Want to liven things up with a fun activity that can be done anytime, anywhere, for the cost of a few trinkets or treats?
In this article you’ll find 10 scavenger hunt ideas (with printable checklists) that you can do right now with your kids. A scavenger hunt adds an element of competition, urgency and excitement to any everyday event and makes it something special. Both treasure hunts and scavenger hunts send players (often in teams) on an exciting search that leads to a prize, but there’s a slight difference between the two. In a treasure hunt, players follow a series of clues, often posed as riddles, along a predetermined path that leads to a treasure.
One of the great things about scavenger hunts is that you don’t have to spend time making and hiding clues.
If you’re planning a scavenger hunt for a birthday party or other large group, assign teams as evenly as possible. With a mixed-ages team, make sure the little kids don’t get left behind in the excitement. Or place all of the little kids on a team together and give them a separate (easier or shorter) list. Once you hand out the lists, you’ll lose their attention, so set the ground rules first.
If you use a paper bag to collect the items in, you can write the list directly on the bag. Assign a reliable timekeeper to each team so they’ll know when to return to the finish line. A neighborhood (or backyard) scavenger hunt is a great way to get the kids outside, doing something fun. A door-to-door scavenger hunt sends players around the neighborhood to ask for common household items. An outdoor scavenger hunt is another way to search around the neighborhood without knocking on any doors.
The fitness scavenger hunt includes an extra element of exercise to the search (beyond the running that kids already do in their excitement to find everything).
An indoor scavenger hunt is a great way to add some excitement to rainy days, waiting in line or any time spent inside. Send kids searching for things around the house every time you lose your keys (just kidding!). Or encourage kids to interact with people and help develop their social skills when they talk to and collect signatures from people who meet requirements on the list: find someone from another country, someone who works at the same company as Dad, etc. Whether you’re driving across town or across the country, a road trip scavenger hunt is a great way to pass the time and keep your family engaged with each other during the ride. The game continued throughout our week-long trip and we found all but two US states, plus several states in Mexico and provinces in Canada.
A nature scavenger hunt is a wonderful way to help kids open their eyes to the world around them and look at things a little more closely.
Include some fun things on the list, like the most unusual thing you see, the most expensive item for sale, something you want to get for yourself, etc. What a surprise when one group arrived with a pizza (bonus points if it’s still warm), three cups each from three different water coolers and with a bunch of other random stuff. Kids can’t drive around town, but you can send them searching through the pantry and refrigerator for ingredients (along with other random items from around the house).
For many art or craft projects, you need to gather materials from various places, like the leaf stained glass from Sarah Shipley or the A-Z outdoor photos from Jillian Kay. Room cleaning race: Make a list of things cluttering their rooms and watch the kids race to gather it all up first.
In my cleanup scavenger hunt article, I showed you how to turn a community service project—cleaning up trash—into a great group activity that helps teach kids to take care of their town. Themed scavenger hunts are the perfect activity for birthday parties, scout meetings or other group activities that follow a theme.
Things found on a scavenger hunt (like these hats) can be used for other games or party favors.
Next time you take the kids to a library, museum or historic landmark, you can make a list of things for them to find or do during your visit, like this library scavenger hunt by Christina Kettman.
Think beyond school texts and try this with a dictionary or reference book, a magazine or something fun and surprising like Ripley’s Believe it or Not or Guinness Book of World Records. A photo scavenger hunt like the nature photo scavenger hunt from Len Bishop is a good option if you want players to search for things that can’t be physically collected.
A reverse photo scavenger hunt uses pictures instead of words on the list of things to find. An online scavenger hunt like this Google Earth scavenger hunt is another way to use technology for fun (and the kids may learn something in the process). When players return to the finish line with their loot, check it against their lists and award a prize to the winners. Scavenger hunts can help make everyday things a little more fun by introducing an extra element of excitement and competitiveness. Jennifer Ballard is the associate editor for My Kids’ Adventures where her past experience as a Cubmaster, birthday party entrepreneur, marketing writer and mom of two boys fits together and finds relevance. As a summer camp director; scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are two of our top favorite activities of campers.


I like the idea of a neighborhood scavenger hunt, but do you think neighbors will actually be open to the thought of children showing up at their doorstep asking for random things? I am told that the manner by which others understand that I am busy is when my writing coherence suffers.
Our focus groups and recent conversations with middle school, high school and university students have been enlightening, to say the least. Halloween is just around the corner and today I wanted to showcase even more DIY Halloween Costume Ideas that you can create using commonly found items at your Goodwill Store. Head on over to the Goodwill Tips Blog to find out how to make these 7 easy and affordable Halloween Costumes.
Halloween is just around the corner and today I want to showcase eight easy DIY Halloween Costumes you can create using items found at your local thrift store. A couple of hardback books from your local thrift shop can be transformed into a unique and adorable book fairy costume. Couple costumes can be challenging, but with few things from your closet and a little help from the local thrift shop, it can be easy to create your look for less. I think my favorite accessory that I am wearing is my husband’s bow tie from a prom we attended together.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, and thrifty ways to spruce up your home.
Holiday Decorating 2010 by Pottery Barn - DigsDigs Search for: BEGIN TYPING YOUR SEARCH ABOVE AND PRESS RETURN TO SEARCH. As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.Click here to learn more.
Whether you have one child or a large group, it’s an easy way to add fun to an ordinary day and beat the boredom blues.
And I’ll share tips and tricks to help you create your own scavenger hunt anytime, anywhere.
