If you're looking for a fun, inexpensive activity for kids that you can do just about anywhere, you need to learn how to create a scavenger hunt.
Indoors or outdoors, at the park, the zoo, the supermarket, or a hotel—it doesn't matter. all you need to do is pick a theme and create a list of items you want your little hunters to find. The person or team that returns with all of the items on the list is the winner.
Sound simple? It is!
But if you're running low on inspiration, we've compiled a list of 8 great resources that will help you organize your scavenger hunt. They've already done most of the work for you, so take a look at our favorites below and let the fun begin!
The folks over at Scavenger Hunt Fun have a lot of great tips for creating your clues, which can be based on pictures, rhymes, riddles, puzzles, letters, or general knowledge.
It also has a ton of unique ideas, with everything from sample indoor and outdoor hunts to holiday hunts.
Another outstanding resource for this type of activity is My Kids' Adventures, which has 10 different scavenger hunt ideas, from a neighborhood to a road trip hunt and from chore scavenger hunts to themed ones.
It also offers lots of useful tips, such as choosing teams, assigning a reliable timekeeper, and giving participants a bag to carry their items in, and each of their hunts includes a printable PDF, so you can use their checklist. Simply awesome!
A great source to help you sort out your scavenger hunt is Wikihow, which organizes the process into 3 parts.
It has excellent advice on how to organize one as well as how to host one, some important tips (set a time limit, make sure there's a prize, alibeit small, etc.), and it even has some sample scavenger hunt lists that you can either use directly or use for ideas to create your own.
The website Quick Hunts offers a very cool service—free printable scavenger hunt lists.
You can customize their free canvas, download it as a PDF and then print it, and voila! We love how authentic-looking it is!
But perhaps even better than that is the scavenger hunt search function, which lets you look for pre-created hunts by theme (Under the Sea, Passover, Mother's Day...), location (at the mall or the museum, among other places), type (collecting items, taking photos...), and age group. This is the perfect resource!
Another fantastic place to go for ideas on how to create a scavenger hunt for kids is Hands On As We Grow. We suspect Jaime has set some kind of record because she includes 32 different scavenger hunt ideas in a single blog post. 32!!
She has some really neat ideas for hunts for your little one that are also educational, helping kids learn about everything from the ABC's to numbers and colors.
If you want a straight up nature scavenger hunt, look no further than The Taylor House, where Chrissy does a great job of explaining exactly what you need to do.
She even includes a free printable with the exact list she uses, so everything is essentially done for you.
The team behind Scavenger Hunt offers readers a lengthy list of themes, from the alphabet to the zoo and from candy to nutrition. What does this mean for you? Well, they've put in all the work, they have all the ideas, and all you have to do is pick your theme.
If you want to focus on math, homophones, the periodic table, license plates or even Walmart, you should definitely check them out. Lots of unique ideas!
One last resource we recommend is Home Training Tools, which has some awesome ideas for a nature scavenger hunt.
Suggestions include things to see (a spider web, wildflowers, an abandoned bird's nest), things to collect (flat skipping stones, moss, seeds), things to do (record a birdsong, climb a tree), and things to photograph (animal tracks, the sunrise).
Well, there you have it—8 great resources to show you how to create a scavenger hunt. It's easier than you think and the possibilities are endless.