13 Scavenger Hunt Ideas to Keep Kids of All Ages Busy

Hands On As We Grow

The coronavirus outbreak has managed to wreak havoc on just about every person in the United States, let alone the world. And if you’re a parent, you’re probably feeling it in some of the most daunting ways.

With schools and daycares closed until further notice in most states, the kids are home all day every day. On top of trying to hold down your own job (if you’re lucky enough to still have one), entertaining the kids might feel near impossible.

You can bake cookies, do puzzles and even sit them in front of the boob tube, but that can only keep them occupied for so long. So what’s a mom or dad to do in times like these?

The answer: A scavenger hunt. That’s right, they’re not just designated for Easter. What kid doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? You can basically make a scavenger hunt for anything, especially ones that are educational.

Don’t believe us? Here are 13 scavenger hunt ideas to keep kids busy, entertained, and learning, no matter their age.

  1. Paint Chip Scavenger Hunt

    Scrounge up some paint samples to create a rainbow, and hand them to your kid. All they have to do is find objects that match all the colors! You can play inside your home or at your favorite park.

  2. Letter Scavenger Hunt

    A great way to get your little one to recognize letters of the alphabet, you just need some sticky notes and a pen for this one. Simply write letters on sticky notes and place them on the ground. Then tell your child to find 4 Cs or 3 Fs—however many you created!

  3. Flashlight Scavenger Hunt

    Hide whatever object you like around the house—but turn off the lights and offer the kids flashlights for when they go and look for it. This example uses Christmas bows, but you can use anything you’d like!

  4. Be a Spy Scavenger Hunt

    String painters tape back and forth at different heights across the hallway in your home with pom-poms on the ground throughout the maze. The goal is to get from beginning to end while picking up as many pom-poms as you can—without touching the string!

  5. Treasure Box Scavenger Hunt

    A scavenger hunt doesn’t always have to entail the kids running through the house. This one involves a simple box with crinkle paper and coins!

  6. Vowel Hunt Scavenger Hunt

    This one doubles as educational as it is fun. Simply write out 10 words on sticky notes, making sure five have short vowel sounds and five have long ones. Hide them around your house, and once they find them all, you can test them on their vowel skills!

  7. Toy Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

    To play with toys in a new way, hide a bunch of toys in all colors of the rainbow. Then have the little ones set out for them! Any sensory items will do.

  8. String Name Scavenger Hunt

    Create an obstacle course with string or yarn—from a chair in the dining room to the couch in the living room and sink in the bathroom—with letters that spell out your child’s name strewn throughout. They’ll love searching the letters they go through!

  9. Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

    Great for preschoolers, hide foam letters around the house and have your kid look for them. Once they find them all, write out all the letters you hid on a piece of paper and have them match them to the right letter. This also works with numbers, too!

  10. Shapes Scavenger Hunt

    Hunt around your home or yard to find objects in varying shapes (squares, circles, triangles, etc.). Take photos of. each and save them to a phone or iPad. Let your child search for the photos of the shapes and then snap their own picture.

  11. Color Scavenger Hunt

    This one is perfect for a little artist in the family. Cut a piece of cardboard (an old cereal box will do) into a painter’s palette and label them with every color of the rainbow’s name. Have your child glue small dots onto each color. Then, the fun part: Have them go in search of finding something small in every color and stick it to the glue dot!

  12. Pot O’ Gold Scavenger Hunt

    We love a good theme! Cut out 10 circles from a piece of yellow felt, and write the numbers 1-10 on them. Then write the same numbers in circles on a piece of paper. Hide the “gold” (aka the felt) throughout the house, and then they can place them on the appropriate number. Perfect for a tyke learning to count!

  13. Nature Scavenger Hunt

    There’s so much adventure, even in your backyard. Make a list of nature items your child can find and collect in the yard, and offer them a basket. They’ll have so much fun picking up rocks, sticks, leaves, flowers, and more.

Which scavenger hunt idea will you try first?