Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids


Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all that the season has to offer. As children explore around them, there are certain things unique to summer. From water balloons and flip flops to colorful flowers and sidewalk chalk art, venture outside and search for all these signs of the season. This Summer Scavenger Hunt for kids will have children exploring and following a trail of summer items until they reach the final treasure.

This scavenger hunt can be printed and quickly set up for children to enjoy at school, home, with a group or just family. Try it for a birthday party or to celebrate the end of school. There are nine clues and each are items commonly found this time of year.

Children will listen to a simple rhyme that suggests somewhere for children to search. If they discover a clue there, then they know they successfully solved the puzzle. As players search and find each clue, they are working on their problem solving and team work skills.

Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are very similar, both encourage children to search for certain things and complete a list, or set of clues, to get there. The great thing about this activity is that you can make it extra special by adding a special treat to the end for players to find. Party gifts, freezies or even a letter sharing a special outing once the hunt is done is always a special treat for kids.

So get ready to spend some time outside and go on a special adventure that kids are sure to love.

summer scavenger hunt shows a collage of images for a Pinterest pin.

Scavenger hunts turn any simple activity into an engaging, fun adventure. For more scavenger hunt ideas, visit my collection of 35 Scavenger Hunts for kids and this collection of 37 Free Printable Scavenger Hunts or prepare for back to school with a free school scavenger hunt.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Materials

One of the great things about this Summer Scavenger Hunt is that you don’t need much to set it up. Hopefully you have each of the spots to hide the clue at your home or school. You will need:

  • Printed Summer Scavenger Hunt Clues (Link at Bottom)
  • A treasure box or something to put the final prize/treat in
  • A final treat/prize (Optional)

The location for the clues are:

  • Flowers
  • Shade/Umbrella
  • Water Balloons/Water Toys
  • Sand
  • Bike/Scooter (or bike racks etc)
  • Tree
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Sandals
  • Adult/Supervisor

As with all activities with children, make sure to supervise children as they complete the summer scavenger hunt. Make sure to place all clues in a safe location for children to search.

If you’re looking for more outdoor fun this summer, try a free Summer Escape Room game for kids. With free printable puzzles this escape room is filled with everything there is to love about summer.

Setting Up Your Scavenger Hunt

Once you have printed all of the clues, cut each page in half. Each page includes two clues. You can laminate them if you plan to use them again, or if there may be rain as you are outside doing your hunt.

summer outdoor pintable clue shows a page with two clues and summer pictures.

The pages are included in black and white and color. Print what you need.

This activity can be done with a full class, small group or even just an individual player.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue 1

The hunt is started with the first clue. You can simply give it to players or place it somewhere for them to find. The clue says:

Let’s try a treasure hunt. It’s the perfect day.

Follow the clues and get ready to play.

The sun is shining, and the weather is hot.

Search the flowers – both in the garden and in the pot!

summer scavenger hunt shows a printed clue on an evergreen tree branch.

Players figure out that they need to go and search any flowers around them.

Summer Treasure Hunt Clue #2

Once players search the flowers, they find the next clue. It reads:

Under an umbrella, you’ll find some shade.

Here is also where your next clue is laid.

summer scavenger hunt shows yellow and red tulips on grass with a clue.

You have some freedom for where you choose to put this clue. If you have an umbrella providing shade, then the clue can be placed around the umbrella. However, if there isn’t an umbrella in the area then you can place the clue anywhere that the kids would sometimes find shade, such as under a tree etc.

It is up to you how challenging you want to make this summer scavenger hunt as well. If you have older children or a large group, you may want to make the hunt harder by placing this clue in shade, but not somewhere players will look first.

Don’t worry if players check a few places before finding their next clue. That’s part of the fun, and the challenge.

Summer Game for Kids Clue #3

Once children find the umbrella, or shade, they will find their next clue. The rhyme on clue #3 is:

Sprinklers, balloons and water play,

Check these wet spots and continue on your way.

summer treasure hunt shows a printed clue under a colorful umbrella.

Players run to check out anywhere they would play with water outside. Although an adult is supervising the whole time, avoid any water dangers like pools. It can be water balloons, or even a sprinkler.

If you are doing the summer scavenger hunt at a school, water play can be a water table, even if it is inside. Or simply any toy or item outside that they sometimes use with water. I simply filled up a bunch of water balloons and placed them in a bowl in the corner of the yard for children to find.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue #4

Once players find the water toys or water balloons, they will also find their next clue.

Whether at the beach or in a box,

Look all around the sand and under a rock.

summer treasure hunt shows a bowl of water balloons and two water soakers.

