Kids love scavenger hunts and Summer is a great time to host one. Scavenger hunts are so much fun that your kids will ask to play them over and over again so try some of these kids scavenger hunt ideas to add variety to their play. It’s a great way to get kids playing outdoors in the fresh air and it doesn’t really matter if they make a mess outdoors! So, add a little variety to your summer treasure hunt planning and try one of these ideas.
Use a sandbox or find a great spot at the beach to bury plastic dinosaurs and/or bones in the sand. If you do this at the beach, mark out the location with some tent stakes and string. Keep a note of how many items you hid so that you don’t leave any behind. Assign points to different types if you want to give the game an extra twist, but it’s not necessary. Kids will enjoy the thrill of digging for the buried fossils regardless. If possible, give each child a pail and a shovel. Then, let the hunt begin. The child who finds the most dinosaurs/bones in the allotted time wins. If the children are very young, let them keep the dinosaurs they find as a prize.
Panning for Gold
Spray paint some tiny stones gold and use a hard plastic swimming pool or sandbox to mix more unpainted stones and lots of sand and water. Make sure to use non toxic paint. Get a steel sieve for each of the kids (they are available at most discount stores) and use them to pan for gold. Of course, the water is going to get sloshed but it really does not matter if you are outdoors! The child who finds the most gold in the allotted time wins. Please note: It is important that the stones you use are very tiny or it will be too easy for the children to spot them without sifting through the sand and other stones.
Jigsaw Puzzle Hunt
Get a kid’s jigsaw puzzle that has large pieces (20 or less is optimal). Hide the puzzle pieces all over the play area. Kids have to find the pieces and put the puzzle together to win. This is great to do as a race between teams. If you are playing this way, then paint the backs of each team’s puzzle pieces a different color. Tell them to rehide any pieces they find which do not belong to their team.
Nature Scavenger Hunt Bingo
Make up some blank bingo cards and get the kids to write or draw in a different nature item in each square. Then, have them trade cards with someone else and send them out to find the items on their card. Play till someone gets a bingo or a full card.
Similar to a scavenger hunt, treasure hunts are a great option for older kids. The clues are more complex and involve solving puzzles such as mazes, ciphers or math problems in order to find the place where the next clue is hiding.
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