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How To Plan A Scavenger Hunt at Home

Updated on June 28, 2012

Planning a scavenger hunt takes a pretty clever mind, but it can be done. After participating in my first scavenger hunt during summer camp (back in the 80s), I was absolutely hooked. So now, as a mother of two, I hold scavenger hunts for my kids at least twice a year. It’s as much fun planning it, as it is participating in one. So let’s get started:

Step 1

Know the age of your scavenger hunt participants. This is important because you don’t want to create riddles or clues that are too difficult for small children or too easy for older kids and adults.

Step 2

Pick at least ten locations to hide clues, including the final destination of your hunt.

If you are having a hunt at home, some good locations are:

·         Mailbox

·         Refrigerator

·         Under the table

·         In your car

Step 3

Decide on a theme. Is this a company-related event? If so, create clues with workplace references. Is this a pirate birthday party? Include lots of pirate slang, roll the clues into scrolls, include a treasure map, or make the final gift a treasure chest. Do you want all of your clues to rhyme? Would you prefer to make riddles instead? I prefer to vary my clues and use a little bit of everything. For a list of ideas on the best types of clues to incorporate into your scavenger hunt, click here.

Step 4

Start writing out your clues. Remember to number them in the back in order to keep track of which one goes next. If you are dividing the participants into different teams, each team will need their own clues. In order to cut down on planning, I usually just renumber the clues for different teams and place them in a different order so that they are not all shoving their hands in the cookie jar or tackling each other to look under the bed. Print out a sheet, like this one, to keep track of your clues.

Step 5

Hide your clues. Make sure to keep track of your clues and their placement. Believe me, in the beginning, I spent many frustrating hours trying to figure out which clue should be placed next and trying to keep track of which clue was which. Organization goes a long way.

Step 6

Make sure that the last clue will lead them to the grand prize or gift.

Step 7

Give the participants their first clue, as well as an envelope or small ziplock bag to keep the clues they have collected.

Step 8

Have fun! Watching people scratch their heads in confusion or looking in the wrong places is funny. Make sure to have your camcorder handy.


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      samunro 5 years ago

      I really like your idea about giving all teams the same clues in different orders. Like you say, it will keep them out of each other's hair, does not require you to come up with multiple sets of clues and also keeps it fair as all teams will solve all of the same clues.