These scavenger hunt ideas are a collection of game ideas for the entire year. There are more than 15 scavenger hunt printables you can download right away and start playing.
Each of these scavenger hunts can be downloaded and printed immediately. They each contain a minimum of three different game boards, with many containing 4 or more.
Playing a game together is such a fun way to create memories. This collection contains scavenger hunts for kids and scavenger hunts for all ages and interests.
I remember playing scavenger and treasure hunts when I was a child. The neighborhood kids would get together and play for hours. We’d race around shouting and celebrating when we found an items. There was good-natured competition and lots of fun for everyone.
I used to set up scavenger hunt and treasure hunts for my own children when they were young. It still makes me smile to remember that they enjoyed the thrill of hunting for and finding items on their list as much as I did.
What is a Scavenger Hunt?
A scavenger hunt is a game involving searching for specific items on a list. It is much like a treasure hunt.
Scavenger hunts are often, but not always, played outdoors.
With these scavenger hunt ideas you can set the parameters of the game to meet your specific needs.
Why Play a Scavenger Hunt?
- It’s fun.
- It can be a distraction for bored child.
- It’s a great way to get children up and moving.
- It is a natural compliment or extension of many activities and events.
- It’s an easy way to get children outdoors.
- It encourages problem solving.
- It encourages exploration of the environment.
- It can encourage teamwork.
How to Set Up a Scavenger Hunt
- Determine where you will play the scavenger hunt. Set boundaries of the playing area if you want.
- Determine how long the game will be played.
- You can play until a player finds all the items on the game sheet.
- You can play until all items in a row or column are found.
- You can set a time period for the game.
- Choose whether players will play individually or as teams.
- Playing teams is a great way to have younger children play by teaming them up with older kids or adults.
- You can choose to play in groups as a team building exercise.
- Choose how a player wins the game.
- Finding the most items during a set time period.
- Finding all the items on the game sheet.
- Playing the scavenger hunt like a bingo game and finding all the items in a row or column.
- You can choose whether the winner received a prize or whether you’re playing for bragging rights.
- Hint – playing for the excitement and bragging rights is just as much fun, so don’t feel like you have to provide prizes.
- You use the scavenger hunt games below again and again. You can switch the game sheets that players have. You can change the location of the game so that different items are available.
What is the difference between a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt?
A scavenger hunt is a search for many different items on a list or game board. A treasure hunt involves solving clues that lead to more more clues and ends with finding a prize.
Tips & Tricks
- Pair younger children with older children so that they can play, too.
- Before the game, compare the scavenger hunt game sheets to the environment where you’ll be playing to make sure that each sheets contains items in the environment.
- If there are not all the items needed to fill in the entire game sheet, play the game with bingo-style game rules. Finding all items in a row or column constitutes a win.
- You can seed the environment with game items if you’d like. For example, with the Valentines’ Card Scavenger Hunt, you can purchase variety packs of Valentine’s cards to insure a great variety of cards to play the hunt with.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas
** – identifies games particularly suited to playing with children. These games also work for teens and adults, but don’t have to be adapted to be played with school-aged children.
Printable Scavenger Hunt – Amusement Park ** – This game is a great way to distract kids are are waiting while other group or family members ride a ride. It’s also a perfect distraction while waiting in line or for a show to start.
Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Summer ** – A slightly structured way to encourage outdoor play. This scavenger hunt works in the backyard or on a nature walk.
Beach Scavenger Hunt ** – Looking for a break from playing in the water? This scavenger hunt designed for the beach is your answer.
First Day of School Scavenger Hunt ** – This game is a fun way to help distract kids who are nervous about the first day of school. It works well for families with one child or for teachers with a classroom full of children.
Fall Scavenger Hunt ** – Use these game boards to get outside and explore nature, either on a nature walk or in your backyard.
Camping Scavenger Hunt ** – Coming Soon
Dr. Seuss Books Scavenger Hunt ** – These scavenger hunt game boards are designed to be used in conjunction with 4 popular Dr. Seuss books. Children can play while reading the books themselves or having the books read to them.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids ** – There are so many situations that are perfect for an indoor scavenger hunt for kids. This free 4-page printable scavenger hunt will keep children happily occupied when they’re stuck indoors.
Decluttering Scavenger Hunt – Coming Soon
Football Game Scavenger Hunt – Coming Soon
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
In planning a scavenger hunt for kids, you should consider their ages and abilities in deciding which scavenger hunt to choose and how to set the game rules.
Many games can be tailored for children of different ages, but games specifically designed for children are identified with 2 asterisks.
Teaming younger children with older children or adults makes it possible for children of all ages and abilities to play along in a group scavenger hunt event.
Scavenger Hunt Games for the Holidays
New Year’s Eve Scavenger Hunt ** – Whether for kids or for adults, this scavenger hunt makes the anticipation of New Year’s Eve that much more exciting.
Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt ** – A fun game to play at home or at any Valentine’s party – this free printable Valentine’s scavenger hunt has players looking for images from cards.
Scavenger Hunt Printable for the 4th of July ** – Celebrate Independence Day by searching for commonly seen items at 4th of July gatherings.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt ** – This game is perfect for classroom parties, family parties and even just one or two children.
Halloween Costume Scavenger Hunt ** – A fun way to distract children who are nervous about Halloween costumes. Perfect for a party or trick-or-treating.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt ** – Keep the kids entertained while waiting for the big meal with this scavenger hunt.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt **- Perfect for Christmas parties and to keep kids occupied while impatiently waiting.
Hallmark Christmas Movies Scavenger Hunt – Make watching your favorite Christmas movies even more fun with this scavenger hunt that contains 10 different games boards with clues from your favorite Hallmark movies.
Be sure to pin for later so you can always find these scavenger hunt ideas whenever you want them for a party or fun afternoon activity.
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.