Here is a fun way to combine the challenge of a scavenger hunt with a little bit of learning! Search for an object that matches each 2D shape on the list, and colour the shapes when you find them. Children can play individually, in teams, or just work away quietly on their own.
Scavenger hunts can be a really exciting entertainment for the kids, and we've had great fun putting together this collection of ideas. All of them come with special printables to make life easier for Members, but of course you can make your own versions too.
What is a Scavenger Hunt?
A scavenger hunts provide a list of items to find, or do, within a set time limit. Often played in teams, players are sent off to "scavenge" for the items on their lists. The first to find all of them wins, or, if nobody finds everything on the list, count up to see who has the most at the end of the time limit.
Scavenger hunts are easier to prepare than Treasure Hunts, which need clues! And they are a great way to help children get to know each other, or to mix up different ages and abilities. When working with teams you might want to give some thought to the best combinations for each team before hand.
You don't need to prepare and hide lots of clues, as the children will be looking for pre-existing items. But you might want a prize or prizes for the winners.
Obviously the days of sending children off by themselves are long gone, so you will need to think carefully about safety.
- If children will be scavenging in your house or garden where you can see them, there isn't a problem. If, however, they might be going a little further afield, you could perhaps include an adult or responsible older child on each team.
- Set boundaries before the game begins. Where are the children allowed to look? What are they allowed to touch? Are they allowed to open cupboards, go upstairs etc?
- Have you got enough adults to supervise children during a scavenger hunt? It not, please look elsewhere in our Games section for different entertainments.
- If you live in a climate with dangerous bugs and other creatures, make sure that children know how and where they are allowed to look.
- If you are playing outdoors, make sure children wash their hands really well when they come back in!
Not Just a Team Activity
You don't need to play scavenger hunts competitively. They can make a fun entertainment for just 1 or 2 children or the family, and can be played over a number of days if necessary.
How about a photo scavenger hunt? Instead of finding and bringing home objects, children take a photo!
Shelly has some great ideas for using our Scavenger Hunt printables when out and about, and lots of photos, too. Read all about it in the Guest Post below.
Explore Our Scavenger Hunts
Turn a scavenger hunt into a little bit of 3D shape practice! The kids will love it although they may find it quite a challenge to find a cone or pyramid! That's what makes a scavenger hunt to much fun, though ... the challenge!
Here is a challenging scavenger hunt for you to try. It works with all ages, young and old, and could keep you going for a whole summer holiday, I think!
You will need to look through lots of autumnal picture books to find these pictures. You could do it at home or at the library and hopefully you'll find some lovely books to read.
Here's a bingo game for Bonfire Night. Not only is it fun to play, but it will help younger children learn some of the traditions of this unique British celebration!
Here's an exciting and different activity for Bonfire Night - a scavenger hunt! Take a walk with this page (perhaps clipped to a clipboard) and see what you can spot...
This game needs a little preparation before you leave as you need to make a list of 20 things you are likely to see on the journey. If you don't know the journey route well, have a look at an online map for ideas.
This scavenger hunt is pure genius! What a great way to encourage children to tidy up their rooms - as long as they don't throw everything round in an effort to find the objects on the list, that is! Adult supervision might be a good idea!
This "scavenger hunt" is for older children who are learning to use, or already familiar with, the internet. Obviously it must be done with supervision or on a computer which has sufficient child safety features installed. It has some fun questions for the kids to explore!
Try this garden bird scavenger hunt in your own garden or on an outing to the park or countryside. How many of the birds on the list can the children 'tick off'?
This is a great way to encourage children to look through and explore lots of different books. Do it either at home or the library. Look through lots of spooky Halloween books and see if you can find all of the things on the scavenger hunt.
Here's a spooky scavenger hunt that's perfect for Halloween parties. Can the children find all of the items on the list and tick them off?
This scavenger hunt will make any excursion for a walk in the woods more exciting for the kids - and we know it can sometimes be hard to get the kids enthusiastic about a walk! Make up your own list, or use our printable below.
Our library scavenger hunt is a brilliant way to get the kids involved at the library and help them discover everything that's on offer. Print a page for each child, give them a pencil, and off they go!
This scavenger hunt could keep the children going for a few nights - perhaps as an activity to do together on your way home from school in winter, or to encourage the kids to go out for a winter's walk after dark?
While away a long day on the beach with the help of this fun scavenger hunt activity. Print one out for each child before you go and see what you can spot - perhaps dividing up into family teams! You might want laminate your pages and use a dry wipe pen so that they last the day!
This is such a fun activity for kids to work on while you are out and about - perhaps enjoying a coffee on the pavement, or sitting in a park. Make sure they don't make anyone uncomfortable by staring or pointing though!
This is a fun activity that can be done at home or in the library. You will need to look through lots of picture books to find the things in this scavenger hunt and you might find some interesting new books to read.
Are you going to the farm to pick a pumpkin this year? Or just out for a visit to the countryside? Why not take our Pumpkin Picking Scavenger Hunt along with you, and see what you can spot!
This simple rainbow scavenger hunt could be a fun activity for younger kids learning their colours or perhaps at a birthday party, and it works well in the classroom or home.
If you can find everything on this scavenger hunt, we can say with certainty that the autumn season has arrived!
Listening is a very good way of calming over-excited children down, so this scavenger hunt might make a useful end-of-party activity.
This is a very interesting way to play a scavenger hunt, and a great idea for encouraging children to observe carefully think about objects differently.
Here's a fun and different activity for Thanksgiving - a scavenger hunt! Hide the matching cards then ask the children to find each one, ticking them off on their worksheet as they go along.