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Scavenger Hunt Day is celebrated annually on May 24th. It is set aside as a day to enjoy the “good ol’ fashioned” fun of a scavenger hunt. When was the last time you were on a scavenger hunt? Probably quite some time.

A scavenger hunt is a game where organizers prepare a list of specific items. Participants, individual or teams try and collect all items on the list, usually without purchasing them. Depending on the rules, participants will either collect items, collect photos of items or perform tasks. The goal is to be the first person/team to collect all items on the list. If your scavenger hunt has a time limit the goal is to be the person/team to collect the most items on the list within that time limit.

Do your children complain that there is nothing to do? Want a fun activity that can be done anytime, anywhere, for little to no cost? Send children on a scavenger hunt! Whether you have one child or a group of children it’s a great way to change up an ordinary day. The great thing about a scavenger hunt is that you can make it whatever you want, however difficult you want, wherever you want and make up your own rules and guidelines. You can turn anything, even chores into a game by turning it into a scavenger hunt.

All you need to create your own scavenger hunt is a little time to brainstorm, a location, paper, pencils, clipboards, and prizes (optional). The great thing about scavenger hunts is that you don’t have to spend time collecting and hiding items, as players are searching for existing items. Create your list of items to collect and give players/teams each a copy, a pencil, a clipboard and a bag to collect the items. You can set a time limit or just let them go until they find all the items on the list. Before you begin, make sure everyone understands the items on the list, you can show examples or include pictures.
Here are some great ideas for some fun scavenger hunts:

  1. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt: Road trips can be long and boring for children, come up with a list of items for them to keep an eye out for on the road.
  2. Nature Scavenger Hunt: These are the best kind, there are tons of things to find outside and it gets children outdoors.
  3. Animal/Bird Scavenger Hunt: Going to the zoo? Make a list of zoo creatures they may see; monkeys, giraffes, wolves etc. Going to the park? Make a list of animals/birds you might see; squirrels, cats, dogs, robins, blue jays, chipmunks etc.
  4. People-watching scavenger hunt: If your kids are bored at an event full of grownups, list some personal characteristics for kids to look for: find someone with glasses, someone with a mustache, someone wearing purple…
  5. While you Wait Scavenger Hunt: Stuck in a waiting room with restless children? Create a list of items you see around the room that the children can search for and collect.
  6. Indoor Scavenger Hunt: This is great for rainy days. Come up with a list of household items to search for.
  7. Shopping Scavenger Hunt: What better way to keep children busy while out getting some shopping done. If you are heading to the grocery store make a list of food items they may find; cereal, apples, lettuce etc. Going to the mall? Make a list of merchandise they would come across at the mall; toys, sandals, camera etc.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to scavenger hunts. Take the challenge and go on a scavenger hunt with your children.