Kids Playing Outside

Family Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fun and engaging activity that can provide hours of fun for the whole family! The awesome part is that they can be done anywhere. Take the family outside during a sunny day and explore nature, or turn your home into an adventure movie if it's raining outdoors! Whether you’re searching for treasure—or maybe an activity to keep the kids busy during your next conference call—our neighbors from the YMCA of Greater Brandywine in Pennsylvania have put together a few ideas to get you started.

Find Hidden Treasure with Geocaching

Join a community with millions of hidden treasures across the United States. Geocaching is an activity that uses GPS-enabled devices to help hunters locate treasures, most of which are hidden in plain sight. Download a free geocaching app (Geocaching is one of the most popular) to locate a hidden cache near you! You can also watch this video to learn more about geocaching.

Design your own Treasure Map

Design a sequential treasure hunt where your kids have to find a series of clues that lead you closer and closer to the treasure. Make it fun and educational as the kids have to read clues, decipher hints, and learn to use a map. Once they’ve learned the process, turn the tables and let the kids design the next adventure!

Make a Goosechase

Send your family on a wild goose chase using the app of the same name. This free app lets you create and organize your own scavenger hunts or join in on someone else’s. Goosechase is a great way to get the family moving while still having tons of fun. Download the app and create a digital scavenger hunt and challenge the whole neighborhood to play! Download the app now.

Turn Reading into a Treasure Hunt

For older kids, try turning reading time into a treasure hunt with a list or bingo board of vocabulary or sight words. As your kids do their reading, they search for their list of words to find. Set a reward at the end—maybe increased screen time, outside play, or a sweet treat—the more words they find, the bigger the reward! 

For younger kids, try a letter hunt. Write the letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper, sticky notes, or tape. Set a timer and “hunt” for items in your home or yard that start with each letter of the alphabet. 

Play with Themes

Explore the outdoors with your own nature bingo board, take a walk around the neighborhood and complete a neighborhood scavenger hunt, or search for a rainbow of colors with a color hunt. A themed scavenger hunt can be an exciting and unique way to learn something new or turn a normal activity into an adventure. If these are a hit, browse Pinterest for more creative ideas!

Find a Four Leaf Clover

Have some fun with the original backyard treasure hunt and search for a four-leaf clover in your yard or on your next family walk. Not only will it keep the little ones busy, but according to some, it also brings good luck! Finding a four-leaf clover is rare, but if you do find one, follow these directions to preserve it! If you’re unable to find a four-leaf clover, collect flowers, leaves, or plenty of three-leaf clovers to press or preserve.