Summer Scavenger Hunts

summer scavenger hunts

Can you think of anything better than a warm summer Montana day? The long days and warm weather make for great opportunities to explore the outdoors with your children by organizing summer scavenger hunts. The Gallatin Valley has no shortage of trails and rivers to discover. Going on outside adventures with your children is also a fantastic and fun way to work on language skills (without your kids even knowing they are working!). Being in nature is a great way to learn about the weather, seasons, plants, and animals. Summer scavenger hunts are a great activity because you can have your kids find literally anything.

It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal to setup. In fact, it can be as simple as writing a list of five things to look for while you are out. Scavenger hunts can promote vocabulary development, understanding of basic concepts, following directions, etc., and your kids will have a blast hunting for “treasures” while they are out with you. It can also promote conversations with you and your children when you talk about what they found.

Summer Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Here are some ideas from simple to more complex things that you can search for on your next hunt:

  1. Find leaves from three different trees or bushes (this will help to teach number concepts and you can talk about what the leaves look like or how they feel).
  2. Find something rough, smooth, bumpy, etc. (this helps teach concepts and also works on descriptive vocabulary).
  3. Something that rhymes with sock (or any word to work on rhyming).
  4. Look for an animal that moves quickly/slowly/hops/flies, etc.
  5. Find something orange/purple/brown, etc. (to work on color concepts and understanding).

In addition, if you feel like getting more creative, your scavenger hunt can have a theme. You can search only for things you’d find around the river, a camping related scavenger hunt, or go on a bug hunt. If your children are older you could even have a night time scavenger hunt where you have to use flashlights or search for stars. The possibilities are really endless.

But What If We Can’t Get Outside?

I love exploring nature and being outside, but what makes scavenger hunts so great is you can set one up anywhere. Going to the grocery store (lets find something purple, something sour, and something that smells sweet). A cold, rainy day? Let’s have an around the house scavenger hunt. Find something fuzzy, something warm you can drink, and something you need if it’s raining.

Online Resources

If you need more ideas, there are a ton of resources and free printables online. The Must Have Mom has several simple bingo like scavenger hunt printables suitable for young children. The EdVenture blog also has a list of free scavenger hunt printables for every month. If you don’t want to put together your own hunt, a simple internet search should help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Do you already love taking your kids on scavenger hunts? If so, what are some of your favorite scavenger hunt activities? Here are some great resources for even more ideas to keep your kids busy this summer!