Fun Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas


Get the entire family moving by creating a lively scavenger hunt in your backyard or neighborhood.

With Summer in full swing, finding fun and affordable family activities to keep children entertained is likely at the top of every Mother's list. Creating fun outdoor activities with children is a great way to incorporate exercise and family bonding into Summer fun. A fun activity that will get the entire family involved is creating a lively scavenger hunt in your backyard or neighborhood.

Related: Keep kids busy building forts

Get creative, scavenger hunts don't have to be the type that you may remember as a child. Incorporate aspects of technology and for younger children incorporate their learning of letters and colors into your list.

Scavenger Hunts are Easy

I love that they are an unplugged way to get kids moving...especially during summer break. Here's how they work

  • Designate the start time and gather the players. Hunts can be in teams or individual, but teams are more fun!
  • Create a list of things to find, hear or do. I've included some ideas below.
  • Create a time limit and set boundaries to keep things safe.
  • And they're off. Give children the list and let them scavenge around and find, smell or do all of the things on their list. They'll check off the items as they go. 
  • The player or team who ticks everything off on their list first, or ticks off the most items before the time is up, wins.

Four Fun Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Idea

Here are a few fun ideas for creating a fun, family friendly scavenger hunt:

  1. Photo Scavenger Hunt: We may remember the day of collecting our found items in a brown paper bag. For older children with cell phones or tablets consider a photo challenge. This will work their photography skills and keep their hands from touching dirty things! Have them upload their findings to their social media accounts with a family created hashtag.
  2. Create a picture list for Non Readers: Children that can't yet read don't need to be left out of the fun. Draw or find a clip art photo of the item and write the name of the object next to it to help them recognize letters and sounds.
  3. Create Interpretation Clues: Give a few descriptors and see what they come back with. For example, Something that is small and green and can be used indoors. You will likely get different items at the end of the hunt but everyone will be a winner that completes the task.
  4. Letter Based Lists: Have participants bring back an object for each letter of their first name. For seasonal hunts require an object that begins with each letter of the season.

If you live in an apartment building text a few of your friends and send the kids up the stairs and down the halls--it can be a fun way to meet new neighbors.

Free Scavenger Hunt Printables

To help you get started, here are some resources for free printables.


  1. Printable gratitude activities for kids
  2. Create a cozy reading nook for kids
  3. Toddler Puzzles and Sorting Games


Need more ideas on what to do with the kids? Be sure to follow our Activities to Do with the Kids board on Pinterest here.

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