Sugar & spice treasure hunt


Raid the cupboards to find foods or useful items made from plants and turn them into an exciting treasure hunt for students

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT, Geography, History, Social Studies

Learning objectives

  • Learn that humans depend on plants in their daily lives
  • Discover which foods are derived from plants

Essential background information


Ask other school staff in advance to save food packaging which you can mix with fresh items for this activity.

Equipment needed

  • Boxed or tinned beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit juices
  • Herbs and spices in fresh or dried form
  • Sugar, chocolate and Stevia sweeteners
  • Rice and pasta
  • Clothes made from cotton, rubber gloves and loofah
  • Beauty products and soaps such as shampoos & conditioners made with plant ingredients are all useful.

Step by step


  1. Hide all the items around the classroom or garden. Split the class into groups and explain the activity to them.
  2. Ask the children to find the items. There should be enough for one per child.
  3. Allow a set amount of time for the treasure hunt between 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the space.
  4. Gather all the pupils together and draw a line across the classroom or garden. One end is for plant based items, the other for non plant items. Those pupils who are unsure can stand in the middle.
  5. Ask the pupils what they have and whether it is plant based or not. They can then move to the correct side of the line.
  6. The products can be further categorised into spices, drinks, beauty products or whether they are made from the root, fruit, leaves, flowers or seeds of the plant.

Hints & tips

  • Put a few non-plant items in the treasure hunt to ensure the pupils understand the concept.
  • Avoid nut products and glass containers for safety reasons.
  • Use this activity as part of Supermarket Sweep class growing topic

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