Discovery Point Blog

May 24, 2021

National Scavenger Hunt Day: Find Fun in Your Backyard

May 24th is National Scavenger Hunt Day, a yearly celebration of the fun activity many of us have played at parties or events at some time or another. Introducing your children to this interactive game is a great way to stimulate their critical thinking skills, encourage teamwork, and keep them mentally and physically engaged. Best of all, scavenger hunts can be done indoors or outside, meaning you can have a fun plan in store — rain or shine.

How Scavenger Hunts are Organized

Not sure how to get started organizing a hunt for your children? In a scavenger hunt, teams or individuals compete to find certain objects or complete tasks as instructed on a list provided by the organizers of the game. 

The list varies from scavenger hunt to scavenger hunt and coming up with the list of instructions is half the fun! Sometimes it contains clues or riddles for finding hidden items and other times, items must be chosen creatively based on certain characteristics.

To win, a team or individual has to accomplish all items on the list first. What makes this competition so great is that it combines some of the most fun elements of other popular games like racing and playing hide and seek. All in all, it’s an adventure both kids and adults love!

Why You Shouldn’t Skip National Scavenger Hunt Day

Scavenger hunts are so much more than just another game to keep your children busy. This kind of game actually encourages players to utilize their critical thinking skills and their creativity. 

When played as a team-based game, scavenger hunts also help promote teamwork and social skills. They’re a fantastic way to break the ice and encourage new friendships. 

Team members of all ages can collaborate as they use their own experiences and knowledge to tackle the task list. Finally, scavenger hunts can be educational for young learners who are expanding their vocabulary and language skills.

Scavenger Hunts are an All-Weather Activity

Scavenger hunts can be really fun when they’re organized around a neighborhood, in a park, or even in your backyard. However, they don’t have to take place outside to be enjoyable. You can easily organize a scavenger hunt indoors if you have a rainy May 24th or whenever you need to rustle up some excitement on a dreary day.

Need some quick ideas for your indoor scavenger hunt list? Here are a few to get the wheels spinning:

  • Find something that belongs on your head
  • Find two things that are yellow
  • Find something round that’s made of plastic
  • Find something that’s your favorite
  • Find something with flowers on it
  • Find something with the letter “L” on it
  • Find a utensil
  • Find a button
  • Find a white sheet of paper

Indoor scavenger hunts can also be tailored to focus on different themes. A “gratitude” theme is one we especially love. This could include a list with items such as:

  • Something that makes you feel safe
  • Something that is your favorite color
  • Something you’re proud of
  • Something that makes you laugh
  • Something that was a gift

Want to keep your scavenger hunt a little more subdued? Or perhaps you have a child who is learning to read. Grab a pile of books and get ready to go on a book scavenger hunt! Your list could instruct players to find the following in a book, both in the pictures and in the words:

  • A bike
  • A superhero
  • Someone eating
  • A pet
  • Someone helping someone else
  • The word “book”
  • A character laughing
  • A bug
  • Two words that rhyme
  • Page 12
  • A question mark

Thinking of going the traditional outdoor route for your next scavenger hunt? Here are some of our favorite ideas to get you started:

  • Nature hunt: Search for everything from a ladybug to an acorn
  • Photo hunt: Take pictures of various items around the neighborhood
  • Clue hunts: Write clues directing your children to find various items
  • Color hunts: Your child can shout out when they see items of various colors
  • Five senses hunt: Find items you can see, touch, hear, smell and taste

Quick Fun with an Alphabetical Scavenger Hunt

Didn’t have time to prepare an official scavenger hunt list? No matter where you and your children are, whether in the kitchen, at the beach, or in the car, you can always suggest an alphabetical scavenger hunt. 

In this game, you must identify one object beginning with each letter of the alphabet. For example, if you’re in the kitchen, you could point to aluminum foil for “A,” a bag for “B,” a cutting board for “C,” and so on. This is a great one for road trips when everyone starts wondering “are we there yet?”

Looking for more scavenger hunt ideas? Check out these resources from Good Housekeeping and Pinterest.

We hope these ideas have sparked your interest to take part in National Scavenger Hunt Day on May 24th! No matter how your family chooses to celebrate, you’re sure to enjoy engaging in a game that’s been loved by generations.