Originally published August 30, 2019 and updated May 2022 and September 14, 2023.
Afree printable fall scavenger hunt is the perfect way to encourage your kids to get outside to enjoy the crisp autumn weather and have fun. This free 4-page printable option makes it easy to organize your own treasure hunt this autumn season!
The lists are full of fascinating nature-inspired items that children can find both within your backyard or go on a nature walk – bringing a new level of excitement to exploring outdoors during this vibrant season.
Engaging in a fall treasure hunt amazes kids with the magic of autumn. Our printable edition makes it effortless and enjoyable for everyone involved! Simply download our printable file, print as many copies as you need on sturdy paper (don’t forget to laminate for outdoor use), hand them out, and watch the fun unfold.
Benefits of Fall Scavenger Hunts for Kids
More than just a fun thing to do, it is an interactive learning activity for kids to engage with the outdoor world during autumn. This printable scavenger hunt provides a list of items that can be found in nature, such as colorful leaves, acorns, pinecones, and different types of trees.
By searching for these items outdoors, children are encouraged to explore their surroundings and learn more about the environment. This fun fall activity also promotes physical activity as kids walk or run around in search of the items on their search list.
It’s a great way to get kids outside moving and learning at the same time!
Cooler weather is ideal for outdoor play and nature walk exploration. The scorching hot summer temps are past and the bitter winter weather hasn’t yet arrived. There are so many ways to encourage outdoor activities in the fall. A fall-themed scavenger hunt for kids is just one of many fun ideas for autumn.
An autumn scavenger hunt offer numerous benefits for kids and will quickly be one of their favorite activities. It encourages:
Children are motivated to venture outside and explore their surroundings.
They have the opportunity to discover new things, observe nature, and learn about the changing season. This active and engaging activity allows them to appreciate the beauty of autumn while having fun searching for items on the list.
Not only does it get them moving and breathing in fresh air, but it also ignites their curiosity and sparks a sense of adventure.
Promote physical activity
This game is a fun and interactive activity that promotes physical activity for kids.
They can run, jump, and climb as they search for items on the list, keeping them active and engaged throughout the game. This not only helps them burn off energy but also provides an opportunity for exercise and movement, which is important for their overall health and well-being.
It also allows children to develop their gross motor skills. As they navigate through outdoor spaces or indoor areas while searching for items, they have to move their bodies in different ways.
Stimulate cognitive development
The hunt stimulates cognitive development in children. As they search for items on the list, kids get to practice their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to identify and locate different objects.
This activity also enhances their observation skills, as they have to pay attention to details and match what they see with the descriptions provided.
Additionally, completing a search requires focus and concentration, which helps improve their ability to stay engaged with a task.
Can build teamwork and communication skills
Working together as a team and effectively communicating are valuable skills that can be developed through participating as part of a team in a fall search game. As children search for items on the list, they learn to collaborate, share ideas, and assign tasks to each other.
And, if weather conditions aren’t cooperating, don’t worry; we have indoor scavenger hunt ideas too!
How to Plan a Fall Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are easy set up, even at the last minute, but just a little bit of planning will get the kids outside and create an experience that kids will love.
- Select an area for the search
- You can play in a backyard, a city park or out in nature
- You can designate a static area or take a nature walk
- Decide if players will search individually or as teams
- Consider having children plays as teams to teach kids the value of teamwork
- Decide if you are using the fall treasure hunt clues as an exploration activity or as a competitive game
- It’s possible to do both, depending on the age of the children and their personalities
- Determine if all items must be found or if the person or team with the most items win
- If you want to use the fall scavenger hunt for kids as a nature exploration activity
- Provide a clipboard to make it easier to reference the entire list
- Have the children collect the items they can to bring back for discussion and comparison
- Stop and discuss items as the children find them on their walk
Get 20 different search game ideas for kids in the Big Bundle of Scavenger Hunts, with a total of 80 different game board pages, that you can download and print yourself.
Fall Scavenger Hunt Printable
You can print as many copies of the 4-page fall scavenger hunt pdf as you’d like. Each sheet is different so that you can play the game over again with different search and find cards or you can give each person or team different cards.
How to Print the Nature Scavenger Hunt
Get the free fall scavenger hunt pdf when you sign up for our free newsletter. After signing up, you’ll promptly receive an email with the printable file. You can print this activity as many times as you’d like for your personal use or classroom use.
Print the pdf files out on your printer.
How do I print the pdf file?
The pdf usually opens right up when you click on the link. When that happens, simply right click on the pdf and either print or save the document to your device.
If the file does not pop up for you, you’ll most likely find it in your computer’s Downloads folder. You can also select “Downloads” in your browser menu to see a list of your downloads, then select “Show in folder” below the file name to see where it is located on your computer.
Resources for Creating and Using Your Printables
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Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
Backyard Scavenger Hunt – Free 5-page printable, includes 2 different game dice and game sheets. Perfect for any outdoor location and 3 years and above.
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt for Kids – Take a walk around the neighborhood with your family or a big group and bring this free neighborhood search for kids with 4 different game boards.
Indoor Scavenger Hunts
Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids – Perfect for children ages 4 and up. Print these 4 different game boards as many times as you want.
It’s an outdoor scavenger search designed specifically for the fall season with a list of items to find.
It is good way to play a game that gets you out and exploring the natural world and kids to practice observational skills.
The game is a great way to keep younger kids and the whole family physically active and the hunt encourages children to learn about signs of fall.
It’s played with a list of items on a game board. The free printable fall game found below provides four different cards or game boards. It can be downloaded and printed on your own printer.
Decide whether prizes are appropriate depending on your goals.
My family play simply for the fun of the activity and for “bragging rights”. But if you’d like to provide prizes here are some ideas.
Fall themed prize ideas:
Themed socks – look for socks with leaves or fall animals at your local discount store
Fun gloves – light weight gloves with fun designs can be found at local discount and dollar stores
Autumn themed candy – popular choices are apple flavor, caramel apple flavor, pumpkin flavor and spice flavor
Fall themed coloring book – choose a coloring books appropriate for the children’s age and abilities
Apple cider – you can provide fresh apple cider or packets of apple cider mix
Free prize ideas:
Choose the next game to play.
Lead the nature walk and choose the path.
Choose the snack or dinner that day.
Stay up 15-30 minutes late that night.
Choose book to read together later.
A fall scavenger hunt is a fun and educational activity for kids of all ages. Younger and older kids can explore nature, get some exercise, and work on their teamwork and communication skills.
So gather your kids and enjoy the great outdoors while hunting for fall items together.
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I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.