Outside Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

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If you're thinking about planning a group activity for kids, try organizing an outdoor scavenger hunt. In a scavenger hunt, each person or team is given a list of clues or objects to find. The first team to collect all of the objects on the list wins. If you plan a kids' scavenger hunt outside, you have the opportunity to incorporate animals and objects from nature into the game.

Nature Hunt

If you take kids to a park, a lake or out into your backyard, plan a nature scavenger hunt for them. You will want to make sure ahead of time that there are no fire ants or poison ivy in the vicinity by talking to a park ranger or researching the location online. Create a list of objects in nature that the kids must find. You can have them search for such items as a nut, a rock, a flower, a piece of wood and a feather. Make sure that you provide each child with a bucket in which to place her items.

Glow-in-the-Dark Hunt

Instead of having kids take part in a scavenger hunt during the day, create a nighttime glow-in-the-dark hunt. Purchase from a craft store small tubes or bottles of glow-in-the-dark paint. There are different types of objects that you can paint and hide outside for kids to find. You may want to paint small objects like coins or apples, or you can paint symbols or letters on objects (such as stones) around the yard. Instead of glow-in-the-dark paint, you can also purchase glow-in-the-dark items, like bracelets or necklaces, from dollar stores.

Animal Hunt

If you have a day trip planned to take a group of kids to either a zoo or a farm, have the kids take part in an educational animal scavenger hunt. Create a list of animal clues for kids to take to the zoo. You can ask kids to find a mammal that swims, a colorful bird, an animal that hops, the smallest animal and the largest animal. If you go to a farm, you can expand it to include items that are grown, as well as animals. Ask the kids to find such things as a vegetable that grows underground, an animal with feathers, a fruit that grows on trees and an animal with no beak.

Holiday Hunt

If a holiday is around the corner, you may consider creating a holiday-themed scavenger hunt for kids. For an Easter hunt, give each child an Easter basket or bag to use to collect his items. Design a list of scavenger clues and hide items such as bunny toys, carrots or plastic Easter eggs filled with candy around the yard for the kids to find. For a New Year's scavenger hunt, divide kids into teams and give them bags to collect their items in. Give each team a list of clues that will lead to items like balloons, New Year's hats or noisemakers.