Weekly Summer Fun Idea: How to Have a Scavenger Hunt

Kids love scavenger hunts and they feel a great sense of accomplishment when they find the items they’re looking for. A scavenger hunt is a great summer activity because it can be done over and over at multiple locations – simply change the search list to suit the hunt location. Scavenger hunts can be held in the backyard, at the grocery store, or on vacation at the beach or camping. They are a great way to fill summer hours and keep kids busy.

To have a successful scavenger hunt, you’ll need to do a little planning ahead of time. Sometime before the hunt begins, make each child a list of items to search for (typically ten items). Don’t make the search items too difficult to find or the kids will quickly become frustrated and lose interest. Pair pre-readers with older children and give each child a paper bag to hold the items they find. If time allows, let each child decorate their own bag. The decorated bag can be re-used each time they participate in a new scavenger hunt. You may want to consider awarding a small prize to the child that finds the most items, or award everyone an “expert hunter” prize at the end of the hunt. If you are holding a backyard hunt, consider an outdoor related prize like a bug cage or a bottle of bubbles. Indoor hunts are great for rainy days and the “expert hunter” prize could be stickers or a coloring book. A shovel and pale makes an ideal prize for a beach scavenger hunt. Following are some search item ideas for your scavenger hunt:

Search Item Ideas for a Backyard Scavenger Hunt 

  1. An acorn
  2. A pine cone
  3. Three different kinds of leaves
  4. A colored rock
  5. A dandelion
  6. A flower
  7. A flower petal
  8. A stick
  9. Clover
  10. Something soft
  11. A spider web
  12. Something hard
  13. Seeds
  14. Something white
  15. Feather

Search Item Ideas for an Indoor Scavenger Hunt 

  1. A sock
  2. A coin
  3. A paper clip
  4. A button
  5. Something soft
  6. Something hard
  7. A piece of food
  8. A comb
  9. A rubberband
  10. A crayon
  11. A glove
  12. A pencil
  13. A crayon
  14. A coaster
  15. A ruler

Search Items for a Beach Scavenger Hunt (Use a bucket instead of a bag to collect the items)

  1. A feather
  2. A piece of seaweed
  3. A blue shell
  4. A white shell
  5. A pink shell
  6. A clam shell
  7. A sand crab
  8. A rock
  9. A piece of driftwood
  10. A shovel
  11. A crab claw
  12. A tiny shell
  13. A large shell
  14. A broken shell
  15. A whole shell

There are countless ways to have a scavenger hunt with your family this summer – you are limited only by your imagination. With a little planning and creativity, a scavenger hunt can be an educational, fun way to create a wonderful summer memory!

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