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I’m always looking for fun activities for my kids to do over summer break. Scavenger hunts can be done anywhere and anytime, but Summer is the best time for an outdoor scavenger hunt or nature scavenger hunt. It’s a fun way to entertain children of all ages. If you’re looking for a great way to get the whole family active, this is a perfect way. Everyone can participate for some quality time together. Get your printable scavenger hunt download below and get ready to have some summer fun!
Summer Scavenger Hunt Items
- Bird’s nest
- Beach ball
- Open window
- Beach chair
- Pool float
- Beach towel
- Picnic table
Tips for Using Scavenger Hunt Printables
Once you print the PDF file, you’ll want to prepare for your treasure hunt by doing a couple of things.
- Consider laminating the printable so you’ll have it for any future backyard scavenger hunt you might want to do. You can use dry-erase markers to check off the list and then wipe it clean for the next use. If you make it reusable, you could also take it on your summer vacation trips to try to find those same items in different locations.
- Attach the laminated printable to a clipboard and tie a dry erase marker to the clipboard as well. That way the marker isn’t lost in all the excitement.
- Make a plan for how you will play before you head out (see below for ideas).
Summer Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Scavenger Hunts With Little Kids
Kids are always soaking up everything, but little kids are especially primed for absorbing information, so everything is a learning opportunity. Let your little ones lead the hunt. Try asking questions about the items and have them describe what they’re looking for. This is a great activity for younger kids to explore their own backyard, which can be a magical thing for their minds and imaginations. As they find the items on the list, create more excitement around their finds by taking a cute picture with them and the item. Even better, carry a basket to collect the items that can be held as they’re found (or any random items they find that interest them along the way).
Scavenger Hunts With Older Kids
Older kids will be much faster at finding the items on this list, which could mean that you’ll need to amp up the stakes so they don’t get bored. Try creating a little friendly competition by setting a time to see who can find all the items the fastest or setting a time limit to see if they can find them together or individually during that time. The best part is that this will make the scavenger hunt a little more physically challenging to provide more exercise for older kids.
Another option for older kids is a nighttime scavenger hunt with flashlights and glowsticks. This is a great idea for a summer camping trip or other vacation destinations and summer adventures. The more new places you take this scavenger hunt, the more fun it will be!
Scavenger Hunts with Kids of All Ages
If your kids vary a lot in age, you can make it exciting for everyone by making it into a relay scavenger hunt. Adults pair up with the little kids to help them. You can set a timer and one person (or the adult/toddler team) goes out a time to find one item. As soon as they find it they race back and tag in the next person. To make it even more enticing for the older kids to be patient with the little kids, offer an ice cream treat as a reward for everyone working together and finding all the items.
Fun Scavenger Hunt Locations
Summer scavenger hunts don’t have to be limited to your backyard. You can do scavenger hunts at local parks, at random locations on your next day trip, a camping scavenger hunt, a beach scavenger hunt, a farm scavenger hunt, or any location on your summer bucket list. To do your own scavenger hunt, you’ll just need to create your own list of items to hunt for, depending on the location of the hunt. There are so many different places to try! A really fun activity would be a road trip scavenger hunt list for the car to keep the kids entertained for a little while on a long trip.
No matter which of these summer scavenger hunt ideas you decide to use, I’m sure a lot of fun will be had by everyone! Don’t forget to download your free printable and have a fun and adventurous summer!
Download Your Free Summer Scavenger Hunt Printable
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Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.