Family DIY

How To Make a Challenging Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Scavenger hunts are one of the most underrated ways to get your kids active and outside! With so many possibilities, you can tailor a scavenger hunt for any group and any occasion. Creating your own is simple and only requires a little bit of prep work, research, and creativity! Here’s how it works!

Step 1 – Decide on a Location

Before you can do anything else, you have to define the playing field. Where will they start? What’s the perimeter? What’s out of bounds? Your location can be pretty much anywhere you want it to be, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Around the house or neighborhood
  • Nature trail or park
  • Road trip
  • The mall or grocery store
  • The library

Step 2 – Make a List

There are a few things to consider before you start rattling off your checklist. One, don’t overthink it. Once you have your location chosen, it will help narrow down what will be available to scavenge. Two, keep it short but make it challenging. The key to a good list is choosing things that won’t be so easily found that scavengers will finish in a matter of minutes, but also not so tough that they’ll lose interest. Here are some ideas for twists on the classic object list:

  • Description List – Describe various objects for them to gather without actually saying what it is. An example of this would be “They’re soft, fluffy, come in pairs, and keep your feet from getting stinky!”
  • People Watching List – Rather than having them collect a series of objects, you can have them spot people like someone wearing glasses, or someone with a baby. One person = one check, so if you see someone with glasses and a baby, you can only mark them off once!
  • Shape List – This works best when you do a photo hunt instead of a collection hunt. For this, you’d list out various shapes you’d like them to spot, like a pattern with circles or an object with 6 sides.

Step 3 – Set the Rules

Like with any game, rules are important. Here are some things to define with your players before the hunt begins:

  • How many teams are there?
  • What’s the playing area? What is in bounds and out of bounds.
  • What’s the time limit? If they haven’t completed the hunt by a certain time, you may want them to come back to the starting point anyway.
  • Does everyone understand the items on the list? Make sure everyone is clear before beginning.
  • How do players “collect” the items on the list? Will they be taking a photo of the object, with the object, carrying it to the finish line, or just crossing it out as they spot it?
  • Finally, cover how the winner will be determined, or how the items on the list will be verified. What would disqualify an item? What happens if there is a tie?

Some clever parents have found ways to incorporate scavenger hunts into things like doing chores or cleaning out a room. Of course, on your next family vacation to Splashway Campground, you can try one of our new and totally FREE scavenger hunts, available in the Camp Store this Spring Break and forgo this DIY method altogether!