Originally published August 2, 2019. Updated July 11, 2022.
Make the first day of school fun with a scavenger hunt for kids. Whether you play as you walk your child to school or whether you’re a teacher and use this free printable with four different designs on the first day of school. Make going back to school fun this year.
How to Use the First Day of School Scavenger Hunt
- Use it with your child as you walk to school
- Send it with your child to look for the items when they get to school at the start of a school year
- Librarians can use it with children
- Teachers can have the student play a back-to-school game using these scavenger hunt boards as one of the first day of school activities
- You can have students play individually or in teams
- The scavenger hunt can be played as a way for students to familiarize themselves with the classroom, library or school
- When they are more familiar with the space, they’ll feel more comfortable more quickly in the space
- If the first day of school is rainy use this scavenger hunt for kids as an activity to replace going outside
- It’s particularly useful for the first day of kindergarten or for students attending a new school
- It’s also helpful for an open house or other school activity
First Day of School Scavenger Hunt
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Print the scavenger hunt boards out on computer paper or card stock paper
I prefer card stock paper because it’s sturdier and holds up better in little hands running around playing a first day of school game
Print as many copies as you’d like depending on as many children will be playing this back-to-school scavenger hunt because you want everyone to have their own scavenger hunt sheet
I recommend printing extra copies since the scavenger hunt boards can get lost or damaged in the excitement of the hunt
You can have the children find all the items on their sheet or have them find all the items in a row or column like you do in playing bingo
If you’re playing the hunt with a larger group of children, you can have the children look for the items in teams rather than individually
Resources for Creating and Using Your Printables
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Check out the variety of other free scavenger hunts that could be adapted for your first day of school:
Library Scavenger Hunt – Encourage a love of reading and the library with this free 4-page printable Library Scavenger Hunt game. Each game board is unique. It can be used in a classroom library or the school library.
My favorite book is any Dr. Seuss book so I also created a Dr. Seuss scavenger hunt.
Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Fall – Explore autumn with this free 4-page printable fall scavenger hunt. It’s perfect for a backyard or great outdoors activity for kids and families.
Frequently Asked Questions about Classroom Scavenger Hunts
What is a classroom scavenger hunt?
It’s a fun way to to help new students become familiar with the classroom and meet their new classmates while they find the items on their game cards. You can use this free scavenger hunt template to create a fun activity that is personalized for your classroom and needs.
It’s a great way to help students in a lower elementary classroom, in a therapy session and in special education classrooms get comfortable in the new classroom.
How do you do a school scavenger hunt?
Choose a printable scavenger hunt like this one or create your own (you can use this free scavenger hunt template in 8 different colors).
Set the rules for playing the scavenger hunt.
Set a timeframe for the activity.
Encourage the students to have fun and understand that the goal of the activity is to get over those first day jitters.
More resources for the first day of school:
- Morning Routine for School Tips – 18 tips for establishing a morning routine for school that makes your mornings run more smoothly and teach your child life skills and independence.
- Back-to-School Morning Routine Printable – With more than 10 free printable morning routine chart options, there are choices for children of all ages, abilities and special needs.
- Homework and Study Planner Free Printable – Academic success is built on organization & discipline, so using a study planner is key. This free 3-page school planner comes in 5 different color combos
- Simple Back-to-School Ideas – 90+ back-to-school tips, organizing ideas, crafts and recipes
Pin for later so you can find this first day of school scavenger hunt year after year for the start of a new school year.
You can find all our best back-to-school organizing, crafts and recipes in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
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.