100 Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids to Keep Busy With This Fall

These tasks will help kids play independently — and give parents at least a few (blissful) minutes of quiet.

by Emily Kelleher
kid looking out window with binoculars

For those of us still working from home full-time in makeshift offices (we are legion), keeping young kids both educated and entertained seems impossible. Toddlers and preschool-age kids aren’t developmentally ready for extended solo playtime, and even if you’re not opposed to parking them in front of screens, they’ll eventually get bored. The solution is simple: a scavenger hunt for kids. Believe it or not, sweet release is around the corner, and we’ve got the itemized list of scavenger hunt ideas for kids to prove it.

The scavenger hunt, like hide-and-seek, is as old as time, and once you experience its good, clean fun, you’ll understand why. Not only does brainstorming scavenger hunt clues for kids allow parents to get creative, but a fun treasure hunt helps kids become more aware of their surroundings while also developing important problem-solving skills and greater independence.

Your kid can go off exploring on their own until they inevitably come back either excited about their discovery or supremely disappointed and in need of your help (hey, sometimes we all need a hand). For kids still learning to read, a simple list of pictures can serve as treasure hunt clues where kids just need to find one of each item. To up the ante, lend them your phone to take photos. You can take things a step further by turning off the lights in a room and having your kids search for items with a flashlight. You can also create personalized scavenger hunt questions if you want the game to serve as a learning or bonding experience.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids

For those with access to a backyard, an outdoor scavenger hunt is as simple as compiling a list of things for your child to find. Kids can either collect each item or take a photo of it.

  1. A bug
  2. An acorn
  3. A broken branch
  4. A flower that hasn’t bloomed yet
  5. A flower petal
  6. A flower stem
  7. A three-leaf clover
  8. A leaf with four points
  9. A stick
  10. A crack in the concrete
  11. Fire hydrants
  12. The mailman
  13. A red car
  14. A feather
  15. A pebble
  16. A bird
  17. Alphabet bugs
  18. A squirrel
  19. A flower
  20. A worm
  21. A cloud
  22. A seed
  23. A piece of moss
  24. A pine needle
  25. A gardening tool
  26. A puddle
  27. A spiderweb
  28. A lock
  29. A pot
  30. A smile
  31. A mailbox
  32. A wire
  33. A window
  34. A door
  35. An airplane
  36. A craft they mande

Indoor Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids

The indoor scavenger hunt requires little to no preparation because it implements simple items found around your home.

  1. An eraser
  2. A game
  3. A key
  4. Something shiny
  5. A miniature toy version of something adults use (a toy truck, play food, doll clothes, etc.)
  6. Something that moves on its own (e.g. a slinky, a pet, or a marble)
  7. Something cold
  8. Something round
  9. Something that helps you sleep
  10. A type of food you don’t like
  11. Something spiky
  12. A paperclip
  13. A crayon with a funny color name
  14. Something that’s used to carry other things
  15. Something that smells good
  16. A pair of shoes that doesn’t fit
  17. A stuffed animal
  18. Something soft
  19. Something you can wear
  20. Something heart-shaped
  21. Something that turns on and off
  22. Something hairy
  23. Something you can spread
  24. Something that makes a clicking sound
  25. Some sort of box
  26. Something you can see through
  27. Something you can’t see through
  28. Something that makes a sound
  29. Something with legs
  30. A book with the first letter of your name in the title
  31. A pair of matching socks
  32. Something small enough to fit inside a lunchbox
  33. Something that’s your favorite color
  34. Something that could help clean up a spill
  35. One of your drawings
  36. A ball
  37. A toy with wheels
  38. A wrapper
  39. Some tape
  40. A sticker
  41. A book
  42. Something growing
  43. A photo
  44. A piece of art
  45. A piece of laundry
  46. A pillow
  47. A backpack
  48. Toothpaste
  49. Money/coins
  50. A fork

Category Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

  1. An object (book, paper, shirt) that has the letter A. Then find an object with the letter B. Continue for the rest of the alphabet.
  2. Things you love.`
  3. Sight words.
  4. Different types and shapes of leaf.
  5. A winter scavenger hunt that include finding items related to the season
  6. A sensory scavenger hunt. Find something you can feel, something you can smell, something you can taste, and something you see.
  7. A collection of all of your favorite things: items that’s your favorite color, smell, thing to cuddle, shirt, shoes, snack, gift, and favorite book.
  8. As many things as you can find for every shape: circle, square, triangle, rectangle.
  9. Something soft, something rough, something squishy, something hard, and something liquid.
  10. Things that can fit inside an envelope.
  11. Things that start with the same letter as your name.
  12. As many things as you can find with flowers on them.
  13. As many question marks as you can find.
  14. Something from each color of the rainbow: an object that’s red, one that’s orange, and so on… yellow, green, blue, and purple.