Easy Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids and Free Printables

Planning a family scavenger hunt at home has never been so easy! Just print out our free lists and clues and you're ready to track down an afternoon of fun.

Caucasian girl with notebook in backyard
Photo: Marc Romanelli/Getty Images

Looking to entertain your kids? Why not send them on a scavenger hunt! Wherever you are, you probably have most of these items on hand, and you'll just need to print out our lists or some blank templates of your own.

How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt

What to Print:

  • 4 Easy Scavenger Hunt Lists
  • Blank Scavenger Hunt List template
  • Award Winner coloring page

How to Play:

  1. Set boundaries for the game, such as living room only, or just the backyard.
  2. Use our Easy Scavenger Hunt Lists to get inspired as to what items to use, or print our blank Scavenger Hunt List template and fill in your own things to hunt.
  3. Hide the items, or choose things that will be easy enough to find in your setting (but not too easy!), such as a round rock in a backyard, or a TV remote in a living room.
  4. Set a timer, and let your players (or teams) find all of the items on the list. For little kids, use just five items (one list); for bigger kids, use more than one list or give each player/team a different list.
  5. The first ones to find everything when time's up win an award—you can print our free Award Winner coloring page or pick a small prize or treat!

Want to take your hunt to the next level? Add some treasure! All you need to do is print our free treasure hunt clues, grab a pen, and take a few minutes to hide the clues from your kids. If you've got more time and imagination, you can also opt to print our blank Treasure Hunt Clue template instead.

How to Plan a Treasure Hunt

What to Print:

  • 5 Reusable Treasure Hunt Clues
  • Blank Treasure Hung Clue template
  • Treasure Chest
  • Award Winner coloring page

How to Play:

  1. On each clue sheet, write in the words of where you are hiding the next clue. (Get inspired by our clue ideas below!)
  2. Put the clues in their places plus the all-important final Treasure Chest printable. Hint: It sometimes helps to keep a list for yourself of where you put the clues. Appeal to their sense of adventure by making them really hunt for and solve the clues, both mentally and physically!
  3. Let your kids find the clues, one at a time. Once a child has found and read the clue, she should put it back where she found it so others can find it, too.
  4. More ways to make it fun: With a larger group, you can have players return to a central location when a clue is found so everyone knows when that is, have the player(s) finding the clue shout out. This way everyone can hear the clue being read aloud, and go off in search of the next one at the same time.
  5. Another variation: Create two sets of clues, one for each team. (Or as many teams as you want.) Mark the clues with the team's name. Each team has to find its clues only, but there's one treasure at the end.
  6. At the end, the player or team that finds the Treasure Chest printable first wins! You can have a small prize or treat at the finish, too, or use our Award Winner coloring page. To make it fair for a larger party, have everyone come back to a central location after they find the Treasure Chest; the team that comes in first wins, but make sure there are enough prizes or awards for everyone who played.

Fun Treasure Hunt Clue Ideas for Kids

Clues for Little Kids: For instance, for clue #1, you'd write "Keep your eyes open near the __________" and fill in "tree," "swings," "couch" or wherever. Help them read the words as they find the clues; you can also draw a picture of the location.

Clues for Big Kids: Write in a place that they have to puzzle out. For instance, "tree" might be "place where birds make their nests," "swings" might be "place where you pump your legs," or "couch" might be "place that has arms but isn't a person."

Using Blank Clues: Write in your own description of where the seekers should look next. Make rhymes, or customize using family lore or language (like, "Now look where Daddy takes off his slippers"). Print out as many copies of the Blank Clues as you need.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles