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10 Best indoor and outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Kids

10 Best indoor and outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Kids

Elevate your next walk around the neighborhood, learning-from-home assignment, or weekend plans with one of these fun scavenger hunt ideas for kids!

Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Whether it’s you’re stuck inside on a rainy day or looking for a new and exciting way to reinforce educational concepts, here are some fun indoor scavenger hunt ideas to do with your kids at home! 

1. Color Hunt

Lay down different colors of paper on the floor. When you say go, kids can run around the house looking for an item to match each color. This can be a leisure learning activity for toddlers or a fast-paced race for older children! 

2. Alphabet Hunt

This scavenger hunt is similar to the above color hunt but this time the goal is letter identification. On a large piece of paper – I like to use a roll of easel paper- write the alphabet and lay it on the ground. Kids can sound out each letter and try to find an item in the house that starts with the same sound. This is a great learning activity for children in preschool through first grade as they expand their phonics knowledge! 

3. Treasure Hunt for Kids

One of our favorite rainy day activities, this classic adventure will have your children excitedly solving riddles and running from one spot to the next! Write or print a set of rhyming clues and hide them around your house. Here are a few clues to get started:  

  • Here’s the first of your clues: go to where we take off our ______ (shoes) 
  • Next you should run to where we have fun. Girls and boys, we all like _____ (toys)  
  • Dash up the stairs to where you clean your hair. Conditioner too, but check the _________ (shampoo) 
  • Whew! You must be thirsty, time for a drink. Grab a cup and head to the kitchen ______ (sink) 
  • Don’t worry, it’s not time to rest your head, but the next clue is on your _______(bed)  
  • Are you tired yet? Here’s one more: your prize is waiting at the front ____ (door) 

Be sure to hide a fun prize at the end like a movie night, sweet treat, or other surprise!  

4. Sensory Scavenger Hunt

Another fun indoor scavenger hunt idea for kids is one that uses their five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing. Create a scavenger hunt  list that will engage different senses along the way. For example, find things that: 

  • Feels soft 
  • Tastes sweet 
  • Looks colorful 
  • Smells bad  
  • Sounds loud 

5. Treasure Map

If you’re feeling artistic, create a treasure hunt for kids with a map! Draw directions on a piece of paper making sure to include familiar landmarks like the couch or front door as stopping points. As kids follow the path, at each stop they can answer a question or complete an action. Include an exciting prize at the end! To keep the fun going, encourage your child to draw a map for you (or a sibling) to follow. Bonus points for talking like a pirate!

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Outdoor scavenger hunts for kids are such a fun way to explore your own backyard (literally!) or neighborhood. My young children absolutely love to gear up for an outdoor treasure hunt for kids adventure! Don’t forget your binoculars! 

6. Egg Carton Nature Treasure Hunt

One of my favorite “mom hacks” is an egg carton treasure hunt for kids! If your children are anything like mine, everything becomes a treasure along a walk outside; they are beyond thrilled to make a little treasure box to collect all their finds! Simply use an empty egg carton to create compartments for little treasures to be stored. Label each spot with a small nature item that the kids can look for along the way and add to their carton. If your little one can’t read yet, simply draw a picture. Here is a scavenger hunt list of ideas to get you started!  

  • Twig 
  • Smooth rock 
  • Bumpy rock 
  • Flower 
  • Dirt 
  • Green leaf 
  • Acorn 
  • Clover 

7. “I Spy” Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt List

An “I spy” Scavenger Hunt is a fun way to explore your community. My kids love when our neighborhood walks have an objective like a scavenger hunt. Create a list or picture collage of items you may (or may not!) see in your neighborhood. Go for a walk and try to find as many items on your list as you can! Here are some thought starters:  

  • Stop sign 
  • Mailbox 
  • 3 birds 
  • Red car 
  • Letters of the alphabet 
  • A bike 
  • Dog walker 
  • Garbage truck 
  • Yellow house 
  • Something blue 

8. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a way to pass the time on your next road trip (or hey, even a trip to the grocery store!)? Try printing out a scavenger hunt list for all the passengers to cross off along the way! The list can be customized based on your destination, including state signs, notable buildings or landmarks, and regional animals! Here are some more ideas:  

  • Rest Stop 
  • Dog in a car window 
  • Farm 
  • Motorcycle 
  • School Bus 
  • Construction cone 
  • Gas Station 
  • Emergency vehicle with lights 
  • Semi-Truck 
  • Train 

9. Photo Scavenger Hunt

Kids will love to use a mobile device, instant camera, or even a disposable camera to go on a photo scavenger hunt! The setting can be wherever you’d like, just modify the list for your location; take a selfie on the slide at the park and a selfie with a wild animal at the zoo! This is a fun scavenger hunt for kids to look back on afterwards and share their awesome finds! Take a photo of:  

  • Something colorful 
  • Something tall 
  • Something moving 
  • Something funny  
  • Something beautiful 
  • A selfie 
  • A letter in the alphabet 
  • Something that fits in your hand 

10. Backyard Scavenger Hunt

This backyard scavenger hunt encourages kids to explore their own backyard and observe the familiar space around them. They’re already experts in this area and children will be proud to show you that they know exactly where to find the biggest ants to check off their list! Here are some ideas to start with:  

  • A trail of ants 
  • A ride-on toy with 4 wheels 
  • A crack in the pavement 
  • A flower that smells nice 
  • A ball that bounces high 
  • Something that goes fast 
  • Something that is noisy 

We hope you enjoy these fun scavenger hunt lists for kids. Keep checking back for ongoing tips, guides and great shopping!

About The Author

Jessica Grant

Jessica Grant highlights a joyful and creative childhood, motherhood, and home through her social media and her blog, JessicaEtCetera. With a background in preschool education and now a mom to 3 young kids, Jessica enjoys sharing all kinds of fun including crafts, DIY, and learning through play with the goal of creating a magical and memorable childhood!

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