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Most of us have spent a great deal of time in our homes during the pandemic. We really need to get the family out of the house to have fun together. Maybe you’re some of the lucky grandparents who can spend in-person time with your grandchildren, but maybe you’re far away and feeling the loss of family time. Don’t despair. You can provide the family fun via Scavenger Hunts.

Kids absolutely love hunting for treasures and winning prizes, and scavenger hunts provide the thrill of the hunt. There are literally hundreds of ways to manage scavenger hunts. And, depending on the ages of the family members you can work individually, in pairs, or as a whole family as you seek and find the items on your list. You can even challenge other family groups to a contest and share your results online.

For younger children it’s a good idea to use picture clues or have them work with an older partner. And be sure to think of a big pay-off for both participants and winners. The reward might be as simple as holding claim to the remote control for an evening, a movie pick or a particular favorite meal or dessert. 

Then, decide on the type of scavenger hunt you want to do. You can increase the fun by adding in costumes or other props to make the noble quest as much fun as possible. Below you’ll find some scavenger hunt choices. 

And, grandparents, if you’re providing these fun ideas from afar, don’t forget you can join in a video chat or zoom call to share the fun results.

  • Use muffin tins with pictures of the items to be found in each space. Fill the tins to win.
  • Hunt for things that are certain colors, shapes or patterns. For example, “Find something red. Find three things that are round, or find something with polka dots.” Tech savvy kids can take screenshots, or you can have hunters draw their findings.
  • Create bingo-like cards with items to be found in the neighborhood. Hunters can X off their findings. You might want to play black-out.
  • Compete with other groups within a set amount of time. Gather after the hunt to share your successes via online meet-ups.
  • Create a grid on a sheet of paper, creating ten or twelve spaces. Use this as the place for hunters to draw their findings.
  • Use letters of the alphabet. “Today’s hunt is finding things that begin with the vowels.” Or, “Today we’re finding things that begin with the letter S.”
  • Make a list of things around the house such as salt and pepper shakers, stuffed animals, and whatever you don’t mind being moved around the house in a mad hunt. Have hunters search for them in a given amount of time.
  • Go on a hunt for items found in books. You may include certain characters, settings, or objects. “Find a character on a farm.” Or, “Find a picture of a frog.”
  • Hunt for something that rhymes with ___. Draw it. Create fifteen or twenty clues and set a timer. Hunters may not be able to find all of these.
  • Spend a bit of time online searching for free printables of scavenger hunt games. You’ll find some good ones at Buggy and Buddy. Search printables.

Scavenger hunts are great fun for all the family. All you need is a list of things to find and some prizes. And even if you have to do the hunt virtually, it’s all about getting into the spirit of the game and having fun together. Creative grandparents can still be part of the family fun—you can even be the ones to get it started!