Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get your children or students out of their seats, up moving around, and interested in learning. Scavenger hunts are a low preparation activity you could do to pass time productively at home or add to homeschool curriculum if that is what you need.
There is a scavenger hunt for any subject if you just get a little bit creative! If you want to add an artsy element to the scavenger hunt you could make some homemade binoculars or decorate a clipboard to use when completing the scavenger hunt. Adding in one of these steps should cover all the bases of every subject.
Book Scavenger Hunt
This could make for a fun trip to the library as a class. If you are doing this activity at home then adjust the scavenger hunt to fit the types of books you know that you have access to.
Depending on age, time limits and education level you could adjust this to be more language arts oriented such as searching for a book in a certain genre, or finding a certain literary device within the story.
Here are some ideas of books to look for in a book scavenger hunt:
- Book with no words
- Book with less than 100 pages
- Book with more than 100 pages
- Book about an animal
- Book about sports
- Book written in another language
Here are some ideas to look for in a literary scavenger hunt:
- Sentence with two coordinating conjunctions
- An idiom
- Science fiction genre
Solar System Scavenger Hunt
Just like with any of these subjects, there are a variety of ways you could do a science related scavenger hunt.
Here are a few ideas of other science related scavenger hunts:
- Nature Hunt
- Astronomy scavenger hunt of the stars
- Solar system planet facts
- Solid, liquid, gas scavenger hunt
This teacher has great ideas for other solar system projects as well. And, you can find printables and more details for this scavenger hunt at this link https://appletasticlearning.com/2020/08/25/solar-system/.
For this solar system project, print off or write on a piece of paper a few main facts about one planet. Make or print a paper for each planet. Have your child or students walk around the house or classroom looking for the planet that has rings, the planet that is closest to the sun, a planet that has two moons, etc. This is such a great way to learn a lot of facts really quickly and in a way that isn’t just lecturing students and writing on the board while they copy notes.
Measurement Scavenger Hunt
Not only is it fun to walk around with a clipboard and a pencil but it makes kids feel especially important. Add a ruler to the equation and they just might get some ideas about becoming a contractor or something! You may also need a measuring tape because some things are difficult to accurately measure with a hard straight stick. Measuring and numbers are part of math but younger kids will need more help with this.
Here are some ideas of things you could have your kids measure at home:
- Their bed
- Stuffed animal
Things you could measure around the school/classroom:
Shapes are another part of math at an early age. A shape scavenger hunt could get little brains working as to why things are shaped a certain way and how that helps their function. You could divide a paper into four squares and draw a different shape in each corner. Have the child or student walk around home or classroom listing everything they see in that shape.
History Scavenger Hunt
If you are doing these activities at home, a history scavenger hunt could be a great opportunity to work on some personal family history and discuss old stories, find and look at old pictures, etc. This is a great way to get grandparents involved too! Even in a classroom setting you could assign an at-home scavenger hunt and have a show and tell the next day of what historical thing, picture, or story the kids came up with.
On another note, when you are covering the state history unit you could make a classroom scavenger hunt catered to things like the state bird, the state flower, etc.
When it comes time to discuss government history, this is another opportunity. Similar to the planet printouts you could print out a paper with all of the presidents and have them find which United States president had which characteristics.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in “teaching to the test.” However, this is a crucial time in kids’ lives when they are learning and becoming human beings. Teaching gratitude is an important life skill. It will make for more compassionate friends, better employees, etc. Especially around the holidays, this can be a great way to teach some life skills mixed in with the standard curriculum. It is also a good option for homework over the Thanksgiving break that is useful and applicable but will not seem overwhelming or daunting during a vacation.
A gratitude scavenger hunt could include:
- Something beautiful to look at
- Something that smells good
- Your favorite food
- Something you can’t live without
- Something that makes pretty sounds
- Something that makes you laugh
Fun Learning Projects
Scavenger hunts are just one idea to make learning fun. A timed scavenger hunt outside could check a box for physical education, and an online internet scavenger hunt can be fun and challenging as well. The online option is great for those still meeting virtually or doing a virtual program from home.
Learning should never be boring. It is easy to slip into routines that become mundane, but switching it up a few minutes a day or once a week could really help a child’s learning progress if they are more interested and have information presented to them in a variety of ways. Learning projects aren’t just fun, they are a proven effective way to teach children.