How to Make a Scavenger Hunt in Just 5 Easy Steps

by Stacy Tornio

There’s something magical about going on a scavenger hunt. It’s the mystery of it all. You never know exactly where you’re going next or what you’re going to find. Creating a scavenger hunt is a great gift to give someone special in your life. So it helps to know how to make a scavenger hunt to be able to give a unique and fun experience. 

Take a look at these five tips to pull off a great hunt. 

1. Decide what type of scavenger hunt you want to create. 

The great thing about scavenger hunts is that you can pretty much make it up to meet your wishes or needs. But overall, I look at three main types. First, there’s the “I Spy” style where you have a list of things you’re trying to find. This is a lot like playing Car Bingo. You try to get to as many items on the list as possible. The second style is what I call the “treasure hunt” style. You go in chronological order, starting with a single clue. It leads you from one place to the next until you reach the end. And then the last style is an “escape room” style. To me, this is an educational hunt where the clues might not even be hidden. Instead, you’re trying to answer questions and solve puzzles along the way. It’s a great way to study for a test or work on comprehension. 

2. Write your list of clues. 

After you decide the style of scavenger hunt you’re going to do, dive in to start writing it. You can come up with these completely on your own, or do some googling for some help. Here’s one site with lots of clues. For instance, if you want to use riddles for your hunt, you can get some ideas or borrow online. If you want to come up with a list of things to find, really think about what’s in your area to develop a complete list. 

3. Age it up or down as necessary. 

After you have your initial list, it’s time to finetune it. Go through it and make it easier or harder, based on the ages or skill level of the kids who will be doing it. I like to create a point system, especially for the ones that just have a list of things to find. This will help keep kids engaged from start to finish. If you have several kids who will be participating, you could even call out special clues for certain kids. Then make it part of the rules that they have to take turns. 

4. Add visuals to make it more fun. 

Visuals always help bring life to an activity. There are a couple of ways you can do that here. First, you can find photos and doodles to dress up your scavenger hunt sheet. Or second, you can ask the ones who are doing the scavenger hunt to make it visual along the way. Even if you give them a list to work on, have them take pictures while they’re working on it. It’ll add another layer of fun, and they can show you when you’re done.

5. Finish strong with a great ending. 

If you want to know how to make a scavenger hunt, then you definitely need a good ending. For many, this means putting a little prize at the end. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, though. Just a little treat or even a coupon “Good for one trip to go get ice cream,” is enough. Or a little painted rock would be a nice surprise, too. 

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