A scavenger hunt is a game where players have to search for a specific set of items. It can be made to be played virtually anywhere, from a grocery store or outdoors to a school or even in one room. The items players search for can be hidden or naturally found in the space. In my experience, as a parent, and teacher, kids love any kind of scavenger hunt! Below is a collection of 35 Scavenger Hunts for Kids with lots of free printables.
I’ve included a variety of scavenger hunt ideas. Some of the activities include specific things that players need to find as they search, like a typical scavenger hunt. Other activities encourage children to move from one thing to the next as they hunt for something or solve puzzles, like a treasure hunt or even an escape room type game.
If you think of scavenger hunts as games where players search and move from one thing to another, then a scavenger hunt can be filled with clues, puzzles or lists. They are often hands-on and give players the chance to be active and move around.
Scavenger hunts are a great way to develop problem solving and team work skills and they’re great for all ages!
Some of the hunts below are free printables, so make sure to follow the links on any you are interested in. You can start with a free printable scavenger hunt from Teaching Ideas, with an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt.
Take a look through the list of scavenger hunt ideas below. I hope that you find lots of activities for you to use with your kids and even some printable hunts that you can use today!
Free School Scavenger Hunts
If you are an educator in a school, you’re going to love this Free School Scavenger Hunt! Print and place the cards in specific locations around the school. Children solve the riddle on each card and go on an adventure throughout the school.
From the library to the Principal’s office, children get to go beyond the walls of their classroom as they problem solve and have fun! All riddle cards are free to download today.
Have fun in homeschool and the classroom with 2 versions of this stationery scavenger hunt. This is a great scavenger hunt for the beginning of the school year to familiarize children with all of the school supplies and location of them around the house, or classroom.
Free Escape Room Scavenger Hunt
Escape rooms are a little bit different than scavenger hunts, but they still follow the same general structure of playing. I am confident that if you know someone who loves typical scavenger hunts, then they will also love an escape room game – especially this one because it’s free!
Players solve and follow clues to get to the end. With this free printable escape room, simply print and hide the clues around the house and you’re ready to play. No locks or any other materials are needed.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
There is so much to explore and find in nature. Take your next scavenger hunt outside with the outdoor scavenger hunts below.
Print clues and puzzles to hide in an outdoor space with this outdoor scavenger hunt activity. This is a great activity for small groups, or parties.
Nature is a great place to do a scavenger hunt. Turn an ordinary walk or hike into something new and special as children search and explore, and notice new things, with this Free Printable Scavenger Hunt.
While you relax on your next camping trip, your kids will love discovering nature with this free printable camping scavenger hunt! All the items have pictures next to the words so kids of all ages can use the scavenger hunt.
Two camping scavenger hunts! One is a massive campground scavenger hunt perfect for families to do together and the other is intended to help kids get familiar with their surroundings at the campground.
A wonderful way to explore nature this season! Go and photograph a rainbow. This is a great idea to give kids the opportunity to use a phone, and in a meaningful way.
Get into nature during your next camping trip with two types of free scavenger hunt games.
This fun nature scavenger hunt printable will get your kids excited about exploring outdoors.
Keep the kids busy outdoors whether your hiking, camping, or going on a nature walk with this free printable spring scavenger hunt!
Get the kids outdoors and having fun with this backyard scavenger hunt!
A FREE printable Sounds of Nature scavenger hunt in Spanish and English. A fun way to get your kiddos outdoors and in touch with nature.
Explore the wonders of the night sky and nigh time with this free Night Scavenger Hunt.
Have fun exploring nature, colors, rooms, and the neighborhood with scavenger hunts in English, Chinese, and Korean!
Insect Scavenger Hunts
Invite your little ones to look for insects high and low with this fun bug scavenger hunt
Free printable bug hunt paper toy. Learn all about bugs and go and find them, with this cute cootie catcher. This is a great craft for kids to create the catcher and then extend the activity with your bug hunt.
Reading Scavenger Hunt
This free printable reading scavenger hunt is a super fun way to motivate your kids to explore different books.
Math Scavenger Hunts and Free Printables
Scavenger hunts are an easy way to integrate some learning into children play and exploration. Whether you are a teacher or parent, a scavenger hunt with some math concepts mixed in is a great way to learn.
