Print your own fun-filled family treasure hunt

Don't be boring, go exploring – discover how you can use your PIXMA printer and a little imagination to create an exciting adventure.
A Canon PIXMA printer on a tabletop with folder paper boxes and a hand-drawn map.

You don't need to travel far from home to have a fun-filled adventure. Kids love playing games – and even more so if there's the promise of a treat at the end. With a little creativity and the help of some Creative Park papercraft designs, your Canon printer and double-sided Matte Photo Paper, it's easy to create your own mini-quest at home – whether that's a treasure map leading to hidden chocolate coins or an adventure map with challenges along the way.

Once you've decided on the location for your challenge, you can print out maps to share with family and friends, and then make your own treat-filled treasure chests to hide around your garden or local park. It's an ideal option for birthdays or gatherings, or just a great way to keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays. Plus, it's a fun printing project that the whole family can get involved with – and it can all be done in seven easy steps.

1. Design your map

Two young girls colouring in a map on a table with a PIXMA printer next to them.

Let the kids help with the map design. If they're quite young, use a black pen to make an outline then get them to colour it in with pens and pencils.

Once you've decided on where you're going to hold your treasure hunt, you need to create a map of the area. Don't worry about making it look too authentic, as you want something easy for your children to use. Try and incorporate some landmarks that kids will easily recognise – a greenhouse in your garden maybe or a distinctive tree in the local park. Make sure you add plenty of colour too, so the map looks appealing.

2. Copy and print

A young girl leaning over a table to press the buttons on the touchscreen panel of a PIXMA printer.

Canon PIXMA printers such as the PIXMA TS8340 have a 'Copy' feature that makes it easy to make duplicates of your map.

A mother showing her young daughters the map they coloured in being printed out.

If you'd prefer, you can create a digital version of your map by pressing 'Scan' instead of 'Copy'. This can then be transferred to your computer and directly to your smartphone using the Canon PRINT app, and then shared with friends and family via email so they can come prepared to join in the adventure.

Chances are you're going to need more than one map, especially if you're making them for a party. The good news is that using a Canon printer such as the Canon PIXMA TS8340 enables you to easily copy and print your map, making as many versions as you need. Simply place your map on the scanner, load the paper, hit 'Copy' on the touchscreen and follow the onscreen prompts. Just be sure to set the correct Media Type in the Print settings, we've used Matte Photo Paper here.

3. Use the Creative Park app

A person using the Creative Park App on their phone to print.

All of the templates on the Creative Park app come with a separate set of printable instructions to download.

With the maps printed out, it's now time to get your treasure chests ready, and there's no better place to get these than Canon's Creative Park. You can either use a desktop version or, to keep things really simple, the dedicated Creative Park app1 that's available through the App Store and Google Play. Once downloaded, you'll need to create an account if you haven't already, but it's free and you'll have access to hundreds of creative templates and ideas that you can print with your Canon printer. To find some suitable treasure chests, simply perform a quick search for 'box' and take your pick! To match our theme of the day, we used a selection of boxes, including a leaf-themed cube and a treasure chest-style design.

4. Print your papercraft designs

Two young girls eagerly leaning to see a paper box design being printed out of a Canon PIXMA printer.

The simple-to-connect Canon PIXMA printers make it incredibly easy to print from the Creative Park app.

Thanks to the wireless connectivity of Canon printers such as the PIXMA TS8340, it's easy to print your chosen templates straight from the app. You'll see a printer icon in the bottom left of the screen, tap on it, and the Canon PRINT app will guide you through the print process, from picking your paper size to the type of media you're using. Once you've completed the steps, the Creative Park app will send the information to the printer wirelessly and the printer will start printing.

5. Make your treasure chests

A person cutting out a leaf box design with a pair of scissors.

With simple-to-follow instructions, the Creative Park chests and boxes are quick and easy to make.

A mother and her young daughters folding and gluing some papercraft boxes.

Once all the cutting is done, the kids can get involved with the folding and gluing, making for a fun craft activity before the outdoor adventure.

With your treasure chest designs printed out, it's now time to have some fun and start putting them together. You'll need to cut them out first – something a parent should do, but if you have some child-friendly scissors, feel free to let your little ones have a go. Some designs will simply fold together, while others may need a little bit of craft glue to build, with most only needing a couple of folds to form the chest. Remember the Creative Park app has easy, step-by-step instructions you can follow.

6. Add your prizes and hide your treasure chests

Gold chocolate coins being placed in a papercraft box. Next to the box is a colourful, hand-drawn map.

Once made, why not fill your treasure chests with a little surprise? It will make for a great reward after an outdoor adventure.

A papercraft box with a leaf design next to some plant pots in a garden.

With your treasure chest boxes complete, now it's time to hide them around the garden – remember to place them lower down within reach of small hands.

With the treasure chests made – and your children most likely jumping up and down with excitement – it's time to fill them and hide them in the garden or local park, and the treasure hunt can begin. Try to do this without any small sets of eyes following you around the garden as you position them. Once all your boxes are in place, mark on the maps where the treasure might be hidden.

7. Let the treasure hunt commence!

A mother and her young daughters looking at a treasure map in a large garden.

This is the fun bit! Watch as your kids follow the maps you've made to track down the chests and the treasure inside.

A young girl reaching into a plant pot to pick up a paper treasure chest.

And there you have it, an exciting activity to brighten up any day and get your kids out in the fresh air.

Grab your maps and help guide your children around the course as they try and track down the treasure chests and boxes. Make sure you've got your Canon camera to capture some memorable snaps to share later!

Written by Phil Hall

  1. For information about supported Canon InkJet printer models, check this webpage.

Related products

Related articles