Scavenger hunts are usually thought of for parties or other large groups, but they’re just as fun for small families or even individual children. They’re great for parties, but equally fun for rainy days, car trips, visits to new places, meeting new people or any time kids get bored. There is no set path as players scavenge around and search for all of the items on the list.
Avoid placing all of the big kids or more dominant kids on one team and all the little or more timid kids on another.
Think about rules you want them to follow during the hunt and be sure to explain the rules before you hand out the lists to your teams. Are players supposed to gather the items and bring them to the finish line, take a picture or video of each item, obtain someone’s signature or initials or just check items off the list once they’ve been found? These may work for adults or teenagers, but they’re confusing for younger kids and may lead to arguments. A scavenger hunt is a good opportunity to teach kids about sportsmanship and winning or losing graciously. It’s easy—just put together a list of things to find outside in your backyard, your neighborhood or a local park and send them looking.
Bring some sunshine to a rainy day or a sick day with a scavenger hunt for items around the house.
When my family drove to the Grand Canyon, we agreed to check the license plates we saw along the way and keep track of all of the states we saw. Make a list of license plates where you live and spend your next family trip trying to find them all.
Amy Dunn Moscoso shows us how to make plaster casts of animal footprints once you’ve found them. Split your grocery list up, give each child a list and see who comes back with all the correct items first.
Each carload of friends was given a list of things to gather around town and arrived at a park for a picnic dinner.
Surprise them at the end of the hunt when you make a meal or treat from the things they found.
It’s a great way to break a big, daunting job into small, easy steps and chip away at a monster mess. Since themed items may not be commonly found around the house, neighborhood or meeting site for your group, you may need to hide some things yourself. Guests had to visit the bank to get some money, then find the shops (tables) to buy wands, robes, spellbooks and other items they’d be using in the other games during the party. List facts, passages, pictures or questions that can be found and answered by looking them up in a book.
A book scavenger hunt is also a great way for a youth group or Sunday school class to identify Bible verses.
Players first identify what’s in the photos and then go find the item and take a matching photo. Once you start thinking about all of the things that you could turn into a scavenger hunt, it will be hard to stop! Last year I compiled a really great list of Easy DIY Halloween Costumes that were truly a hit with our readers.
This list of easy DIY Halloween Costumes will hopefully help you gather some great ideas for throwing together a great costume and save you money in the process, thanks to being able to find many of these items at your local thrift store.


This easy baby aerobics instructor outfit looks like an easy DIY to put together and I promise, it will be a memorable costume. Using a hot glue gun, book pages, and the covers of the books to create your fairy wings you can create an entire costume from simply rolling paper for an adorable skirt! This paper doll costume can be created using the free template provided, poster board, and a little foam core. My husband & I created this costume for less than $20 and had an absolute blast putting it together. I found it in a box of mementos from our high school days and it was a fun memory to wear at the annual Halloween costume party. The Redbox costume was created using spray paint, a box, and snagging some of the Redbox images from Google.
Paint a beard on your child’s face, dress them in their most tired looking play clothes, mismatch their shoes,  and add a cardboard sign from your recycle bin.
Head to your local thrift store to pick up a tie, shirt, and heavy glasses for Clark Kent, and dress him in a Superman shirt underneath. What was once a time to grab a sheet and be a ghost or peek around your house for easy costumes made from your mom or dad’s wardrobe has escalated into a spending frenzy of decorating, costuming, and trick-or-treat candy madness. Be sure to visit my article on Scary Deals on Halloween Costumes and head on over to the Goodwill Tips blog to check out eight easy DIY Halloween costumes you could create from the store and with found items around the house! Nothing brings me more joy then to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! The player or team who finds everything on the list first or finds the most items before the time is up wins. Is it OK to collect multiple items from a single place, or is each location limited to one? You can award a participation prize to everyone, but make sure the winners get something extra.
Bethany Winston offers suggestions for a park scavenger hunt in tip #10 of her Park Adventures article. You could send kids on a search for different flowers, trees, crops or different colors or shapes they find in nature. Make a list of common swap meet stuff and have kids take pictures of the treasures (and the trash) they find. Make the checklist challenging for older kids or even adults by taking pictures at unusual angles or extremely close up. Whenever something I had to teach them seemed a little too dry, I’d figure out a way to turn it into a game (and the game often ended up being a scavenger hunt). Luckily, I was able to find seven more DIY Halloween costumes that I think would be easy to pull off and oh-so-affordable thanks to Goodwill.
Create a baby headband from a thrift store t-shirt, cut the bottoms off of a pair of socks to create baby leggings, and use your baby’s onsie and leggings to complete the look. Add your daughter’s laciest socks and a pair of Mary Jane and you have a real-life paper doll to trick-or-treat with.
Head to your local thrift shop to grab a green fitted sheet to cover your stroller, create the Cabbage Patch box, and then cover your baby in yarn pigtails. Today I am showcasing Easy DIY Halloween Costumes that you can create for your family using items found from your local Goodwill Store. You already should think about such things as thanksgiving table decorations, decorating a Christmas tree, christmas centerpieces and all other holiday decors. Get helpPassword recoveryRecover your passwordyour email A password will be e-mailed to you. Be sure to include a special treat for each child to add to the cart once his or her list is complete.
I never realized the difference either, until I worked here and had to categorize the articles!! Pottery Barn has already released the Holiday 2010 catalog that will help you to choose all these decorations. Their new products are more than enough to decorate your home for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas.
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