Treasure Hunt

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Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt is one of our favorite activities for building number words and numeral sequences.
Check out our very own Dina Mendola’s daughters as they demonstrate playing Treasure Hunt to support learning the multiples of 4 sequences.

For younger students, you can adjust the game to just have 2 rows. Thanks Sophie for teaching us!

Some other Treasure Hunt Favorites

Crossing the Decuples aka Decade Numbers

Have you ever had a student say, “28, 29, . . .90!” This version gives students practice with the tricky decuples aka decade numbers. You could also have each row a different color for added support. Although the original game calls for rows of 10, that can be overwhelming for younger children.

Math game

Backwards Setup

treasure hunt
Remember to go backward!
Use a sharpie to create space holders on a shower curtain for easy set up.

Homemade Treasures

I am not an artist… and I have found students don’t care what the treasures look like, they just want to FIND THEM.


Create deck with index cards. Choose the sequence you want to work on. Make 4 copies of that sequence, each a different color. Create 7 treasure cards and the 4 dot color cards that start the rows.

Establish 4 rows using the cards with colored dots. Shuffle the deck of cards, including both numerals and treasure cards. Deal 10 cards per row, face down. After dealing the cards into the 4 rows of 10 there will be 7 cards remaining. These 7 cards become a draw pile.

  1. Player 1 draws a card from the draw pile and places the card face up in the row of the corresponding colored dot and in the correct position of the sequence, removing the card previously in that position.
    • If the removed card is a numeral card, Player 1 gives it to the Player 2 who then places this card face up into the correct position.
    • If the removed card is a treasure card, Player 1 keeps the card and play continues with Player 2 drawing from the draw pile.
  2. Play continues.
  3. The game ends when you have revealed the 4 sequences. If there are no more cards in the draw pile simply choose a card that hasn’t been flipped over yet.
  4. The winner is the player with the most treasure cards.

Some possible sequences: 1-10, 11-20, multiples, counting by 10, counting by 10 starting at 3, fractions, decimals, percents. You can also just make 2 rows to make the game go faster. You can set it up to count backwards too, as the video demonstrates.

Teaching Number in the Classroom with 4-8-Year-Olds, Dr. Wright et al
Chapter 3, IA3.9, pp. 48-49

Tell us about your favorite Treasure Hunt versions in the comments below! Check out other engaging games here.

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