Scavenger hunts have been kid’s and family’s favorite games since making its popular debut in the United States in the early 1900s. Evolving from ancient folk games, scavenger hunts provide both a fun time and unique twist to education.
Benefits of Scavenger Hunts
If you’ve been looking for unique ways to add fun to your child’s educational journey, then adding scavenger hunts is a must. These games give your child practice at problem-solving, using their gross motor (and fine motor) skills, enhancing critical thinking skills, and increased retention. They can also be created to accommodate your child’s abilities and interests.
When done as a family, or in a group, scavenger hunts can also pave the way for working with others, socializing, and building friendships/relationships. Overall, the benefits of scavenger hunts alone make them a great alternative to having fun.
How to Organize a Scavenger Hunt
Suppose you’d like to have a go at organizing your own scavenger hunt. First, decide on the theme of your scavenger hunt (lots of ideas for your below). Then, grab (or create) a printable list of the things kids will go on the hunt for. You can make it as easy or as difficult as you’d like. Also consider the location that the scavenger hunt will take place.
If you only want to do this with your own children then the prep will be minimal. However, if you’re considering hosting a bigger hunt; for example, in your neighborhood, then you may want to solicit a few helpers to help set it up. Don’t forget to have some rewards for those who finish in first, second, and third place. You also reward everyone with something small like a dip in the cookie or candy jar!
Best Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Look no further for scavenger hunt ideas as I’ve pulled together everything you can think of!
Holiday Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Holidays are always a great time of gathering. Add an extra fun time with a holiday themed scavenger hunt. These are perfect for any age!
- Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
- New Years
- 4th of July
- Columbus Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt Ideas
No matter what the season, a scavenger is always a fun activity for kids and adults alike.
Outdoor Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Help your child burn off some steam with one of these outdoor scavenger hunt ideas.
- Walking trail
SuperHero Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Who doesn’t love a good superhero? Make a day of it by watching the movie then playing a themed scavenger hunt game. Better yet, make it a movie scavenger hunt!
- Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man
- Wonder Woman
Disney Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
These are a great idea to do at birthday parties, sleepovers, family reunions, and more.
- Mickey Mouse
- Mini Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Winnie the Pooh
Preschool Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Reemphasize some of those basic skills you’re teaching your preschooler with a good ol’ scavenger hunt.
- Sight words
- Five senses
Household Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Staying at home doesn’t have to be too boring when you throw in a good scavenger hunt. Send your kids on a journey of finding spoons, forks, towels, a certain colored t-shirt, and more.
- Living room/Den
Culturally Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Culturally themed scavenger hunts can help your kids have fun while learning about different cultures. These come in handy when doing culturally-themed unit studies.
- Native American
- African American
Sports Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
These will be a big hit for the sports lovers in your family.
Movie Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
These scavenger hunts can take watching movies to an entirely new level. Create a scavenger hunt based on one of the movies below.
- Star Wars
- Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
- Toy Story
- Lion King
- Jurassic Park
Animal Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas
From the household pets to a trip to the zoo, these scavenger hunts can be fun, entertaining, and educational.
- Ocean animals
- Sea animals
- Zoo animals
Take a scavenger hunt on the go with a road trip, grocery store stop, or add a new game to your next birthday party!
- Grocery store
These scavenger hunt ideas are sure to keep you and your kids busy for days, weeks, even months to come. Enjoy!