Doing scavenger hunts with kids is a fun and interactive way to support their early learning skills.

Here at Little Learning Corner, my goal is to support you as you keep the kids engaged in play, nature, and learning.

When doing a nature-based scavenger hunt, young children are free to play, explore, and learn about the world around them. It’s a win-win learning experience for all!.

In this blog post, I have put together 5 tips to help you and the kids have the best experience doing scavenger hunts.

Tips for Doing Scavenger Hunts

Not all scavenger hunts are created equal. There are some key factors to consider when you are choosing one to do with your kids.

1. Consider Their Ages and Interests

A scavenger hunt for a 5 year old will look much different than one for a middle schooler.

With this in mind, consider your child’s age, attention span, and interests of the children you are working with.

Since you’ve landed here on Little Learning Corner, chances are, you’re looking to support younger children.

A simple, picture-based, scavenger hunt of the things in their world would be best.

For example, a preschooler, kindergartner, or first grader would enjoy searching for colors, animals, shapes, and things in nature.

2. Establish Boundaries

As a parent or teacher, you may be thinking safety is a no-brainer.

While we know a child’s safety is important, there are steps we can take before doing the hunt to assure they stay safe.

Before getting started, set boundaries with the children. For example, let them know they must stay with a buddy and not wonder off too far.

One common rule of thumb I set with the kids when doing outdoor scavenger hunts is if they cannot see me, they’ve gone too far.

You want the kids to have freedom to explore while also assuring their safety.

3. Prepare the materials

An outdoor scavenger hunt is a fun and simple task for kids of all ages.

Although a printable checklist doesn’t require prepping, there are some things you can prepare to assure they have the best experience.

Before going on your hunt, consider the following:

  • Print off extra copies in case the kids misplace theirs.
  • Take a clipboard
  • Have extra markers or pencils to cross off the items found.
  • Give the kids a bag to collect their items (optional).

4. Extend the Learning

One of my favorite things about doing scavenger hunts with kids is when we come together to share what we’ve found.

Yes, the fun is in the exploring. However, to help integrate multiple learning skills, there are many ways you can extend the learning.

For example, after the hunt is over, come together to let the kids share what they found and what they didn’t find.

Furthermore, they can do a writing and/or drawing activity to reflect on the learning experience.

In the complete set of nature hunts, I’ve included a follow-up writing and drawing printable.

Depending on their academic levels, the kids can write a sentence or two about their experience, or simply copy a few words from the items they found.

Then, when done recording or writing, they can draw a picture to represent the fun scavenger hunt.

5. Promote Creativity and Imagination

Scavenger hunts offer a wonderful opportunity to spark imagination and creativity in young children.

While doing the nature hunts, you can encourage the kids to tell a story about their experience.

Furthermore, you can have the kids role-play as if they were a park ranger looking for clues and solving problems in nature.

Nature-Based Scavenger Hunts

Taking all of the above information into consideration, I have created a set of 8 printable scavenger hunts to encourage play, nature, and learning.

If you’re looking for a free printable scavenger hunt, you can grab one HERE.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

11 Benefits of Kids Playing Outside

55 Fun Backyard Ideas for Kids

41 Popular Nursery Rhyme Songs