Can’t stand to see your kids sit and stare at the television for one more day? Looking for ideas that will encourage them to get moving — and give you a few precious moments to yourself?
A scavenger hunt is the perfect solution. It offers so many different play possibilities and can act as both an educational tool and a fun activity for kids of all ages.
Ready to create your own?
We’re here to help! Check out our list of the top 7 scavenger hunt ideas, then start creating your clues!
1. Use an Online Scavenger Hunt Generator
Let’s face it — not every parent is the creative type. Even if you are, if you’ve spent the entire morning making beds, making sure everyone’s teeth are brushed, and arguing with your pre-teen about her outfit, you might be too burnt out to come up with scavenger hunt ideas.
Luckily, you can use membership sites like Riddle Me to help. This site creates a scavenger hunt that’s age-appropriate and can be geared towards the special interests of your child.
You can type in how many different clues you want in a specific number of locations. Then, the program will use its database to come up with clues and hints for your family to follow! All you have to do is physically hide the clues.
If you want to have a specially themed hunt (a perfect idea for a birthday party) you can upload any clip art or images you want to the site. Then, the pictures will be used as the background for your clues!
Anything that makes your life easier is definitely something worth looking into.
2. On-The-Go Scavenger Hunt
Long car trips can certainly be tedious — for parents and children alike.
Looking for ways to make your next road trip go by a little bit faster? This next item on our list of scavenger hunt ideas can help.
To make an on-the-go scavenger hunt, you’ll need to map out your route ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with local landmarks, and create clues that encourage your kids to look out the window instead of asking you “Are we there yet?” for the hundredth time in an hour.
Tell them to look for license plates from all 50 states, different types of buildings, and even different types of cars! When you pull over to a rest area or stop to get a snack, quickly hide a clue to encourage your kids to stretch their legs for a few minutes.
If possible, coordinate with your hotel to have the final clue waiting for your kids upon arrival!
3. People-Watching Scavenger Hunts
Is your child a little bit shy? Would you like for them to develop their social skills a little more this year?
If so, then a people scavenger hunt is a great solution.
Of course, as the parent, you’ll want to supervise your child closely during this hunt — or simply let neighbors know ahead of time what your child is up to.
This is also a wonderful activity for children to do at a party for both kids and their parents. Have your child look for people wearing or doing different things.
For example, once they spy a man wearing glasses, they can come to you for the next clue. If you work with your neighbors, you can even encourage your child to go from house-to-house, picking up clues along the way.
Your child will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re building their social skills.
4. Library Scavenger Hunts
Does your child love to read? If so, a book or library-themed scavenger hunt is sure to be a winner!
To play it, pick a few of your child’s favorite books, and hide clues in the pages or in the shelves.
This will help children learn how to find books alphabetically, and will continue to foster their love of reading. It will also expose your child to new genres of books that they can dig into over the summer!
Reward them with a book they can take home at the end.
5. A Photo Scavenger Hunt
Especially if your kids have an artistic side, they’ll love the next tip on our list of scavenger hunt ideas: having a photo-themed hunt!
Come up with a list of clues that require your children to take a picture of each specific item. You can have your children take pictures of specific items on a cell phone or instant camera. Then, before you show them the next clue, require them to show you the photo!
Not only will your children be able to get creative, but at the end, you can easily transition into the next activity of your day: making a photo album.
6. The Big Reveal Scavenger Hunt
Have a fun secret you’ve been dying to tell your family? Maybe you’re expecting another member, want to let the kids know you’re moving, or just want to reveal the destination of your family’s summer vacation!
Whatever the secret, we love the idea of creating a special scavenger hunt that will drop hints and eventually lead your family members to learn what the surprise is!
It’s an especially great idea to use a few props as you design these clues to build excitement. Planning on heading to the beach? Use plastic shovels and pails as clues. Make the final clue a seashell, with the destination and dates written on it!
7. Have a Color-Based Scavenger Hunt
Especially if you’re trying to come up with ideas for young children, having a scavenger hunt that’s centered around colors is a wonderful idea.
Not only will this keep your kids busy for a few hours, but it will also help to teach them about how to recognize different colors.
Color a few different “swatches” of color on a paper bag.
Then, tell your children that they have to find one item from every color, then put it inside their paper bags. For example, they could find a leaf for green, a rubber ducky for yellow, or a rock for gray.
To make sure your kids don’t tear the house apart, make a rule that the items can’t be larger than their fists.
Whoever collects all the colors first, wins!
Use These Scavenger Hunt Ideas To Liven Up Any Day!
Whether you’re looking for rainy day activities for your kids, or just want to create a family bonding experience everyone can enjoy, incorporate these scavenger hunt ideas into your next weekend plans!