet time to cool off (no pun intended!) after the game and add spice to the hunt with the challenge to piece it together once the “treasure” is gathered.
  • Another idea of item to use are magnetic or Scrabble letters that the child will have to put together to discover a mystery word at the end of the treasure hunt.

The game was short, but we both enjoyed it.  It can easily be played as you do something else around the same room.  Definitely a game I should play with my youngest who is still learning her prepositions.

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