Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

If you’re looking for a creative way to get your kids some fresh air and exercise, a scavenger hunt is a great option! Children will have a great time setting out on an adventure and putting their problem-solving skills to use. No matter if you’re at home or on a vacation, use this opportunity to build lasting memories with family and friends! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Compile a list

Coming up with ideas of items to search for takes no time at all. Take note of what’s around you—just make sure your list doesn’t contain things that are too hard to find. Your scavenger hunt list can include your favorite places or things commonly found in nature, such as animals or flowers. Other ideas could be as simple as:

  • Street signs
  • Police cars
  • Fire hydrants
  • Pinecones
  • Spider webs
  • Flags

Lay the ground rules

Make sure everyone knows the rules before the hunt starts. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Players must snap a photo of the items found. 
  • Don’t go beyond the boundaries of the scavenger hunt.
  • Stick together.
  • Be sure to pick up after yourself.
  • Stick to searching for items on public property.
  • Always play fair!

Add rewards for motivation 

Want to instill a bit of competitive spirit into the scavenger hunt? Form teams and set a timer to see which group checks the most items off their list before time runs out! A good timeframe for the hunt is about 60 minutes. If there’s a tie, the team that returns home first wins. 

You can also up the ante by awarding fun prizes, like candy or an extra hour of screen time, based on how many things scavengers find. If everything is found, you could throw a pizza party or stuff a few dollars in the pockets of the winners!

Looking for other scavenger hunt ideas that young learners will love? Check out these worksheets for inspiration:

  • Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: Explore the great outdoors with your little learner! This is a great printable to bring on any camping or hiking trip. Or, it can make for a fun Saturday afternoon activity with the kids.
  • Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Get outside and take a walk! Kids will enjoy going on a neighborhood scavenger hunt using these picture clues as guides. This is a great activity for a child who’s too young to read.
  • Proper Noun Scavenger Hunt: How many proper nouns can you find? Kids can go outside to identify as many proper nouns as possible. Friends, family, books, movies, businesses, and street names all count!