A scavenger hunt is a great activity that promotes family fun and bonding time. These tips and scavenger hunt ideas for kids will show you just how easy it can be to plan scavenger hunts for an indoor or outdoor hunt to celebrate a special occasion or as a family activity.
Scavenger hunts are great for ordinary days as well as special celebrations. You can have all the kids compete during birthday parties or holiday gatherings.
How to Start a Scavenger Hunt
Give each child a role. Provide children with the opportunity to pitch in. They can help pick a theme for the scavenger hunt or help brainstorm items to locate.
Explain the game and the rules to your kids. Let your kids know how a scavenger hunt works. You can list the items to find or write riddles to describe the items. Then, you divide into teams. The winner is the team that finds the most items by the end of the time limit.
Create a list of rules and share them with the participants. Rehearse the correct way to respectfully approach people and ask for items, if the scavenger hunt involves interacting with people. It is most important to ensure everyone’s safety.
Be sensitive to sensory needs and make sure your scavenger hunt is inclusive of kids with autism as well.
Create a prize. Select a prize to award to the winning team. For younger children, some good options include a baked treat or a coloring book and crayons. Older kids might like a book or movie tickets.
Tie in other activities. Plan some additional activities to go along with your hunt. For example, you can serve a dinner menu that goes along with your theme. Around Halloween, require all the players to dress up. You can also include props like a treasure map!
Planning an Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Go online. Internet-based scavenger hunts can come in handy for days when the weather is bad or your kids are home sick from school. Browse together to find your treasure.
Use books and magazines. If you’d rather stay off the computer, use books, magazines, and newspapers. You can search for pictures of items on your list.
Bring your family history to life. Collect household items while sharing stories about family or reasons why these items are special.
Make grocery shopping more fun. It’s easy for kids to get bored while grocery shopping. Turn it into playtime by challenging them to look for the product that’s white and gets poured on cereal.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Planning
Go camping. Come up with a list of items you want to collect during your daytime hikes or nature walks. You can also sneak some strange items into your backpack before you leave home and hide them at the campsite. Or, just do a picnic if overnight camping isn’t your thing.
Here’s a fun example of scavenger hunt ideas for toddlers.
Take photos. Record your outdoor scavenger and treasure hunts by taking pictures of the items you collect along with action shots of all the players. Your kids will enhance their photography skills, and let’s not forget creating memories without disturbing natural settings will teach a valuable lesson.
Glow in the dark. Everything is more exciting when it glows in the dark. Head out to your backyard in the evening with glow sticks and glow in the dark stickers. Attach them to the items you’ll be searching for. Watch your children’s faces light up when they discover the twist.
Liven up your next road trip. Travel is another time when parents are looking for diversions. Collect receipts, maps, or postcards from each place you visit. You can even try to spot a sign without any numbers on it or “hunt” for license plates representing each state.
Treat the whole family to a scavenger hunt. Mix these scavenger hunt ideas up with different places, formats, and themes. You’ll have endless possibilities for new games and good times both indoors and out.
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