Summer is a great time to enjoy a scavenger hunt! And lest you think this a mindless activity…. Scavenger hunts can:
- Develop skill in following directions.
- Focus on an educational theme or topic.
- Provide a non-intimidating way to learn a new skill.
- Involve clues that need to be deduced.
- Develop cognitive skills by matching a picture of an object with the actual object to be found.
- Provide a way to stay physically active — especially when there is a clock to race against!
Purchase a Scavenger Hunt
Our favorite scavenger hunts are the ones where you have to do something with the thing you find. We’ve enjoyed Scaventure Kids for years just for that reason.
Scaventure Kids is an action game that comes with 150 cards, each with four tasks that must be completed by players within a limited time. The players may have to find things, create things, perform something, or draw something. Once time has run out, the players return to the rendezvous and present their finds. Tasks are worth 10 points each. The players with the most tasks completed win.
Although team play is recommended, the game can easily played by individuals by increasing the amount of time allotted to complete the tasks, or by reducing the number of cards that must be completed.
Examples of tasks that may be encountered include:
- Bring a thermos to the rendezvous.
- Get a black comb and count the number of teeth on it.
- Dig up a calendar from any year but this year.
- Find a big button and a small button.
- Find or make some play money.
- Bring back something made of cotton.
- Tell a short story at the rendezvous about something that makes you laugh.
- Draw the logo from one of your favorite products.
- Design a funny welcome mat for someone’s home.
- Fill a sock with stones no bigger than a quarter.
Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt
You don’t have to purchase something to enjoy the idea in your own home.
Here are a few tips to create your own successful scavenger hunt:
- Create a set of cards with things to find and do drawing from items you have on hand.
- Carry out a nature scavenger hunt. You’ll find lots of ideas (and checklists) in our Nature section.
- Include skills: drawing, counting, reading, reciting, memorizing, playing an instrument, matching, listing, exercising, and more!
- Create an alphabet scavenger hunt, where you have to find at least one object that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
- Enjoy an art scavenger hunt — using several pre-selected works of art, have players find specific items (works best with very detailed works such as “St. Jerome in His Study“).
- Try using Bloom’s Taxonomy to supply the action verbs: read, ask, match, quote, etc.
- Have a book scavenger hunt — use a book you are reading to search for nouns, verbs, a particular word, a particular number, etc.
- Try a math scavenger hunt — find numbers, dollars, decimal numbers, fractions, certain types of graphs, a certain number of things, etc.
- Take pictures to use as clues to where an object may be found. Place the clues in order (one object leading to another) until the last object is reached. Let that object be a prize!
- Create a color scavenger hunt — find at least one object of every color in your crayon box.
Borrow a Scavenger Hunt
If you are not interested in creating your own scavenger hunts, another option is to use one of the many different hunts already prepared for you.
Summer Scavenger Hunt
Great printable at MommaHopper.com!
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
A free ABC outdoor printable at TeachersPayTeachers.com (free registration required).
I Spy Books
For downtime, cuddle time, rainy days, or too-hot days, enjoy a scavenger hunt in a book!