Teenagers may consider themselves a little old for scavenger hunts, but that's only because most scavenger hunts are designed for younger children. With a little tweaking, however, you can adjust the scavenger hunt format to work quite well with teens, making for a fun outing, party game or just a way to make an afternoon with friends more interesting.
You can turn any normal outing or trip into a scavenger hunt using one of a teen's favorite gadgets—the camera phone. Before arriving at a destination, prepare a list of interesting sites to see. Look for both expected sites, and more unusual things such as "a park ranger with black hair" to photograph. As the teens go through the event, they can look for and take pictures of each object on the list. Make sure they ask for permission before taking pictures of any people. They can take pictures of themselves next to the objects if you wish, giving them an instant set of scrapbook items as well as a fun game. The one with the most pictures checked off their list wins the prize—something teens would respond to, such as a few MP3 downloads or a data stick.
Scavenger hunts in the mall could be an easy sell for teens. While some scavenger hunts can involve purchases at the mall, that can get expensive. Better options involve collecting free things, such as flyers, coupons, restaurant menus, free samples of things like perfume or magazines, and movie theater stubs. You might also perform a bargain hunting scavenger hunt: set a list of purchasable items, and then have the participants record the lowest cost of each that they can find. Whoever's list runs the cheapest wins the hunt.
Nighttime scavenger hunts can be dangerous for small children, but teens should have no problems with it. Paint some simple household items such as pennies, plastic toys or tennis balls in glow-in-the-dark paint, then scatter them about your yard and have the participants hunt them down. If you have a little money, you can purchase glow-in-the-dark items like bracelets and use them as well. Make sure you expose all of the items to plenty of light before you place them out, and that you remove any obstacles or safety concerns from the area before you turn the lights off to prevent injuries.
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