Have your kids run out of things to do? Is it raining or too hot to play outside? A scavenger hunt is the perfect boredom buster for kids of all ages — and you can plan one outside or indoors.
Older children love the thrill of the hunt and even younger children can get in on the action. Simply make a list of things to look for, hand the list over to the kids and head off on an adventure.
Scavenger hunts also make fantastic reading practice. For younger children who cannot read, make a list that has both the word and a picture or drawing of each item to find. Younger kids can use a crayon to check off the items on their list, while older children may enjoy doing a photo scavenger hunt using a smart device or digital camera.
Here are several examples of scavenger hunts to help get you started.
Park scavenger hunt — Have children look for birds, trees, flowers, leaves and other nature items you see at the park or on a hike.
Bug hunt — Head out into the backyard and have children look for ants, bees, worms, flies and other insects.
Library hunt — Make a list of book topics in which your children would be interested and have them find and check out the books.
Zoo hunt — Spice up your next trip to the zoo by giving your children a list of animals to find. Older children may enjoy a more descriptive list of items such as “an animal that can fly,” “an animal that is swimming,” “an animal that is fuzzy,” etc.
Grocery store scavenger hunt — Grocery shopping with kids can be difficult at times, but it can be more fun if you put them to work. Give your children a list of items they need to find or have them make a list of prices for certain items. Be sure to do this at a time when you know the store will be a little less crowded.
Name-based hunt — Write your child’s name vertically on a sheet of paper. Then have them find something that starts with each letter. For example, if your child’s name is Bailey, she would look for something that starts with “b,” something that starts with “a,” something that starts with “i,” and so on.
Letter hunt — Head into town or an area with a lot of stores and signs to have your children look for letters. This is great letter recognition practice.
If you do not have time to make your own scavenger hunt list, a quick search on Pinterest can help you find one that’s perfect for your kids.