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Outdoor Scavenger Hunts: Some Great Ideas!

Updated on February 22, 2016
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Beach Scavenger Hunt Fun
Beach Scavenger Hunt Fun | Source

What’s more fun than a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt? Scavenger hunts can be wonderful opportunities for your family to spend quality time together while participating in an activity that you all can enjoy. They are also great tools for broadening a child’s horizons and get them engaged in the world around them in a fun and dynamic way. The most fun and interesting way to do that is by hosting an outdoor scavenger hunt where kids can learn more about nature and the environment around them. Coming up with ideas for a photo scavenger hunt or a traditional scavenger hunt can be daunting, so we’ve put together some of the best ways to get your kids engaged in learning with outdoor scavenger hunts.

Beach:

If you are near a body of water and it’s warm out, then a fun-in-the-sun scavenger hunt is the way to go! Soak up some vitamin D and get some swim time in with a fun scavenger hunt on the beach. This is a surefire way to get children excited about activities and educational topics having to do with the water. Challenge your little learners to find an interesting-looking seashell or some other fascinating signs of sea life. You can also go the extra mile and bury objects in the sand for them to find or even build a sandcastle with some hidden treasures for your little tykes to find.

Easter:

For those who celebrate Easter, this can be a wonderful holiday for you to work in a scavenger hunt. Update the classic Easter egg hunt by encouraging your children to search for clues and fun, new things to learn about when it comes to Easter and springtime. If you plan a photo scavenger hunt, the photo opportunities will be wonderful in this setting and at this time of year. With beautiful spring flowers all around you and holiday spirit in the air, don’t miss out on this truly fantastic way to spend quality family time together.

Playground/Park:

What more convenient place to have your very own outdoor scavenger hunt than in your local playground or park? Give your kids a new game to play at their favorite outdoor play space by setting up a photo scavenger hunt. The curious little ones can explore familiar environments in totally new ways by looking for the items on their list. The items can be anything from “something blue” to “a leaf in the shape of a triangle.” These kinds of games really encourage kids to initiate their own learning through exploration.

Zoo:

Any time there are creatures and critters from all over the world concentrated in one geographical area, there is a prime opportunity for a great scavenger hunt. There are literally hundreds of things that kids can learn by visiting a zoo and getting a look at the animals that live there. This is an especially good type of scavenger hunt for kids who love animals and have a passion for learning about them. In addition to having children scout out the various animals that reside in the zoo, you could also have them learn a little fact about each animal that they can come back and tell you, adding to the overall educational experience that the scavenger hunt helps facilitate.

Camping:

Families who love the outdoors and love to go camping can add scavenger hunts to their list of fun outdoor activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. Have your family participate in a photo scavenger hunt and snap photos of the sights around your camp. This activity is perfect for all ages of kids and adult scavenger hunts can be a great idea on an outdoor outing, too.

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In the Snow:

Explore your very own winter wonderland with this neat scavenger hunt idea. If the weather is cold outside and there is lots of fluffy, white snow on the ground, then wrap the kids up in their snow suits and plan out a day of fun for the whole family. Having kids explore the snowy environment outside during this season helps them to learn about the changing weather as well as develop a love for the glorious outdoors. This will give you and your kids a chance to have a great learning experience in the chilly outdoors—and, who knows, there might even be a good-natured snowball fight to be had!

Neighborhood Knocking:

One way of getting your kids to leave the house without having to worry about them going to some far away, unknown place is to keep the scavenger hunt restricted to your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors by having kids knock on doors to find the things they are looking for in their scavenger hunt. Of course, supervision should be provided at every step for kids. This is a great way to encourage your kids to be friendly with neighbors and to meet new people. This might be a great activity for a family who is new to a town or neighborhood and would like to introduce themselves to the local community.

Nature Walk:

When you talk about outdoor scavenger hunts, you just can’t avoid talking about nature. The number one thing that people love about being outside is being able to be around beautiful green foliage and lovely natural sights and sounds. Encourage your kids to explore and learn about nature by going on a nature walk or hike and getting them involved in a scavenger hunt activity. These hunts are a great way to introduce kids to the beauty of nature and the natural world. Encourage your kids to become little biologists by exposing them to the fascinating wildlife that is all around them.

Garden Hunt:

Hosting a garden scavenger hunt is another way to ensure that young children aren’t left unsupervised in a possibly unknown environment. In a garden scavenger hunt, kids are encouraged to explore the surroundings that are so close to them every day. Let your kids discover and explore new and exciting things about the area around your home. You can provide clues and even hide little treats for them to find around your garden.

Glow-in-the-Dark Hunt:

Feel like a nighttime adventure scavenger hunt? Use glow sticks and other fluorescent things to light your way in an evening of hunting for clues and snapping photos of cool things that you find. You can even use fluorescent paint to make sure that the things you are searching for are made easier to find. This scavenger hunt can take place in a variety of settings. You can host this event in your backyard, in your favorite community park, or any other place that would be a safe and fun place to take your kids after sundown.

Fourth of July:

Independence Day would be a great opportunity for you and your family to bond over a fun and interesting scavenger hunt. Add a little twist to your traditional backyard barbecue and have your kids learn neat new things in a dynamic new way. The whole family can search for clues together and top the night off with a firework viewing.

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St. Patrick’s Day:

The hunt for the elusive four-leaf clover has captured the hearts of kids and adults alike for generations. Work this traditional search into your next celebration of St. Patty’s Day with a family scavenger hunt. This can take place in any outdoor setting, from your back yard to the local park. Encourage your kids to search for clues and generate a discussion about this holiday at the same time.

Halloween:

Spooky stuff is so much more fun to hunt for, don’t you think? Add a twist to your Halloween celebration by including an entertaining scavenger hunt. This can be done in a variety of settings and it can also be done in coordination with the neighbors in your community, adding community bonding to the precious quality time you will get with your family. You can encourage the little ones to hunt for cool things around the area and even tuck away some candy treats for them to find.

Make-it-yourself Hunt:

The best way to develop your child’s imagination is to encourage them to create their own works of art. Do this through a scavenger hunt the next time you are planning a family get-together. Instead of allowing your kids to find things that are already there, encourage them to create their own clues using play dough, sidewalk chalk, or improvised materials like mud and sticks to create the answers to their own clues. This is a great way to encourage creativity and imagination in your children.


With all of these different ways to facilitate the wonderful learning experience of an outdoor scavenger hunt, there is no excuse not to give your family a fun and education-packed activity for everyone to enjoy. Take advantage of one of these cool ideas and plan your very own scavenger hunt today!


© 2014 Brett

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