A scavenger hunt can still be fun just with the family!

Scavenger Hunts are a great idea anytime, especially for families and kids.  During these extraordinary times that sees many schools closed and families perhaps starting to go a little stir crazy, a scavenger hunt for your kids may be a great idea!

Because of this we have put together some great tips to help you develop a great scavenger hunt for your kids, as well as some ideas and we have even included some great downloadable scavenger hunts for your kids that can be printed and used straight away.

Some of the usual ideas may not be perfect at the moment with the social distancing in mind.  So what we have tried to do is to include ideas for indoors and outdoor scavenger hunts for kids that will work for you whether you live in the city or have a little more space to play around with!

Tips if you want to create your own scavenger hunt for your kids

What location? – Decide where you will have the scavenger hunt

Normally, this may be a headache but there may be some natural places where you know you can limit contact with others.  For example, your house may be perfect for smaller kids and now the weather is good, some fresh air in the backyard would be ideal.  However, I know in our neighborhood the park or the local woods where no kids (or anyone for that matter) really hang out is still a feasible location.  Down by the lake or on a hiking trail may provide perfect locations that allow everyone to get fresh air, stay away from others and have some fun completing the scavenger hunt.

What type? Decide the type of scavenger hunt you want to make

There are more than one type of scavenger hunt I hear you say!  All will probably involve a list of some sort but how you set it up may vary.  Here are some different ideas:

  • You provide a list of items that the kids should be able to find wherever you have arranged the scavenger hunt.  For example household items in the house, garden items in the garden. Or signs, trees or objects along the hiking trail.  The idea of this type of hunt is that the kids will need to keep their eyes open and look for things that are already around – so great for you as you do not have to plant any objects (see below).  In this type they may need to show you where they have seen it or point it out, a little like when combining eye spy with my little eye!
  • You provide a list and they have to collect objects.  This could be in the garden. However, with this scavenger hunt they then have to produce a piece of artwork with the leaves, sticks, stones and so on that may be on the list.
  • You provide a list of items that you have hidden beforehand.  This may take a little more time but can be a little more exciting and more like a treasure hunt!  They bring the item as proof or just collect it in the bag and you can check at the end.
  • If you have slightly older kids you could have a photo or video scavenger hunt.  This opens up lots of opportunities to not only get the kids to take pictures of objects but also to complete photo or video challenges.  This will allow lots of creative tasks that could be completed potentially indoors or outdoors. This could include fun tasks that could take the kids a while to plan, create and record or just very quick tasks…it is up to you!
  • You could produce a virtual scavenger hunt (or sometimes these may be called a quest!).  Here they have to go online and find information about people, places, events in history or anything you like.  So these could be a collection of questions they need to answer or they could be objects too. They could take screenshots.  The difficult thing here to make it more challenging is to make it so they just can not ask google (easier said than done and this may be in the rules you stipulate).  Alternatively a good way around this may be to restrict the scavenger hunt to one website!
  • Alternatively, you could mix and match and produce a mashup of any of the ideas above or add any of your own creative ideas.  Have fun!

Any prizes? Decide on the prize that might motivate the kids

This is not compulsory obviously but the kids love to have something to aim for.  This could be as simple as some treats (pizza night, chocolates, sweets or to rent a movie of their choice) or something a little more specific like a trophy, medal or certificate.  Whatever, you think will make the scavenger hunt for your kids just that extra bit special!

Time to create! Now time to create your list of objects/challenges!

Right!   You have answered the questions above so this next bit should be relatively easy.  All you need to do now is write down the list of objects the kids will need to find on their scavenger hunt and/or the challenges they might need to complete such as the photo and video ones mentioned above!

Side notes:

Obviously in the current climate think carefully about locations and the likelihood of social distancing.  As long as you and your kids are conscious of this I would recommend doing outdoor as well as an indoor scavenger hunt.  It will be a great break from the house and the fresh air will do you and the kids good!  

Some ready made Scavenger hunts for kids

Below are three scavenger hunts ready for you to print and use.

By the water scavenger hunt 

Free download kids scavenger hunt

Free download kids scavenger hunt

Whether you are by the lake, sea, gulf or a river this scavenger hunt may be a good way to get out of the house and explore.

Out in nature scavenger hunt

Free download scavenger hunt for kids

Free download scavenger hunt for kids

This could work anywhere outdoors, even in your garden depending on your garden that is!  There is also an extra task at the end of this kids scavenger hunt which may help stretch out the activity and produce a great piece of artwork.

At home scavenger hunt


Free download scavenger hunt for kids

Download a free scavenger hunt for kids

Perhaps under the circumstances this may be the easiest but also the one that you choose especially if you are in the city or built up area.  In this scavenger hunt there are a couple of other challenges that are a cool way to give the scavenger hunt a reason and an end product.

We hope you find our tips useful and like are ready to print scavenger hunts for kids! 

Try to see the next days, weeks or perhaps even months as a great way to reconnect with the family.  These are uncertain times, stay safe and healthy and keep your social distance….there will be plenty of time to have fun, be social and explore as a group soon enough.  EscapeTrails will be here when that time arrives!