Unique Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Published April 30, 2020
Boy on Search

Fun kids' outdoor scavenger hunts can include nature scavenger hunts or scavenger hunts around town. Use scavenger hunt clues for children, such as a list of items to find, and a unique outdoor location to create a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt.

Printable Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Kids can explore all the things that move outdoors with the Birds & Bikes and Things That Move Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. From bugs and animals to people and machines, kids everywhere can scour their town or neighborhood for things that are outdoors and moving. Click on the image of the scavenger hunt PDF list to download and print it. Use this handy guide if you need help printing the list.

Birds & Bikes and Things That Move Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Park Scavenger Hunt

Create an on-the-spot scavenger hunt while you're at the park by making a quick list of things you should be able to find there. Use sidewalk chalk to write your list on the sidewalk or the concrete floor of a pavilion. Scavenger hunt items might include:

  • A chalk drawing
  • A playground
  • Flower beds
  • A gazebo
  • A bench
  • Three different types of trees
  • Someone walking a dog
  • A picnic

Forest Scavenger Hunt

Instead of looking for specific items you can see, try a full sensory forest hike. You'll need a list of things you could see, hear, smell, or touch, and maybe taste that are found in the woods. Use a stick to make your list on the dirt path or use a small rock to write the list on a larger rock by scraping them together. Ideas for this scavenger hunt list are:

  • Something whistling
  • A wild raspberry
  • An insect carrying something
  • Something sharp
  • A trickling sound
  • Someplace dark
  • Something squishy
  • A clean water source for drinking
girl exploring in the nature

Camping Scavenger Hunt

If you're headed for a camp-out in your backyard or at a campground, this fun camping scavenger hunt is an easy activity to pack. You could even use it as a checklist to make sure your campsite is ideal.

  • Tent
  • Cooler
  • picnic table
  • Fire pit
  • Firewood
  • Roasting sticks
  • Trees
  • Nature sounds
  • The word "trail"

Beach Scavenger Hunt

There's always lots of cool things to find at the beach. Try to mix in standard beach items and funny things you'd find at the beach. See if you can spot these items:

  • Fish skeleton
  • Live fish
  • Shell
  • Fine sand
  • Coarse sand
  • A feather
  • Sunglasses
  • A towel
  • Bird poo

Nighttime Scavenger Hunt

Help kids overcome fears of the dark with a fun nighttime scavenger hunt. Tweens and adults will have a lot of fun with this type of hunt too. Make a list of things you can usually only see at night, then try to find them.

  • A bat
  • A cricket
  • A bright star
  • A flashing light
  • The moon
  • Glowing eyes
  • A yellow firefly
  • A green firefly

Constellation Reverse Scavenger Hunt

If you've got a clear night and nice weather, you can lay outside and use a constellation list to go on a constellation reverse scavenger hunt. In a reverse scavenger hunt, you essentially make a list of things as you find them. You can share that list with someone else as a regular scavenger hunt. Look up at the sky and see what constellations you can spot. Write each one down in the order you found them.

Nature Photography Scavenger Hunt

Tweens and kids with their adult family members can have fun on a nature photography scavenger hunt. Go over some beginner photography tips and give each person a camera to use. Create a list of strange or funny things to look for in nature and take pictures of the items when you find them. When you're done, compare your pictures to see different perspectives. Scavenger hunt clues might be:

  • A creature that looks like it's smiling
  • A plant that looks like an animal
  • A stick shaped like a pitchfork
  • Something that looks wet, but isn't
  • A bee sleeping on a flower
girl photographing dog

Outdoor Smells Scavenger Hunt

Forget sight, your sense of smell is your biggest tool in this challenging scavenger hunt. Make a list of outdoor smells, then sniff around and see if you can find them all.

  • A sweet smell
  • A smell that makes you want to vomit
  • A smell you don't recognize
  • Something that smells like a fart
  • A wet or mildewy smell
  • A smell that makes you hungry

Outdoor Sounds Scavenger Hunt

You can also use your sense of hearing for an outdoor sounds scavenger hunt. Think of all the different noises you might hear outside. If you live in a city, these might not all be natural sounds. An example of a city outdoor sounds scavenger hunt list is:

  • A car horn
  • Someone yelling
  • An emergency sound
  • A cat
  • Scurrying
  • A slamming door
  • A whistle
  • Music

Outdoor Experiences Scavenger Hunt

If you've got some time on your hands, a long-term outdoor experiences scavenger hunt can be fun. This is a great option for spring break or summer break from school as kids can try to complete the hunt before the break is over. Create a list of classic outdoor experiences your child can realistically have. As your child does each activity with you, a friend, or another family member, they can check that item off the list.

  • Bait a hook
  • Catch a fish
  • Ride in a boat
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Hike a trail that is longer than your age
  • Use an oar or paddle
  • Set up a tent
  • Pick your own fruit/vegetables
  • Plant a garden

Head Out on a Hunt

Outdoor scavenger hunts are the ultimate type of hunt for kids to go on. You can make any outdoor scavenger hunt easier by providing a short list of simple items to find. To add difficulty to a scavenger hunt, try using scavenger hunt riddles for kids instead of a standard list of items.

Unique Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids