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How To Plan a Scavenger Hunt For Kids
August 26, 2015

by Ethan Hipple
 
Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Perfect for young and old alike, this activity—also known as a treasure hunt in some family circles—lends itself to camping trips, birthday parties, even your own backyard. From close-to-home forays to summer-long hunts all over New England, an outdoor scavenger hunt introduces a healthy dose of competition and discovery while giving kids a chance to try new experiences. As a family, we’ve made them a part of our outdoor adventures for years. Here’s how to plan your own scavenger hunt.
 
Checklist Competitions
During a down day on a multi-day paddling trip, the kids were restless and looking for something to do. Solution? A nature-based treasure hunt around the island we were staying on. The quickest and easiest way is to make a list of items to find, and whoever finds them first wins. If you have cameras or smartphones handy, you can add a documentation element to the hunt.
 
Armed with their lists, the kids raced around the campsite and the surrounding woods for an hour, checking items off their lists. Whoever got their list checked off first got an extra piece of chocolate at dessert. A sampling of what they had to find:
• Birch bark
• Frog
• Bird
• Moss
• Mushroom
• Acorn
• Squirrel
• Pine cone
• Animal scat
• Animal print
• Snakeskin
• Natural object colored blue
• Piece of trash
 
Unlike the previous items, whose locations they noted but left in place, the kids picked up pieces of trash and added them to our carry-out bag: a game and LNT lesson, all in one.
 
Clue and Route-based Teamwork
When you want to take a team-based approach, you can hide a list of clues, one leading to the next, with a prize waiting at the end. You can do this right in your backyard or on a camping trip or outing. The kids work together to solve the clues; for example, in a backyard hunt, the first couple of clues might go like this:
 
“This tree has white bark that burns easily and makes an excellent fire starter. Go here for your next clue!” (Destination: birch tree.)
And the next clue: “Now that you’ve found the birch, look for the home of earthworms, vegetable scraps, and grass clippings.” (Destination: compost pile.)
 
Tailor your clues to your kids’ age group and interests—and get creative with your prizes: s’more fixings, birthday presents, fishing gear, or just simple bragging rights.
 
Season-Long Treasure Hunts
These are the granddaddies of all outdoors scavenger hunts: the season-long activity accomplishment checklists! These involve visiting a string of locations and/or accomplishing a certain set of activities within a season (summer vacation, for example) or beyond. Items might include:

• Spend the night out under the stars (10 points)
• Catch and release a fish (5 points)
• Go surfing (5 points)
• Reach the top of a mountain (10 points)
• Build a shelter out of natural materials (10 points)
• Spend the night on an island (15 points)
 
Ready to take it to the next level? Your treasure-hunting team could win prizes when you enter the excellent Venture Vermont contest, sponsored by Vermont State Parks, or the Wild Outdoor Wolfeboro hunt. (The latter could easily be tailored to suit your town or community.
 
Or start from scratch and write your own rules with a group of families and friends. The best part of these hunts is they usually require photo or video documentation, so you end up with a hard drive full of amazing memories from a season together in the outdoors.
 
Whether you spend a Saturday morning or a whole summer bagging adventures, your family will spend quality time outside trying new experiences and making great memories. Happy hunting!  
 
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COMMENTS

By: Guest
Posted: 10/12/2017 07:39

During the time of vacation, parents should plan some interesting adventurous games and places for their kids to enjoy. Scavenger Hunt can be a very adventurous game for them. Hope proper security and safety are provided to the kids by the concerned authorities. more here

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By: Guest
Posted: 09/16/2017 07:33

Hope this piece of information may use for all those who are interested in such hunts. I think it provides an amazing experience to all. I am grateful for the detailed location and address particulars.  JoyJolt colored shot glasses

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By: Guest
Posted: 09/14/2017 07:31

Kids always like to play on the outside and preparing them for scavenger hunt is the best method to interact them with the environment. From the picture itself, we can see that they are enjoying this kind of hunts and are excited to see the result of the hunt.rent an ipad

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By: Guest
Posted: 08/31/2017 06:01

It is a very entertaining activity for the kids. I think most of them will love the scavenger hunt event. These are some useful tips for the parents as well as the kids for taking part in the same safely. Thanks for the share. air conditioned shared office spaces

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By: Guest
Posted: 08/22/2017 05:46

Your post helped me to get some idea to plan a Scavenger hunt for kids. I think kids will really enjoy this and these types of outdoor activities will be an entertainment to them. Surely I will plan this for my sister’s kids. Royal Couture Cleaners Santa Monica

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By: Guest
Posted: 08/18/2017 08:12
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Most of the kids like to play outdoor games. So if you give them some outdoor hunts they will perform it and will enjoy the entire game. They will find the secrets codes and will search for the clues. So make the game more interesting by including some fun moments. addiction treatment centers

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