First Day of School Scavenger Hunt

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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.

top image - red backpack with school supplies, bottom image - 4 colorful scavenger hunt sheets

This free first day of school printable contains four different scavenger hunt boards that you can download as many times as you’d like.

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
4 scavenger hunt boards for the first day of school.

The first day of school is a big deal. Making it fun can relieve the natural nervousness many children feel. The distraction of playing a game that is fun works well for most children.

Get 20 different scavenger hunts in the Big Bundle of Scavenger Hunts, with a total of 80 different game board pages, that you can download immediately.

First Day of School Scavenger Hunt

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collage of colorful printable game sheets

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

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.

top image - row of library books on shelf, bottom image - 4 scavenger hunt pages.

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt – Have fun while reinforcing learning rhyming words and patterns with these free 4 pages of a rhyming scavenger hunt game.

4 brightly colored scavenger hunt printable game pages.

Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Summer – Have fun this summer with a free printable Nature Scavenger Hunt (whether you’re in the woods or the suburbs) More than 30 items on 4 different sheets.

Top image of large tree on hill & bottom image is collage of 4 sheets for nature scavenger hunt with text overlay.

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.

Autumn trees with yellow leaves and 4 fall scavenger hunt sheets with text overlay.

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:

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.

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  1. I love your scavenger hunts! They are fun at all ages, but especially for little ones. Great way to help kids get interested in their new routine, while also keeping the nerves at bay!

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