How Homeschoolers Can Celebrate National Scavenger Hunt Day

Did you know there is a National Scavenger Hunt Day? May 24th is National Scavenger Hunt Day!

Put it on your calendar and invite some friends to join you for an exciting scavenger hunt. 

Participating in National Scavenger Hunt Day is a great way to introduce your children to scavenger hunts.  It also adds a bit of excitement to a regular day, especially if you need a break from your regular routine!

How Homeschoolers Can Celebrate National Scavenger Hunt Day

My girls love to break up our homeschool day with a scavenger hunt!  They even enjoy my favorite chore challenge (which is really just a quick way for me to get household chores done with a little fun). I consider this another benefit of homeschooling!

When was the last time you participated in a scavenger hunt? 

We often enjoyed scavenger hunts at birthday parties. My mom would divide us into teams, give each team a simple list of items to collect and send us outside.

Then we would return with our collection in an old bucket or bag, hoping we were first and didn’t miss anything.

Our lists were simple:

  • maple leaf
  • acorn
  • gray rock
  • insect
  • earthworm

Over time the lists changed to clues and the items became more challenging to find. Perhaps mom was really enjoying a little peace and quiet while we hunted!

Hopefully, you remember your childhood scavenger hunt experience with joy, had a great time bonding with friends, and maybe even learned something!

Or perhaps you’ve never gone on a scavenger hunt? It’s not too late to join in on the fun!

What is a Scavenger Hunt?

A scavenger hunt is like a treasure hunt. Only instead of searching for gold or precious jewels, you are often searching for common everyday items (hidden or in plain sight). 

A scavenger hunt usually includes a list of clues. Sometimes only one clue is given and the next clue must be found.

The first person or team to complete the scavenger hunt is the winner! Prizes are optional, especially since the hunt itself is so much fun.

Who are Scavenger Hunts for?

Scavenger hunts are great activities for any age! Here are some ideas to help you make your own and keep them simple.

For non-readers or pre-readers use picture clues, verbal clues or videos. They will have as much fun as the advanced searchers.

  • Colors
    • Bring me something red!
  • Phonics
    • Find something that starts with the letter “M”.
  • Shapes
    • How many rectangles can you find in our house?

For beginning readers use simple lists. Make them as short or as long as you like. 

  • Kitchen
    • Apple
    • Banana
    • Spoon
    • Fork
  • Bathroom
    • Towel
    • Toothbrush
    • Toilet paper
  • Garage
    • Bike
    • Ball
    • Jump rope
    • Broom
  • Outdoor
  • Grocery Store

For advanced searchers, you can level-up! Create more challenging clues and requirements.

  • Complete activities to get the next clue or item
    • Do 10 jumping jacks to get the next clue!
    • The Chore Challenge! Choose three items from this list to win the prize! 
      • ***This is my favorite because it makes chore time a little more fun. Prizes may include screen-time, candy, popcorn, small toys, or slime making. Choose something your family will enjoy!
  • Take photos instead of collecting items
    • A bird
    • Clouds
    • Flower in bloom
    • Dandelion
    • Your clean room 🙂

Rules for Safe Scavenger Hunts

  • Search in pairs or teams
  • Set boundaries
    • Are searchers allowed to leave the house, yard, or town?
  • Set time limits or times to check-in
  • Supervise the search

Free Printable Scavenger Hunts

Here are my free, super simple, printable scavenger hunts you can use anytime. 

Just click the links below to download and print your favorites.

National Scavenger Hunt Day from A to Z

Color Scavenger Hunt

The Chore Challenge

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

Take your Scavenger Hunts to the next level! 

  • Set a shorter time limit
  • Include actions or activities, not just items to find
    • Do a cartwheel
    • Go to the mailbox
  • Limit resources
    • Vehicles
      • Bicycles only
      • Scooters only
      • Skateboards only
    • Money
    • Phones/Tablets
    • GPS (maps)
  • Increase requirements
    • Take a photo or make a video (instead of collecting items)
    • Get a signature
    • Purchase items (set a spending limit)
  • Make clues more challenging
    • Use riddles
    • Give partial clues

Even More Scavenger Hunts

If you love the idea of scavenger hunts, but don’t want to create your own, here’s a collection of hunts on Pinterest. Most are free and printable! 


Whether you participate in National Scavenger Hunt Day or plan your scavenger hunt for another day, I truly hope your family enjoys the challenge!

Cindy Wetzel

About the author

Certified elementary teacher, Cindy Wetzel, is a homeschool mom of two girls. She loves the homeschool community and tells moms, “You don’t have to homeschool alone!” She shares tips, projects, freebies, and curriculum reviews for homeschool moms.

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