The thrill of the hunt, it is something that starts early with little kids. They love being able to explore and find new and hidden things especially if there is a treasure or prize at the end. Scavenger hunts are a great way to spend an hour or a whole day, depending on what kind you want to do. You can do indoor ones or outdoor ones, and you can even customize it however you like, simpler ones for toddlers, more complex ones for bigger kids. Here are some fun ideas for great scavenger hunts you can put together in no time and at little or no cost at all!
I love this idea from The Artful Parent for a Scavenger Hunt (and Make) that includes finding items but also having your child make and create some items to complete the hunt. Adding some cute tasks to complete (note the hug) is also a really sweet way to add items to the list.
A great idea for older kids (or if you have a toddler friendly camera) is a photo scavenger hunt. Give them a list of items you want them to photograph and have them head out on the hunt! This is a fun idea for an outdoor nature hunt where they can find birds or animals. This would be also be a fun one for trying out downtown. Have them find pictures of specific colored books or toys, food items in stores or restaurants, statues in Congress Park, street signs or people passing by, the possibilities are endless!
Another idea from The Artful Parent is this toddler friendly color scavenger hunt. Rather than ask for specific items, give your little one a few different buckets (or paper bags) to fill with items that are all a specific color, a blue bucket, a yellow bucket, a green bucket, etc. and have them sally forth to search out items to fill their color buckets. Another option for this age is a shape scavenger hunt using different shape bags. You can take this idea up an age notch or two by making it an alphabet scavenger hunt where they find items starting with specific letters. You could spread the scavenger hunt out over the entire week by using a different letter every day. Tuesday they find ten things that start with D, then Wednesday is S, and so on!
This fun egg carton hunt idea from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar is great for smaller kids and can be customized for any type of scavenger hunt. If you're doing an outdoor hunt use pictures of items from nature for them to find and if you're doing an indoor hunt you can use pictures of things to find around the house to fill up the egg cups, like a button, crayon, or other easily recognizable items. You can also simply draw the items on to make the project easier, and the egg carton will make a great carrying case for all of the scavenger hunt items!
While the kids are home from school you can make the grocery shopping trip into a scavenger hunt of its own, plus its a way to keep them occupied during what can sometimes be a tedious task for both of you! You can clip pictures out of the coupon section, draw in the generic items like fruits or vegetables, print pictures off of the computer or write the items in for older kids and they can help out while also having fun completing their hunt!
This idea isn't technically a school break idea, but I love it so much I had to share it. Take the scavenger hunt on the road to keep kids occupied at events that can sometimes be a bit boring for little ones, like a wedding! This great photo hunt idea from Bridal Musings can be customized for any event, a graduation, baptism, or anything that you might want a little diversion for. It can be just a point and find hunt rather than a photo or item hunt, you can make one up for a long car trip or an airplane trip too!