10 of the Best Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Family Fun {with free printables}

Kids fed up with being off school?  Are they complaining there's nothing to do or wanting to be set activities?  Set them a challenge!  Indoors or outside, there's a fun scavenger hunt that's easy to set up and easy to manage.  So keep 'I'm bored!' cries at bay with these fun scavenger hunts.


Young children love nothing more than being set a challenge.  Whether it's to run from one side of a park to the other, to do an obstacle course or to find 10 different types of fallen leaves.  Racing against both themselves and others to find or do something is fun!

Whether you have one child at home or half a dozen, liven up their day with a scavenger hunt to keep them busy.  The best news is that almost anything can be turned into a scavenger hunt and, although a printable like this fun outdoor scavenger hunt one is useful, you can just set the kids off without a written list.


Here are ten fun scavenger hunt ideas, with a printable guide to all the ideas that you can stick on your fridge for the next time your home reverberates with cries of "Mum, I'm bored!!"

We also have lots of printable scavenger hunt lists linked so you can grab a bunch of printables too.

Just remember that almost anything can become a scavenger hunt so I'll share our tips and tricks to help you create your own scavenger hunt anytime, anywhere.

Why plan a scavenger hunt?

Because they're fun!  With a touch of urgency, excitement and competition, they make an everyday adventure even more fun.  You can plan a fun scavenger hunt anywhere any time to give kids something exciting to do around the house, in the garden, or on an outdoor adventure.

The bonus for parents is that they are easy to plan and make happen, fast.  They are easy to set up, with or without a printable list, and can be tailored to any age group, theme or place.

You can run a scavenger hunt for one child, siblings, family, friends, or even a large group or as part of a birthday party.

Some, such as a magazine hunt, can even be done on a car trip or in a tent when it's raining.  With the simple rules of a scavenger hunt up your sleeve you can make anything into a scavenger hunt.


How is it different from a treasure hunt?

With a treasure hunt you follow a set of clues that leads to a prize or the answers can be entered into a contest.  You win by being first to the treasure or by winning the competition.

A scavenger hunt asks participants to find (or do) a list of things, sometimes against a time limit.  There is usually no set path and players can find the items in any order.

One of the best differences is that a scavenger hunt requires almost no preparation.  You are simply looking for a set of items that already exist.

The joy of the activity is that people of all ages can join in, and there doesn't need to be a winner unless you want one.  In fact, it can be even more fun when children work collaboratively, work in family or friend teams, or help each other out.

No more time now?  Grab our 10 scavenger hunt ideas as a free printable:



.

10 Brilliant Scavenger Hunt Ideas

1. Miniature Scavenger Hunt

Everyone has a small box, such as an empty matchbox, and fills it with as many tiny items as they can find.  (No duplicates.)

2. Colour Scavenger Hunt

Find as many items of the same colour as you can.  You could also try this colour scavenger hunt printable.

3. Texture Scavenger Hunt

Collect as many items as you can of one texture, or ask for 10 items of different textures.

4. Clue Scavenger Hunt

Set clues that lead to each item on a scavenger hunt list.  A bit more like a treasure hunt but the objective is to find each hidden item on your list.

5. Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Gather as many nature related things as you can (not living ones!) or follow a printable backyard scavenger hunt list.  We also have an English spellings garden scavenger hunt list.

6. Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt

This after dark treasure hunt is perfect for winter evenings indoors or warmer evenings outdoors.  Use glow in the dark paint on rocks or find glow in the dark toys.

7. Magazine Scavenger Hunt

This simple scavenger hunt is surprisingly fun and so easy to do even in the car or on a camping trip.  Grab our free Magazine I Spy printable.

8. ABC Scavenger Hunt

This fun scavenger hunt has a theme, then you need to find an item for the list beginning with every letter of the alphabet.  This could be done physically, e.g. stationery items, or use our free Alphabet Game printables.

9. Educational Scavenger Hunt

Perfect for preschoolers and early readers, just choose a topic such as letters, numbers or shapes and have them gather as many items of that type as they can.  E.g. things that are round, things that start with a 'sh' sound.

10. Car Scavenger Hunts

This is a nice easy one for when the back seat politics are getting fraught!  Ask kids to spot as many of something before they get home, e.g. colours, letters on signs or number plates, states on cars etc.  make it more difficultt by saying they have to be done in alphabetical order!



More scavenger hunt ideas

  • Fitness or exercise scavenger hunt
  • Nature scavenger hunt
  • Indoor scavenger hunt ideas
Pin it:





This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. This in no way affects the price you pay. I only suggest resources and items I believe in and highly recommend. You can read my full disclosure statement on our Work with Me page.