Creating FREE Life Experiences for your children is priceless!
A few years ago, my oldest daughter had a birthday party at home. She invited about 8 girls over and we
had a wonderful time. We always vary what we do for birthday parties but I usually like to keep it simple and lower budget. This year the activity we included was a scavenger hunt. So, after she showed off her Fairy-Tails, they were set for their first clue.
Not to brag, but I am known for my killer scavenger hunt skills in the neighborhood. I thought I would share my wisdom with the world and make it easier on other parents and for kids everywhere to enjoy. In all seriousness, my sisters and I have been practicing this skill since we were little and it is a fun filled tradition I continued with cousins, kids I babysat, and now my amazing girls.
How do you start? Simple, sit down with some paper and pen and cut it into strips. Each strip will have a clue on it. I then number them up in the corner to help keep myself organized. Then write your first clue on the first slip of paper. This clue you will not hide but hand to the kids. I usually have this include some rules to follow as well such as:
Rules: Take turns reading clues, be kind, if you make a mess searching then clean it up, if you turn a light on then turn it back off, wait for the slowest person, etc.
Then about mid-hunt I make sure they have to come to me for a clue and I check in and see if the rules are being followed before I give them the next clue.
The first clue will not have anything written on the back but each next clue as I write it, I make a note on the back for myself as to where I am supposed to hide it. This helps me stay organized. For example, if the first clue leads them to the bath tub on the back of the next slip of paper I write “bath tub.”
As for how many clues to make or how long to make the search that will depend how the age of the children you are making it for. If I want it to last really long, I add in tasks such as:
- Complete this crossword puzzle, then the next clue will be revealed.
- Put on a 2-minute play using these props and I’ll give you your next clue.
- If a clue is on the bottom of a puzzle, I may say put together this puzzle for your next clue. I won’t make it a hard puzzle. Then I will make them clean it up before I give them the next clue.
Now, on to the fun stuff, and the things I am always searching for when my creativity has plummeted and I just need something for the kids to do. Here is a variety of clues for a scavenger hunt in your home that you can use today. I made sure to include all different levels depending on the age of your kids. Pick and choose to help create an amazing experience your child or children so they will someday look back on and cherish these memories.
You use me almost every day. Sometimes to sit, sometimes to play. I transform into a fort, to find the clue make yourself short.
(Leads to under the couch)
Rub a dub dub, your next clues in the ______________
(Leads to the tub)
Piece by piece it will be clear all the describe a puzzle you have will appear.
(Leads to the puzzle)
Burrr! It’s so cold in here please get me out.
(Leads to the freezer)
So many keys but none will unlock a door.
(Leads to the piano)
This is a bed you’d never lay your little head.
(Leads to the garden bed)
I’m tucked away and rolled up tight so you can use me some other night
(Leads to a sleeping bag)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, repeat look all around and you’ll find a clue by me.
(Leads to under a table)
Here, there, everywhere, I’ll get you where you need to be.
(Leads to the car)
Every night all tucked in tight here is where you spend the night.
(Leads to their bed)
I may be a bed but you won’t sleep here.
(Leads to a truck bed)
Things go in and things go out, traveling near and far. Recycle some and cherish others… especially birthday cards.
(Leads to the mail box, take off some if it makes it too easy for older kids)
When you wake up in the morning and your mouth smells like poo what do you do?
(Leads to toothbrush)
PRO TIP: I try to rotate the clues so the kids are going from upstairs to downstairs or from room to room. So, all the clues in a row are not in one location at a time.
Describe a special book that they love and hide the next clue in it.
(Leads to a book)
Over, under, around, and through, that’s how you tie your ______.
(Leads to their shoe)
It’s not magic how you can take a hot shower. There is a place it comes from in this house.
(Leads to the hot water heater…Hey, let’s teach them as they play. Do your kids even know what the hot water heater is? Use this clue as a teachable moment. They shouldn’t play with it but this is where the hot water comes from.)
Wipe your feet until their clean, under this the next clue will be seen.
(Leads to under the door mat)
This may be a little yucky but if you dig in, you’ll get lucky. Scamper to where you put your cloths when they are stinky.
(Leads to the hamper)
It’s amooousing how good you are. The next clue is not too far. It could be chocolate, strawberry, or plain but it helps your growing bones and teeth.
(Leads to milk)
I am always two-tired but I am never too tired…what am I?
(Leads to a bike)
I have to be broken before I can be used.
(Leads to the eggs) (If you need to give an extra clue tell them it tastes Eggcellent)
If I’m nowhere to be found it can be quite alarming! One sheet, two sheet, three sheets, four, some use less and some use more. Just don’t let me get stuck in the crack.
(Leads to toilet paper roll)
I work better the more I suck.
(Leads to the vacuum)
For your next clue work together to put on a 2-minute play showing me how much you love me. Everyone has to have a part, everyone has to have at least one line, and you have to use the following props: A hat, a book, and a pillow.
(Leads to me)
You load me and unload me almost every day but I never move.
(Leads to the dishwasher)
You can hear me go beep, the time I do keep, but my main function is to heat.
(Leads to the microwave)
You use some of us more and some of us less but certain colors are loved the best. We brighten your day in so many ways and bring pictures to life as you imagine and play.
(Leads to crayons or markers)
Sweep, sweep don’t make a peep this is where the broom does sleep.
(Leads to broom)
The clue you will claim if you look under our favorite family game.
(Leads to your favorite family game)
One, two, three, four, this clue is behind a master door.
(Leads behind the master bedroom door)
As an added bonus on my daughter’s birthday I hid a spray-painted rock in each location with one letter written on it. At the end they had to unscramble the letters for their grand prize. It said Happy Birthday! But you could do this and have it say anything. It was a fun way to end the game and made them work together and use their brains. Games like this are more than just a game. These are important for development. It gets them away from the screen and interacting with their siblings and/or peers. It teaches them social skills of working together, sharing, team work, communication, taking turns, being patient, problem solving, and so much more. On top of that, it is an opportunity for you, as a parent or guardian to take the time to show them you care. Take the time to show them you are willing to go above and beyond to create something for them to do that is an experience simply for them to enjoy life. It doesn't cost money just time and love.
Typically, I have the last clue say something like:
Congratulations! You did it! Come see me for your grand prize. Or you can have the prize hidden in this location.
Then they receive something like a small piece of candy or a popsicle on a Summer day. It is a fun way to end a fun game. They were active, worked as a team, and used their brains.