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Make a Fun Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Updated on February 4, 2016

Scavenger hunts are a time honored tradition. People have been participating in them for generations and that shows no sign of stopping any time soon. But sometimes coming up with ideas for a good scavenger hunt is difficult. You may feel that a traditional scavenger hunt is boring, or that it doesn’t lend itself well to our modern times. These concerns are valid and other people have had them. That is why the focus here is not ideas for traditional scavenger hunts, but rather on photo scavenger hunt ideas.

But what is a photo scavenger hunt, you might ask? Well, it isn’t much different than a regular scavenger hunt, but instead of (or in addition to) collecting objects you take a picture of them. This might not sound like a significant change at first, but when you begin to think of the new options this opens up it becomes a whole new event. And that is where these photo scavenger hunt ideas come in handy.

The Basics of a Photo Scavenger Hunt

A photo scavenger hunt’s biggest difference – as mentioned above – is the inclusion of photography in the hunt. But this does not have to mean simply taking pictures of every object you find. If that was all a photo scavenger hunt allowed players to do then it would hardly be better than a traditional scavenger hunt.

A photo scavenger hunt actually opens up the type of “objects” you can have on your scavenger hunt list to include pretty much anything you can imagine. Here are some common things people include in photo scavenger hunts:

  • - Monuments
  • - Interactions with Strangers
  • - Interactions with Specific Objects in Specific Places

Suddenly you might understand the versatility of a photo scavenger hunt. Let us say, for example, that the first item on your photo scavenger hunt idea list was “High Five a Stranger.” This is not something that you can collect in a physical sense. The photo serves as a record of events. One might think of that list item instead as “Photograph Yourself High Fiving a Stranger.”

Likewise, if you visit a specific place – such as the Eifel Tower – you cannot take it with you. But you can take a picture of yourself there, thus allowing you to cross it off your scavenger hunting list. And even if you are dealing with things that you can physically attain, you could still take a picture of yourself with them to create a lasting memory.

Additional Benefits and Considerations

One of the immediate benefits to a photo scavenger hunt is that you have the record of the events that took place. Sure, this is fine for general remembrance purposes, but one must remember that we now live in a society that centers heavily on social media. Some people casually take pictures of themselves and upload them online, others do so obsessively.

A photo scavenger hunt can give you an entire albums’ worth of photos to upload to whatever social media site you prefer. If you’re the type concerned with gaining followers or documenting your life then participating in a photo scavenger hunt might just be what you’re looking for. At the very least, it is an excuse to take more pictures than you would normally deem appropriate.

Of course, it is important to realize that none of this would be possible without the advent of modern technology. Thanks to the spread of smart phones with built in cameras, anyone can participate in a photo scavenger hunt, and on short notice. This makes them a relatively cheap way to spend an afternoon: just grab your phone, agree on some objectives with a few friends, and split up into teams to make them happen.

This is not to say that you need a camera phone to participate. Cheap disposable cameras are also an option if you are averse to technology or unable to afford it. This might be the option you want to take if a lot of small children are around. They certainly don’t mean to, but they can often times accidentally break expensive technology. A cheap photo scavenger hunt becomes incredibly pricey when you have to replace that brand new $400 phone you loved so much. So be smart about who you let use it and adjust plans as necessary.

Making a Photo Scavenger Hunt into a Competition

Perhaps one of the most entertaining photo scavenger hunt ideas that you can use is to turn the hunt into a competition. We mentioned splitting up into teams above, but you can take it a step or two farther than that. You can start by making your list as expansive as possible and totally non-linear. This way the variety of objectives will be so great that everyone has the potential to end up with a wildly different set of photographs.

Second, you can assign points to each photo taken, either on the initial list or via non-biased judging done after the hunt has concluded. More difficult tasks would of course receive more points in the end, as might stranger, or less attempted tasks. A point system will allow you to declare a definitive winner in the end, which would in turn allow you to select someone to win some sort of prize. Including actions or additional poses that must be included with the list clues will make things really funny.

The prize doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy. It can be something as simple as a cheesy certificate that you’ve printed off of your computer. It could be a gift card, or the first dibs on a slice of post-hunt pizza. Or it could even be plain and simple bragging rights with no physical gift or reward. Of course, you’re all free to contribute and purchase some big prize for whomever wins, but often times victory can be its own reward.

All of this in mind, do not make the competition so fierce that the game itself cannot be enjoyed. The point isn’t really to win. The point of a photo scavenger hunt is to have fun and build memories. Do not forget that.

Photo Scavenger Hunts, Clues and Ideas for School Holidays!

The Holidays are a Challenging Time!

The holidays can provide troubled times to parents and teachers alike, who have to think about what to do with the little ones. To all kids, these are magical times where they are free from school and are excited about what the holiday may hold. Unfortunately, until kids mature, they often find it hard to amuse themselves. This then becomes the job of the parent or camp teacher to provide fun and interesting activities for them, preferably ones that are relative to the holiday/festival being celebrated. This can become a real challenge to all involved, as most activities take a lot of preparation.

Why a scavenger hunt?

The main reason is simplicity and fun. Scavenger hunts are extremely easy to organize and relatively inexpensive, or free. Once setup, they are amazing fun for everyone. The competitive nature, clues, riddles and the unknown make them true adventures. With photo scavenger hunts, preparation becomes even easier, as you don't even need to pre-hide the clues.

That said, just because they are simple, doesn't mean they have to stay that way. You can make them more challenging by adding tweaks and even make them educational. You could ask all participants to find the object, take a picture and learn the spelling. Alternatively, you could even have them find out a specific fact, or complete a challenge before releasing the next clue. These extra challenges can turn the hunt from an hour activity, into a one day knowledge quest about the holiday in question. As normally hunts will target common items or characters of holidays, these can really bring back the true meaning of holidays ... as with many events, so many children nowadays have never learned the real meaning of Christmas, Easter, or Guy Fawkes. Hunts can be a way to provide an exciting holiday treat, while also teaching the participants more about the holiday that they are so excited about.

If you have a small budget, or lots of old clothes to hand, you can also make the hunts themed. Themed photo scavenger hunts are where everyone dresses up as characters from the holiday and participate in related challenges. This little twist can make some amazing photos and really add to the excitement of the holiday. Mix this up with some crazy games and obstacle courses, you'll have to be prepared from some not wanting to leave, or change their costumes at the end of the day. You may even have to let Santa's little helper sleep in his suit that night!

Scavenger Hunt Clues

Traditional scavenger hunts with some funky twists are available for download. Rhyming riddle scavenger hunt clues and photo scavenger hunt challenges are all available to download today from

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