Scavenger Hunts for Families of All Ages

Summer is here, and finding fun ways to get the family outside and active can be tricky.

Luckily, at Dream Dinners, our mission is to help families spend more quality time together! Tuesday, May 24th is National Scavenger Hunt Day, and we can’t think of a better way to get the family outside having fun together. In honor of National Scavenger Hunt Day, we’ve put together three different scavenger hunts for families of every age group. Choose the scavenger hunt that appeals to you most, set aside a day, collect your materials, and get ready for a fun-packed day with the family. Happy National Scavenger Hunt Day!

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Young Children)

Not only is a nature scavenger hunt a fun way to get the family outside, but it is also a fun way to educate everyone about local nature! The first step in putting together a nature scavenger hunt for the family is to choose your location. When selecting a place, there are several things you want to keep in mind. Ensure you pick a safe area with no dangers like poison ivy, wildlife, or cliffs. You also want to be sure to find a location where you can keep an eye on everybody so that nobody gets lost! Be sure that the place you choose includes everything on your hunt list. Remember, you can hide items on your hunt list within the location you choose yourself, so don’t get too hung up on this. Once you’ve chosen your area, it’s time to put together your list! We’ve put together a sample list for you. Still, these items and actions may vary based on your location and what nature is available around you. Feel free to tweak this hunt list in any way that makes sense for your family! Some of the more straightforward items on the list are a great hands-on way to help boost vocabulary for any toddlers in the family. If your family doesn’t have any toddlers, feel free to get rid of anything that may seem too simple. The scavenger hunt rules are to collect/complete all items on the list, and whoever is first to finish wins the search. If you have a bigger family or want to invite other family members or friends, feel free to pair up and create teams. The first team to collect everything on the list wins!

 Nature Scavenger Hunt List:

  • Collect one big rock and one small rock; the big rock must be at least double the size of the smaller rock!
  • Collect one tall piece of grass and one short piece of grass
  • Collect two pieces of grass that are very different shades of color
  • Collect one smooth rock and one rough rock
  • Collect three yellow flowers
  • Collect two rocks that look the same (the most identical you can find)
  • Collect 2 twigs
  • Collect 3 leaves
  • Collect 1 pine cone
  • Check this off your list when you see any animal (bunny, squirrel, deer)
  • Find a butterfly and write down what color it was
  • Find a ladybug; when you see one, say hello and check this off your list
  • Find the tallest tree you can find and stand under it for 30 seconds; count out loud
  • For this next part of the hunt, lay down and look at the sky, and check these items as complete once you see them:
  • A bird flying
  • Three clouds shaped differently (write down the three shapes you see here)
  • An airplane in the sky
  • Close your eyes and take ten big, deep breaths. When you’re finished, cross this off and head to the finish line to turn in your items and list!

Treasure Scavenger Hunt (Middle-School-Aged Children)

A treasure scavenger hunt is a great idea if your family includes children who are a little bit older or if you prefer to stay in the house for your hunt. This scavenger hunt will definitely get everyone’s brains working, as it includes hidden treasure objects and clues on where to find them! The treasure scavenger hunt will use a list of clues hidden around different parts of the house. The players all try to solve the riddle to find the next clue. Whoever gets to the next clue first takes it with them, reads it to themselves, and then continues to the next part of the house to solve the following riddle. Make sure you leave enough clues written on paper for each family member to grab when they find it. Whoever solves all of the puzzles and finds the last clue first will discover the final hidden treasure and win the scavenger hunt. Here are sample clues that you can use in the house with your family (feel free to tweak anything that makes more sense for your specific home). Start by handing everyone the first clue, all head to different parts of the house where you will read the hint simultaneously, and then let the race begin!

Treasure Scavenger Hunt Clues:

First clue: I have four legs, but I don’t have feet. I come in handy when it is time to eat! Answer: Dining room table. Hide the second clue on top of the dining room table.

Second clue: I get cold, but my other door gets colder. I keep food fresh and help it from getting older! Answer: Refrigerator. Hide the third clue inside the fridge!

Third Clue: You’re already standing very close to me; I’ll give you cubes and lots of cold treats! Answer: Freezer. Hide the fourth clue in the freezer.

Fourth Clue: For fast heating or cooking, I am on top. Put popcorn inside me, and it will pop! Answer:  Microwave. Hide the fifth clue in the microwave.

Fifth Clue: When people look at me, I show their faces. Find me in the bathroom, amongst other places! Answer: Mirror. Hide the sixth clues on one of the mirrors in your house!

Sixth Clue: Turn me on, and I’ll give you light. You can use me during the day, but I’m used more at night! Answer: Lamp. Hide the seventh clues by a lamp in the house!

Seventh clue: I take the dirty and make it clean; that stain on your shirt will no longer be! Answer: Washing Machine. Hide the eighth clues by the washing machine.

Eighth Clue: You’ll fill me up and then drain me when done; adding bubbles to me makes me more fun! Answer: Bathtub. Hide the next clue in the bathtub.

Ninth Clue: In me, you’ll find bills, letters, and more. When someone sends you something, it comes through my door! Answer: Mailbox. Hide the next clue in the mailbox.

Tenth Clue: Head back inside if you want to find me. I am where you sit when you’re watching TV! Answer: Couch. Hide the last clue under a couch cushion.

Final Clue: For the final clue, I will take you to the treasure. Turn on your thinking cap, and you will find it better. This is where our family spends quality time. After dinner is cooked, it is where we dine! I am where the first clue was found, but this time you have to look on the ground! Answer: The dining room table again, but underneath! Either make sure the treasure is hidden very well, or hide it under the table while your family is in the middle of the treasure hunt occupying other rooms.

Make the treasure anything you think would be a fun prize for everyone in the family! Is there a fun game the kids have been wanting? Make that the treasure! You could even make the treasure a box of baked goods that the winner can choose to share, so it feels like everybody wins. Have fun with this treasure hunt, and be creative with your treasure hunt prize!

Photo Treasure Hunt (Tweens and Teens)

A photo treasure hunt involves the entire family finding interesting things and using a camera to capture the pictures. If you have older children or more adults in the family, this can be a super fun treasure hunt where you can drive to new places for different photo ops. Feel free to tweak this photo scavenger hunt in any way you feel fits best for your family. Pass out a scavenger hunt sheet, including everything you need to photograph. Once you’ve checked everything off the list and gotten a picture with everything, meet back in the spot where you started. Whoever returns with a camera roll full of photos from the scavenger hunt list first wins!

Photo Treasure Hunt List:

Take a picture of…

  • Your favorite food currently in the fridge
  • Something yellow inside the house
  • An object that begins with the letter “Y”
  • Something shiny
  • An insect
  • A bird
  • A tall tree
  • Something with a handle
  • Something in the sky
  • A silly face
  • A flower
  • Something new
  • Something old
  • Something that rhymes with “care”
  • Something short
  • Something tall
  • Something soft
  • Something with wheels
  • Something heavy
  • A funny pose
  • A shadow
  • A trash can
  • A fire hydrant
  • A mailbox
  • Something fluffy
  • Something you love

After everyone is finished with this scavenger hunt, gather around the table with family and compare pictures! Looking through the photos together is a great way to spend more quality time together, and lots of laughs are guaranteed. If you’re looking for a prize for your treasure hunt, any treats from our Sides & Sweets Freezer would be a great choice! Encourage the scavenger hunt winner to share the wealth so the entire family can enjoy some delicious baked goods. We hope you enjoy our scavenger hunts and have fun getting active with the family. Have a great National Scavenger Hunt Day!