Scavenger hunts are perhaps the most adaptable of all the boredom-busting activity ideas for kids. These can be used in any type of activity: they can be an indoor or outdoor activity. Art, movement, STEM, or any other interest can be incorporated. They can be turned into stealth learning activities where they must search for facts and find clues. You can also tailor them to your children’s skill levels, making scavenger hunts a fun activity you can do with toddlers and something you can do together with teens.
It can be difficult to know where to begin with all these possibilities. The list of creative and fun scavenger-hunting ideas will give you some ideas to get started. It is a good idea, to begin with, the location. Are you planning to use this activity as an indoor activity or do you plan to add another activity such as a walk through the woods or to the beach to your outing? You can then determine which themes are best, such as colors or seasonal decorations, or items found in nature. Your kids can make a list and encourage them to use their observational skills. Happy hunting!
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Fear, not the next stormy day. Keep this handy, as it challenges children to discover objects that may already be in their homes. This list can be rearranged with categories such as “squishy” and “that lights up,” so that they can try it again and again.
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
This book is a great companion for long car rides. It’s filled with things your kids can see through the windows, so it will be useful on future road trips.
Backyard Insect Scavenger Hunt
Take them outside with a magnifying lens and have them search for creepy crawlies in the natural world. Make it a STEM activity and have them count the legs of the wings or dots.
Word Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt will help kids practice their phonics. To create words, the kids will hunt for letters and then use the letters to find the answers.
You can set up a grid with 10 boxes and ask your children to find objects in the following ways: solo, in pairs, or in groups of three, four, five, six, eight, and nine. This reinforces early math concepts and is easy to do anywhere.
Art Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt checklist usually comes with a set of printed pictures. This one is great for little artists because they must fill in the pictures from what they see.
Secret Code Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt is actually two activities in one. The hunter must first look around for hidden clues. They then need to use the symbol decoder in order to combine the clues and reveal a secret message.
Alphabet Bug Scavenger Hunt
This bug-themed scavenger hunt is a fun activity for children. They will also learn how to distinguish between upper and lowercase letters.
Hunt for Color Scavengers
This color-themed scavenger hunt is fun for toddlers and older children. It helps them learn about their colors while helping them discover the many hues around them.
Five Senses Scavenger Hunt
This outdoor sensory scavenger hunt offers children the opportunity to touch, smell, and hear nature. It also includes clues such as cloud-watching and whistling with grass.
Movement Scavenger Hunt
You can also add movement to your sensory hunt. This version features fun and active to-dos like searching for objects to crawl under, jump over, or roll on the ground. This sensory hunt was designed by an occupational- and physical therapist.
Shape Scavenger Hunt
This shape-themed scavenger hunting will delight kids by allowing them to point out the shapes that they see on a walk. This can be modified to be indoors for rainy days.
Reading Scavenger Hunt
This book-themed scavenger hunt will help your child take their love for reading to the next level. It includes 25 prompts that can be used to find out about friends’ favorite books or try different genres.
Flashlight Scavenger Hunt
Bring along your flashlights and headlamps to this at-home scavenger hunting — and watch what the kids see at night while they hunt for leaves, rocks, and other backyard treasures.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Take this nature scavenger hunting with you next time you go on a family hike. Challenge your children to spot all kinds of insects and butterflies.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun one for little shutterbugs to take out their cameras. Take a stroll around the neighborhood to see if you can capture photos of the items on the list.
Mandala Scavenger Hunt
Don’t forget the cupcakes! This outdoor scavenger hunt will give new life to your muffin tin. It’s also a great way to teach kids about mandalas and how they are put together.
Zoo Scavenger Hunt
There are lions, tigers, and… monkeys! This zoo-themed scavenger hunting, complete with adorable wildlife, will give kids the opportunity to improve their animal-spotting skills at the zoo.
Football Scavenger Hunt
This football-themed scavenger hunt is not only for big game fans. Kids can also start to point out the quarterback and touchdown. This is a great activity for younger siblings who are tired of watching their big siblings play in their games.
Hunt for Scavengers in the Changing Seasons
Are you looking for signs of spring in your area? Here’s one: This spring-themed scavenger hunting is the best way for children to spot bunnies and buds.
Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Get out your boards and go hunting again as the weather cools. Fall scavenger hunts will take you in search of pumpkins, colored leaves, and other seasonal delights.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt
A Halloween scavenger hunt adds an extra layer of “treats” when trick-or-treating. The person who finds the most candy wins an extra piece!
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
When they go on the scavenger hunt, they’ll be careful not to get in your way. This is something they can do while you wait for the turkey to finish baking.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
The minutes that pass while kids wait to open their presents can feel like hours. This Christmas-y scavenger hunt will give them something to do.
You can also use this Holiday Hunt to walk or drive through your neighborhood looking for decorations in the lead-up to Christmas.
Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt, which is one of the most fun Valentine’s Day activities that you can do with your kids, is the easiest. You can get them to search for hearts all over the place.
ShopHadleyDesigns Birthday Scavenger Hunt
This clue-based birthday hunt should be one of your presents on the big day. Before printing, you can change the font, colors, and wording of the clues.
WandererDesignShop Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is a great way to show kids what there is to see in the neighborhood. You can spot everything, from birdhouses to bikes.
WandererDesignShop Beach Scavenger Hunt
Remember to pack the sunscreen, towels, and this list of things to look for when you head to the beach. You can take a break from hunting and relax in the sun.