Hunting for Joy (Easy Scavenger Hunts for All)


scavenger hunt

During this time of being homebound, my family and I have re-discovered our love for scavenger hunts. It has become a new way for us to get exercise and spend time together without having to do much prep or clean up. 

We started with the traditional outdoor scavenger hunt. I planted objects that we then challenged the children to find. If you have a close neighborhood, families can do a giant scavenger hunt with minimal effort. (On rainy days, we do car scavenger hunts, like the #203rainbowhunt).

Since there have been more rainy days than I’d like to count, we’ve also started doing indoor scavenger hunts. My younger son likes them the best because he knows all the items (and has probably hidden them too!). The indoor scavenger hunts are usually themed and timed. Our most successful indoor hunt so far has been Trolls themed. While playing “Can’t Stop the Music,” everyone was challenged to find as many Troll related toys in the house.

The second level is the unknown scavenger hunt. For this, we just list a dozen things we think we will be able to find. We have been doing this one based on the seasonal changes, like birds, buds, and squirrels. These spontaneous scavenger hunts are great if you are hiking/walking in new areas. If you have multi-age children, they can create a mystery list for each other, for a fun twist.

Fancier hunts, like Geocaching, are better suited for older childer. Another way to diversify your hunt if you have an age gap to deal with is to add having to take a picture or have the older child read the list and record it. If you have only older kids, you can hide riddles as clues for them to solve.  

Any way you slice it, scavenger hunts can be a fun activity for the whole family and an excellent way to add some fun to the day. Want some help starting? Here are 75 free printable scavenger hunts to choose from. Do you have a favorite scavenger hunt I left out?

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Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.


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