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62 Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids to Keep Busy With in Quarantine

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

Our unwelcome nationwide experiment has confirmed our suspicions: Working full-time from home while keeping young kids educated and entertained is 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. What you need is a safe, reasonably educational, and time-consuming activity that requires only half-distracted parental assistance. Believe it or not, such a thing exists: a compilation of scavenger hunt clues for kids.

A form of good clean fun, the scavenger hunt, like hide-and-seek, is as old as time. Not only does brainstorming scavenger hunt clues for kids give parents an opportunity to get creative, but a fun treasure hunt helps kids become more aware of their surroundings while also developing important problem-solving skills. And, perhaps most importantly, scavenger hunts for kids don’t require much parental guidance. You kid can go off exploring on their own until they inevitably comes back either excited about their discovery or supremely disappointed and in need of your help. For younger kids, 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 and let them take photos, or adapt it for the backyard. To really up the stakes, turn off the lights in a room and have 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.

  • A bug
  • An acorn
  • A broken branch
  • A flower that hasn’t bloomed yet
  • A flower petal
  • A flower stem
  • A three-leaf clover
  • A leaf with four points
  • A stick
  • A crack in the concrete
  • Fire hydrants
  • The mailman
  •  A red car
  • A feather
  • A pebble
  • A bird
  • Alphabet bugs
  • A squirrel
  • A flower
  • A worm
  • A cloud
  • A seed
  • A piece of moss
  • A pine needle
  • A gardening tool
  • A puddle
  • A spiderweb

Indoor Scavenger Hunt Clues for Kids

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

  • An eraser
  • A game
  • A key
  • Something shiny
  • A miniature toy version of something adults use (a toy truck, play food, doll clothes, etc.)
  • Something that moves on its own (e.g. a slinky, a pet, or a marble)
  • Something cold
  • Something round
  • Something that helps you sleep
  • A type of food you don’t like
  • Something spiky
  • A paperclip
  • A crayon with a funny color name
  • Something that’s used to carry other things
  • Something that smells good
  • A pair of shoes that don’t fit
  • A stuffed animal
  • Something soft
  • Something you can wear
  • Something heart-shaped
  • Something that turns on and off
  • Something hairy
  • Something you can spread
  • Something that makes a clicking sound
  • Some sort of box
  • Something you can see through
  • Something you can’t see through
  • Something that makes a sound
  • Something with legs
  • A book with the first letter of your name in the title
  • A pair of matching socks
  • Something small enough to fit inside a lunchbox
  • Something that’s your favorite color
  • Something that could help clean up a spill
  • One of your drawings
  • A ball
  • A toy with wheels

Category Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

  • 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.
  • Things you love.`
  • Sight words.
  • Different types and shapes of leaf.
  • Winter scavenger hunt – items synonymous with the season
  • Something you can feel, something you can smell, something you can taste, and something you see.
  • A collection of all of your favorite things: something that’s your favorite color, smell, a thing to cuddle, shirt, shoes, favorite snack, best gift, and favorite book.
  • As many things as you can find for every shape: circle, square, triangle, rectangle.
  • Something soft, something rough, something squishy, something hard, and something liquid.
  • Things that could fit inside an envelope.
  • Things that start with the same letter as your name.
  • As many things as you can find with flowers on them.
  • As many question marks as you can find.
  • Something from each color of the rainbow: an object that’s red, one that’s orange, and so on… yellow, green, blue, and purple.