Print the free Shape Hunt sheet and make math meaningful as you search for different shapes. This activity is a great way to encourage kids to see that math is all around us and recognize shapes in everyday objects.
This fun scavenger hunt lets kids burn off energy while searching for numbers. A great way to reinforce number recognition.
Explore the world around you with this free printable shapes scavenger hunt. Includes 2D and 3D shapes!
Going on a Bear Hunt
If you are looking for a scavenger hunt type activity for young children, this is one of my favorite activities and it is always a hit with my students. Based on the classic book, Going on a Bear Hunt, children recreate the story and journey as they search for the bear at the end.
Combine language and hands-on play with this creative activity. Move from place to place as you follow the story and hunt for the final surprise.
Zoo Scavenger Hunt
Hall have fun at the zoo with this fun free zoo scavenger hunt. This hunt is also a great way to make sure that you see of the amazing and favorite animals at the zoo.
Frozen Treasures Hunt with Free Printable
Another hands-on scavenger hunt! If you have limited space to move and go on your hunt, this frozen treasure scavenger hunt is a great option. Whether you are looking for activities for the classroom, or home, all you need are a collection of arts and craft items, a baggie and some water!
Use the free printable to keep kids accountable and excited to find everything!
Earth Day Scavenger Hunts with Free Printables
Spending time outside is a great choice anytime of year – especially for Earth Day! Set up a few items for children to find and learn a few ways to help protect the environment as they complete the hunt.
This free printable Earth Day Scavenger Hunt is an exciting and engaging way to connect with your children and celebrate our beautiful Earth! This educational activity uses many of our senses and is great for kids of all ages.
Animals in Winter Scavenger Hunt with Free Printable
Kids love learning about animals and fun facts about them. Scavenger hunts are great year round and even in winter you can continue the scavenger hunt fun with this Animals in Winter activity and printable checklist.
At Home Scavenger Hunt
Grab this FREE Printable Indoor Scavenger Hunt that will keep your kids entertained and having fun while they’re inside!
Listening Scavenger Hunt
Head outdoors and engage your senses with this free (and fun) Listening Scavenger Hunt:
Color Scavenger Hunt
With indoor and outdoor versions of this color hunt the kids are sure to have fun. Write, draw or place each item you find.
Letter Scavenger Hunts + Free Printable
Scavenger hunts are a great learning opportunity and they make learning fun. Hunt around the house, or school for all of the letters in the alphabet. Printable alphabet sheet available.
You can hide the letters for children to find, or keep it simple and encourage them to find the letters naturally, on labels, signs or objects.
Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt with one of these printables!
Fall Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt and Free Printable
Decorating and hiding creative pumpkins is one of my favorite fall scavenger hunts. However, you could try this hunt anytime of year and could use any objects you have available. But how cute are the pumpkins?
Beach Scavenger Hunt
Take this fun beach scavenger hunt on your next trip to the shore for easy on-the-go kids entertainment. Encouraging kids to really explore and look closely at their surroundings at the beach is a great way to get the most out of every experience.
Treasure Hunt Scavenger Hunt Idea
Give kids some hands-on experience by using a compass for this treasure hunt scavenger hunt. It is an easy way for kids to learn about directions and following them. Hide a treasure somewhere and direct kids as they use their compass on a journey to find the treasure.
Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt
Keep your kids busy learning while at the store with this free printable scavenger hunt.
Make Your Own Escape Room Hunt with Free Printables
Check below for even more escape room ideas, but get started with this step by step, Make Your Own Escape Room activity and free puzzles. Kids will love solving clues as they follow directions and find specific items throughout the room.
I hope that you have found lots of scavenger hunt ideas. Grab some of the free printables to make creating your scavenger hunt as easy as possible. Keep in mind that there are lots of types of scavenger hunts so choose one that is of interest to you, and your kids, and most of all have fun!
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Many of the free printables and scavenger hunt games featured in this post are available in the Free Library.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you like the scavenger hunt ideas above, you may also enjoy more activity ideas from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. From escape room puzzles and outdoor learning activities to classroom escape rooms and STEM challenges, there is lots to keep kids busy and creating.