I love creating escape games with special creative escape room clues. Finding new and interesting materials to make unique puzzles are part of the fun. However, there are other times that I just want to quickly prepare a clue and put together an escape room. This collection of 27 Quick and Easy Escape Room Puzzles will give you ideas to create your escape room in less time and effort.
The clues below are clues that only take a minute or two to set up. For a few of the escape room puzzle ideas you may need to order or purchase the item for the clue, but the actual time you have to spend preparing and creating the puzzle is minimal. Other puzzles include free printables that I offer in my free Resource Library.
I’ve gone through all of my escape room games and found 27 of my quick and easy escape room puzzles. But don’t worry, the fact that they are quick and easy to set up doesn’t mean that they are any less exciting, it simply means you don’t have to spend hours preparing them.
Generally for an escape room, you want to include at least five puzzles. Once you have your puzzles chosen, you can decide on ways to connect each puzzle to the next. To help you create your escape room, and connect the puzzles, you can read and then download a How to Make an Escape Room instruction and free printable.
Quick and Easy Escape Room Puzzles
Take a peek through the puzzle ideas below. Choose ones that catch your eye and you think your players would enjoy. Perhaps you are creative yourself and some of the clues will spark another idea original to you.
For escape rooms you can use materials that you already have on hand and many of the ideas below use items that you may already have in your house.
The original activity that the puzzle is take from is linked below the puzzle. Click the link to see how the puzzle is used in an actual escape room and a full description.
Grab some popsicle sticks for this quick and easy puzzle! Line the sticks up and draw a picture of where players need to look for their next clue. Place the popsicle sticks together, but not lined up in the escape room, or hide them throughout for a harder challenge.
Players find the sticks and unscramble them to make a puzzle. It’s as simple as that!
Don’t waste time creating printable puzzles. Download them for free from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. This puzzle is available in my Free Resource Library. Print and quickly cut out four shape pieces to hide in the room.
Once the pieces are found, players match them on the page to spell out the location of their next clue.
Players need to look closely at what looks like just a few random words on a page. Once players notice the capital letters, they realize the CLOCK is where they need to look for their next clue.
You can use any words and capital letters to create this clue.
I always love this clue because it looks complicated, but it’s not. You can simply use a piece of paper or a wood slice for your first clue in your escape room. Print Start Here and then draw/color three colored squares.
Relate these colors to items in the room for the next clue. A red sweater, yellow balloon and blue pen may hold the second clue. This clue works well if you are leading players to a three digit clue or lock.
For this clue, you will have a note in the room with a clue written on it and a magnifying glass somewhere else in the room. The initial words seem to be the actual clue, but below the words the real clue is written in very small letters that players may need the magnifying glass for.
This is always an exciting clue for kids. What looks like an ordinary sheet of white paper reveals a hidden clue with a few strokes of paint.
Use white crayon to print any message you want and then place paint, and a painbrush, somewhere in the room. Once players brush the page with the paint, the clue is revealed.
I have started using this button clue in several of my escape rooms! It is always a favorite for the kids and it is an quick and easy escape room puzzle. You do need to purchase one of these recordable buttons (link at bottom).
Once you have the button, simply record any message or clue to suggest to players where their next puzzle is.
Balloons are a wonderful addition to any escape room and they are great for hiding clues. Place a key or written message inside the balloon before blowing it up. Players then have to pop the balloon and remove the item inside for their next clue.
UV pens are another item that is great for quick and easy escape room puzzles. Use the pen to write a note, message or code on.
When players look at the page, they will assume that it is completely blank and not the clue. Once they shine the UV light onto the page the clue will be revealed.
Within a balloon you can also hide actual objects or numbers. The code on the Start Here clue (described in puzzle 4) tells players what order to read the numbers or even letters.
Ordinary objects in the room can end up holding a clue. Grab a container of play dough, slime or even food and place a note or clue inside the jar. By just looking at it, it doesn’t look like anything, so players have to open and squish their way through.
Grab a few strips of paper and print a word on each strip. Hide the strips around the room for players to find and put together.
This is a really simple clue that I used recently and have been incorporating into several of my escape room games since. If you have a number lock that you have a three digit number for, you can count out the number for the lock in candies or another small object.
Players count the items to then have the number lock code. If your code is a high number, you can also have two containers and say somewhere that each container has the same amount or something along those lines so players don’t have to sit and count hundreds of items.
Use a few simple objects, for your indoor, or outdoor escape room. Grab some leaves and print a letter on each. Players scramble the letters to spell out a word.
Alphabet codes are common in escape rooms. These puzzles allow you to spell out any clue, long or short, for players to decode. A free printable is available in the Resource Library. Subscribe here to gain access.
Glow in the dark paint is a great addition to any escape room. It is easy to apply and makes for an exciting clue. Try painting a number clue on the ceiling. When the room is dark the clue is not visible, however, when the lights are switched off, and the room is dark, the clue becomes apparent.
Depending on the age and interests of players, this clue may be really tricky. Either way it is really easy to prepare. The code is a cell phone password. Put the dots down and then connect them to show the password.
The cell phone is then located in the room for players to open to find their next clue on the homescreen.
Puzzles are common in escape rooms, but they can take awhile to set up. You do need to cut this puzzle out, but it is available for free and you can simply print a letter on each puzzle piece that spells out the next clue when it is all put together.
This is such a cool puzzle! There is a little bit of magic in this puzzle. All you need is paper, water and a pencil. The full instructions can be found in the link below, but you scratch a clue onto the paper and then let it dry.
Once placed in water again the message is reveled. However, on its own it simply looks like a sheet of paper.
As mentioned in puzzle #16, glow in the dark paint is a great material to have for escape rooms. It dries clear so clues that don’t look like anything can actually be quite meaningful when the lights are turned out.
Try covering one object in glow in the dark paint. Place the object with a bunch of similar objects. Each object can have a word or number code printed on it, but only the code on the glowing item becomes meaningful.
Another idea for some quick and easy escape room puzzles is to hide a clue in an object in the room. Write down a clue, roll it up and hide it. Players will have no reason to check a seemingly ordinary object that is always in the room, unless the previous clue directs players to it.
This printable number turn clue is an easy clue to create. Simply print the numbers, or words for your clue and then cut the page into strips. Players then have to find all of the strips, or you can attach the strips to a paper roll, and turn them to form the number clue.
Paint, or print, the numbers 0-9 on rocks. Hide the rocks and print the free color code mat. Players match the rock color to the mat color and they have a four digit code.
Some of the best quick and easy escape room puzzles simply uses a box with a bunch of locks secured around it. Ask players questions and for each that they solve they are given a number/shape with a key. Each right answer opens one of the locks until all of the locks are opened.
If you want to keep a clue really simple you can take a picture of where players need to look for their next clue and print the photo. Players should be able to recognize something in the photo to then go and search around it for the clue.
Let your pet be part of the action with this clue! I created this clue because my dog always ended up in our escape room every time I created one. She wanted to be in on the action!
So, for the next escape room I tied a key loosely onto her neck and she simply laid in the room with us until players figured out that she literally held the next clue.
These circle slices can be hid around the room. When players find each of the pieces they match it to the color on the floor. The pieces are then in order and can be read. (Free printable available).
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40+ Escape Room Ideas
If you are looking for even more escape room puzzle ideas, check out this huge collection of almost 50 escape room puzzle ideas.
Some of the ideas featured in the above post, can be found here along with lots of new, unique ideas. Some of the ideas are not quick and easy escape room ideas, they require more time or detail, but they can be added to an escape room to add another memorable puzzle.
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