If you're wondering how to make a scavenger hunt for kids, start with a blank scavenger hunt template! You can use free scavenger hunt templates to create any kind of scavenger hunt you want for kids of any age. Click on the image of the list template you want to use, then download, edit, and print. Check out this handy guide if you have trouble using the PDF templates.
Short Scavenger Hunt Template
This simple checklist features an editable title area and room to include ten scavenger hunt items. Kids simply put an "X" or a check mark in the box next to each item as they find it.
Blank Short Scavenger Hunt Template for Word
If you're planning to use Microsoft Word, this template is compatible. It should also work in Google Docs, but may need some slight updates for that format.
Short Scavenger Hunt Tips and Ideas
Short scavenger hunts are great for preschoolers or special education students, but they can be used in other ways too.
- Create a challenging scavenger hunt for older kids by making each item on the list really hard to find.
- Let kids create scavenger hunts for siblings, friends, or even parents by adding in items for others to find.
- Create an alphabet scavenger hunt by writing a letter in each checkbox. Kids will need to find something that starts with that letter.
- Make a number scavenger hunt by placing a number in each checkbox followed by the item that should find that many of. Kids can cross off items as they find them.
- Make a color scavenger hunt by coloring each checkbox a different color. Kids will need to find something that is the color in each box.
- Use the template for an interactive online scavenger hunt by writing in scavenger hunt riddles for kids and asking kids to delete the riddle and type in the answer when they have it.
Long Scavenger Hunt Template
Older kids and families with teens and adults can use the long scavenger hunt template. The list features room to write in 20 items. The title and list item sections are editable so you can complete it online, then print it.
Blank Long Scavenger Hunt Template PDF
This version of the scavenger hunt template is in PDF format.
Blank Long Scavenger Hunt Template for Word
This version of the scavenger hunt template was made specifically for use in Microsoft Word. It should also work in Google Docs, but may need some slight updates to work in that format.
Long Scavenger Hunt Tips and Ideas
Kids with longer attention spans, older kids, and those looking for an activity that fills a large time period can easily use this template.
- Give each column a different theme, such as indoor and outdoor, to make the hunt more dynamic.
- Create a team scavenger hunt when you pair kids up and assign each one column on the same list to find.
- Use the template as an answer key for your treasure hunt. Write your clues in the left column and the place you hid the next clue or prize on the same line in the right column.
How to Make a Scavenger Hunt for Kids
A scavenger hunt is supposed to be an activity where you try to find or collect specific items within a certain timeframe. You can create a simple scavenger hunt in almost any location. You can also create more complex scavenger hunts or plan a treasure hunt for kids, which is similar to a scavenger hunt.
Step One: Choose a Location
Knowing where your scavenger hunt will take place is integral to creating your list of items to find. This is where kids will look for the items on your list. Examples of scavenger hunt locations include:
- The car
- Inside your house
- In your backyard
- In a classroom
- On a walk through town
- In the woods
- At a museum
- On a website
- In a video
- In a book
Step Two: Choose a Theme
You don't have to have a theme for your scavenger hunt, but it can make the activity more fun and keep it focused on a single topic. All the items on your list should relate to the theme if you choose one. Examples of scavenger hunt themes include:
- Nature scavenger hunt
- Things you wear
- Things that move
- Outdoor scavenger hunt
- Types of people
Step Three: Make a List of Items
Your scavenger hunt clues for children will typically be in simple list form. You'll create a list of items kids have to find and they'll check off each item as they find it. You can create your own list or copy the items from an online list to the template.
- Keep your list to ten or fewer items for younger kids.
- Use pictures instead of words for your list with kids who can't read.
- Make a list of 20 or more items for older kids.
- Add some easy items and some difficult items so kids can be challenged, but also feel successful.
- Use words kids will understand. For example, if you typically call pajamas "PJs," use the word "PJs" on your list.
Step Four: Set a Time Limit
Most scavenger hunts have a time limit, but you can leave the activity open to however long it takes to complete the list. Younger kids have shorter attention spans, so they may not be interested in hunting for more than 15 to 20 minutes. Older kids could complete a scavenger hunt that takes place across hours or even days. By setting a time limit, you make the activity more challenging and denote a clear end time for the activity.
Step Six: Set the Rules
Scavenger hunts typically need some rules or parameters to ensure safety and help kids show that they've actually found the items they say they've found.
- Describe the scavenger hunt location boundaries in detail.
- Tell kids how to show they've found an item. They might have to show it to you before they can check it off or even take a picture of each item.
- If you have multiple kids completing the hunt, set rules about how they can interact during the activity to keep the peace.
- You can set a prize for completing the hunt if you want.
Step Seven: Start the Hunt
To start any scavenger hunt, make sure kids know the rules and guidelines. Give them all the tools they need to complete the hunt.
- If kids are checking items off a list, put it on a clipboard with a pencil attached to a string and the clipboard.
- If kids have to actually collect the list items, make sure they have a basket or bucket to hold their items.
- If kids need to take photos of the items, make sure they have a camera they know how to use.
Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun and easy activities kids can do on their own or with others. A scavenger hunt can be educational or just for fun. Use the printable scavenger hunt templates to create your own unique hunts.