I have probably done two or three scavenger hunts in my entire life, and nevertheless, they are pretty much my favorite way to play. They've got more potential than most people realize, actually! They're wonderful ways to reveal a big announcement, marvelous ways to give gifts, fantastic ways to make a hike or errands more enjoyable. Of course, there's more ways to do a scavenger hunt than your typical game of searching for a list of items. Check out these creative scavenger hunt ideas!
1. Puzzle pieces to put together to make one big reveal
Hide puzzle pieces that must be gathered to put together the puzzle that gives away a big announcement.
2. Maps leading to an "X marks the spot"
Hide or bury a treasure, then draw a map with a trail leading to the treasure that the person has to interpret and follow.
3. Premonition bingo
This one is two games in one! Decide on a place or time you'll be playing, i.e. during errands or at the park. Draw up a bingo board at write down a prediction about the trip or time period in each box, i.e. a crying baby at the grocery store or a deer at the park. Cross them off as they come true and wait to call out bingo!
4. Disposable cameras to photograph findings or happenings
For scavenger hunts that have intangible things listed, situations to get yourself into, or things you shouldn't be taking with you, use a disposable camera for proof that you found or did those things.
5. Yarn trails
Tie yarn along a path leading to the treasure!
6. Chalk trails
Draw a line of chalk leading towards the treasure, perhaps with a few instructions like "spin around here" or "hop three times here."
7. Clues leading to clues
The first clue is given freely and leads to the next clue, which leads to the next, and then the next, et cetera et cetera until the last clue leads to the treasure!
8. Each of the letters of the final revealing word or phrase hidden in casual places
Decide on a word or phrase to reveal, like "we're going to Italy," and then hide each separate letter in its own place, such as an "I" on the tea kettle or an "L" on the bathroom mirror. The person hunting for letters will more than likely find them in a less than perfect order, so you can either let them have to unscramble them on their own, or you can number the letters.
9. Tasks to complete to get the next clue
Write a list of things to do for the person going on the scavenger hunt: go grocery shopping, mail a letter, visit a specific park. At each location, leave a clue to where or what the final treasure or announcement is.
10. Find the balloon.
This one is definitely a less reliable idea than the rest, but it sure would be amazing if it worked out as planned (it was inspired by a certain video, but I can't find that video for the life of me; if anyone knows what I'm talking about, let me know!). Start with a balloon of a bright and easy-to-recognize color. Tie it to a ribbon and tie your announcement or whatever you want the person to find to the other end of the ribbon. Finally, hand the balloon out to a stranger in a busy town telling them to pass the balloon along with a little explanation about what's going on ("Someone is doing a scavenger hunt and wants this balloon to be passed around town while their friend tries to find it. If anyone asks you if you've seen the balloon, say yes and tell them a short description of you passed it on to or where."). Ideally, the balloon will travel all around town, and the people will start to get acquainted with it. The person going on the scavenger hunt will go around town asking if strangers have seen a particular balloon, and the person will have to chase after each stranger's direction. It would be a rather entertaining run around, I believe!
Have you ever done a scavenger hunt?