If you have a sandbox or even sand instead of soil anywhere you’re doing the scavenger hunt, place the clue here. If you don’t have a sandbox, you can always improvise. You could fill a bucket with sand and dump it to create a sandcastle in your playing area.

If you want to make it even more challenging, you could hide the clue in the sandcastle so players have to break down the castle to find their next clue.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue #5

Once players find the clue in the sand, they will solve their next riddle:

When you want to get moving this summer, hop on your scooter or bike.

Find where these are stored, the next clue is hidden in plain sight.

outdoor scavenger hunt shows a printed clue in the sand with a red shovel beside it.

Off to the bikes! This can be the bike racks, where scooters are stored or simply attached to some bike or similar in the area.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Clue #6

Once players rush to the bike racks, they will find their next clue.

Look way up high to the tallest tree nearby.

On the ground, around this tree, is where your next clue lies.

summer scavenger hunt shows a bike with a printed scavenger hunt clue stuck to it.

Look around the area that you are doing the hunt in. Find the tallest tree and place the next clue around the bottom of the tree.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue #7

Once everyone has looked around and found the tallest tree, they will work to solve their next riddle:

You can create some great summer art with sidewalk chalk.

Check where it is stored. Run to it, don’t walk.

outdoor learning activity shows a printed clue at a tree trunk.

Summer Treasure Hunt Clue #8

Sidewalk chalk is a common art material throughout the summer. Many children have a collection of chalk to use and draw with during the summer. The next clue can be placed with the chalk.

If you don’t have chalk, it is a simple and fun summer craft project that you can easily make at home today with just water, cornstarch and food coloring. See this art project here. The clue hidden with the chalk says:

Summer brings sandals and flip flops.

Search where these shoes are stored for your next stop.

summer scavenger hunt shows a printed clue surrounded by colorful chalk and drawings.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue #9

Once players have found the chalk, they’re on to one of their last clues. The clue reads:

You’re almost done,

And hopefully you’ve had lots of fun!

The adult who is with you is very wise. 

They know the location of your final prize.

outdoor scavenger hunt shows a printed clue set on some summer shoes.

This clue has been left a bit open ended for whoever sets up the hunt. This clue leads players to ask the adult that has supervised them the whole time where the final prize is. This way, you can hide it somewhere that players would not have seen while doing the other clues.

This clue also allows you to send players to a specific location. For example, if you’re using the game to lead players to a special treat, maybe the adult tells them to check the fridge or if it is part of a party game maybe players are lead inside to an ice-cream party that others set up while the hunt was going on. It is completely up to you!

If you want to get really creative, you could come up with a riddle to say to players when they ask where their final prize is located.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Clue #10

I hid the final prize in a basket tucked away in the yard. Inside were some cool treats for everyone to share. Wherever you choose to hide your final prize, you can also add the final rhyme that says:

Congratulations, you did it!

You worked together and didn’t quit.

For all your hard work, there’s a surprise.

Open it up for your prize.

summer scavenger hunt shows a picnic basket with freezies and a clue inside.

The completion certificate can also be printed off for each of the players. In the printable file, there is a page with two of the completion poems that can be printed and each player gets half a sheet with the poem on it.

If you are doing the scavenger hunt at school or with a group of children, giving the certificate is also a great chance for kids to take the certificate home and talk about their experience and tell about the hunt.

summer scavenger hunt shows a printable completion certificate that says congratulations you did it.  you worked hard and didn't quit!

Print the Summer Scavenger Hunt Clues (Shop)

All of the printable clues featured in the Summer Scavenger Hunt above are available in Hands-On Teaching Ideas Shop. Click the link below for more information or to purchase.

Printable Scavenger Hunts

If you are looking for other scavenger hunts or want to try one for free, subscribe to Hands-On Teaching Ideas. By subscribing you will be the first to know about the latest activity ideas, products and promotions. Click the image or link below to subscribe.

Once you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email. Once you confirm you will get an email with a link to the Free Resource Library. The library is always growing and all of the free products are available in one location. You are welcome to download and use any resources that you like.

There is even a free Nature Scavenger Hunt currently in the library. So if your kids love the summer scavenger hunt, try a nature themed hunt for your next adventure.

More Scavenger Hunts

For more scavenger hunts that you can print and use today visit Hands-On Teaching Ideas shop under the category “Scavenger Hunts.” From Airport Scavenger Hunts, Restaurant Scavenger Hunts and all occasions and holidays, there are lots of unique and classic hunts to choose from.

More Hands-On Teaching Ideas

Add more activities to your summer bucket list with this collection of hands-on games and activities that kids will love. From the classroom to home, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning all year round.

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