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Scavenger Hunt

There are many different ways of doing a scavenger hunt.  It is an easy way to get new people talking, takes very little planning, and doesn't need a lot of leadership.

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Scavenger Hunt

In the most common game, a list of items is handed out to the players.  They can form teams or work individually.  The winner is the player or team that find the most items on the list.

Here are some ideas for lists that could be used depending on the location.

Beach Park Backyard
heart shaped rock
bird feather
gum wrapper
sun screen
sand pail
a white sandal
red flower petal
bird feather
gum wrapper
twig with two bends in it
garden tool
candy wrapper
white object


  1. Each item on the list could be assigned points depending on how difficult it would be to find that item.  A bent stick could be worth 1 point, while a 1989 penny could be worth 10 points.
  2. Rather than a list, assign each team a color.  The winner is the team that finds the most objects that fit their category.  If a team was assigned blue, they might come back with a candy wrapper with blue writing, a blue pen, a blue shirt, a blue piece of paper.  Teams should only be given points for one of an item (only one pair of blue jeans would be counted).
  3. Assign each team a shape (circle, square, triangle, ...).  If the shape is triangle they might find a rock with a triangle edge, a key chain with a triangular link or charm, and a pyramid.  Teams could decide in advance if they think one shape will be harder to find.  The team that gets the more difficult shape could get more points for each item they find.
  4. For younger children, use clipart or drawings to create the list.  Or assign teams partnering a younger child with someone who can read.

Different Types of Treasure Hunts

If all players have a camera, they could have a photographic treasure hunt.  Use this idea if players would be collecting items in sensitive eco-system.  In a park, the list could include things like a blue flower, a bird a prey, and insect with red on it, ...  Players have to take pictures of each item as they find it.

Pick a theme or topic you want the players to learn more about.  Either provide books, internet access, a library, or other resources.  Ask them to list as many facts about the topic as possible in a set amount of time.  At the end, have each team read out their fact list.  If another team has the same fact, scratch it off both lists.  The team with the most unusual facts wins.  For example, if the topic is dinosaurs, every team might write down that dinosaurs are extinct.

Choose a word and have players list songs with that word in the title.  If the word is 'star', the list could include songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, When you Wish Upon a Star, A Star is Born.

Create a list of unusual questions and then give the list to a group of people who don't know each other.  As they go around trying to fill in names for each question, they will learn about each other.  The list could include:

  • who was born before 1950
  • who has a birthday in July
  • who has been to Russia
  • who has worked on a farm
  • who has worked in an Italian restaurant.

If you know the people, use facts that are important to why the group has gotten together.  Or just use random questions and see how many people fit the list.

Be sure to talk to players about respecting the environment, asking permission before taking personal property, and using good judgment when they are collecting items.  Depending on the location, you may need to discuss health and safety issues too!

Here are some ideas from our visitors.

  1. My son had a camp out party, so we tried to keep it outside. The hit game was the Nature Scavenger Hunt. The week before the party, my son and I created a search list using clip-art pictures on the computers because most of our guests weren't readers. We handed them out with brown paper lunch bags for each guest and turned them loose in the back yard to find their treasures. Making all the items objects found in nature meant mommy and daddy didn't have to spend hours hiding volumes of plastic stuff in the yard and there were more than enough treasures to go around! It was easy and the kids had blast! We didn't make a prize for the most items- all the kids thought their finds were the rewards!
    Green leaf
    Red leaf
    Brown leaf
    Blades of grass
    Yellow flower (dandelion)
    White flower (clover)
  3. It was my daughter's 8th birthday and we decided to hold a Treasure Hunt for her and a few friends at my sister's home in the countryside. Thanks to your web site I came up with a great idea of hiding letters which in turn made up locations the kids had to get too with the final one being the treasure hiding place itself.

    The whole thing took just a short time to organize but the result was really great - all the kids (and us oldies) really enjoyed it and will probably do the same thing again.
    Thanks for the idea!
    Janice L.,  Scotland


Scaventure GameHaving trouble planning your own Scavenger Hunt? Try these ideas.  Name and draw 3 of the planets in our solar system; find 4 things with numbers on them; make a necklace of leaves from the backyard; write a poem with 3 rhyming words.

The ultimate scavenger hunt adventure, this award-winning game includes 200 cards that list 4 small adventures to undertake. Each team gets 8 cards, and 30 minutes to complete their tasks. The tasks include lots of drawing, writing, action, and performing.

Great for parties, sleepovers, and holiday gatherings.

Buy the Scaventure Game now!

Posted to Birthday Games | Ice Breakers | Outdoor Games | Two-Player Games | Children's Games


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