How to Make Clue Cards for a Scavenger Hunt

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For your child's next birthday party or your employer's next outing, put together a scavenger hunt. Hunts promote teamwork and are a fun way to spend a few hours. Know your players when writing out clues for a scavenger hunt. For younger ages, use simple clues and those with pictures, while more complicated clues should be written out for adults. Scout out the area of the scavenger hunt before writing out the clues.


List the item, but be specific. For example write: "One piece of pink tissue paper" rather than just "tissue paper."

Take a photo of the item or include a stock photo of the item on each clue card. If the hunt is outdoors, include photos of pine cones, a stick, leaf, rock or a flower. Write the item's name on the back of the card. So for a pine cone, one side would have a photo of a pine cone while the other side will simply have the word "pine cone."

Write out simple tasks for teenagers to complete. For example, if the hunt is taking place at a mall, write out clues such as, "photo of team member riding the escalator," "photo of a team member shaking the hand of a person from mall security" or "entire team next to mannequins, resembling their poses."

Include a stack of word scramble task cards when writing clue cards. Write the scramble on one side of the card and have the players write the answer on the other side of the card. Once they figure out the scamble, they must find that object for the full point value.


Write out more complicated clues and include photo tasks that are more challenging. These clues may require a bit of research before they are executed, because everything will be more detailed and won't be as obvious.

Use questions when writing out cards, which require specific answers. For example, if the hunt is taking place at a mall, write out a clue that says, "Go to A7. What pattern is being worn by the mannequin on the far right?" The team must then figure out what "A7" means. A7 may refer to a store's location on the mall's directory. The team must look at the directory, find out where the store is, and look at the mannequin on the far right at that specific store. The team must then write on the back of the card what the pattern is that the mannequin is wearing.

Include specific, more challenging tasks that the team must complete. For example, "photo of one team member serenading a stranger," "photo of team member taking food off a person's plate" or "20-second video of entire team dancing in the middle of the mall."

Things You'll Need

  • Index cards
  • Pen
  • Cameras


  • Set a time limit for the hunt so that everyone arrives back around the same time. Include how many points each task is worth, if you're keeping track of points. Create a slide show at the end of the hunt of the photos that all the team members were able to take. Play the show so that everyone may see the photos.


  • If kids are going somewhere by themselves in groups, assign an adult chaperon to each group.