Kribli-Krabli treasure hunt

Looking for some activities  to do with your kids outside and make numbers even more interesting? Our little treasure hunt might help :)

The game got its name because our boys, Einstein E and Power P, love this imaginary story about a little creature called Kribli - Krabli. It has many friends, mostly animals, and each time I tell them the story, Kribli - Krabli prepares a treasure hunt for its friends. So, as soon as they started running around looking for the numbers, they called the game Kribli - Krabli treasure hunt.

Einstein E adores numbers. Power P loves reading and writing. So, this game was something they both enjoyed. Plus, they got to run around looking for "the treasure" and moved a lot - the essential ingredient for a perfect play. This game is another example of learning numeracy through play. And here, you can read more about numeracy in childhood.


  • cardboard, construction paper or card stock
  • pen, pencil or felt pen

Step 1.

Think of a word or a secret message for the kid. On a bigger piece of construction paper or cardboard draw circles. Each circle represents one letter. Make sure that the circles and the space between the words are big enough. My kids are usually the ones drawing, cutting and writing, but this time it made no sense because they would have found out what the message was. 


Step 2. 

Cut out circles. Construction or regular paper will do. The circles should match the ones on the bigger piece of cardboard. I used a regular coloured paper.

Step 3. 

In the circles on the construction paper, write the results so that they match the equations and the letters of the secret message. 

On one side of the circle, write a letter from the message.

Step 4.

On the other side, write an equation. Einstein E and Power P could add and subtract from zero to twenty, so I included those numbers. 


Step 5. 

Hide the letters with equations around a garden, forest or your apartment.


Step 6. 

Let the kid look for "the treasure".

Step 7. 

Once they find the letters, children (with or without your help) put them on the correct circle.


Important: Counting on fingers is an effective strategy to support children's early math learning and it plays an important role in learning and understanding arithmetic*. 

Step 8

Read the secret message. I wrote for them "Idemo u avanturu" which means "Let's go on an adventure". 

This is a great opportunity to talk to children about the message. In our case it was "I'm Going On An Adventure”, which is a memorable quote from Peter Jackson's 2012 epic fantasy adventure film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Einstein E and Power P had heard the story, knew very well who Bilbo was and we could easily discuss the questions (don`t forget about the importance of questioning): What does this message mean? Who said that? Why? What would be an adventure for you?

After that, we pretended to be the hobbits and went to the forest. 


* You can read the whole article on the finger-based strategies here.