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11 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {free printables}

Doing an outdoor scavenger hunt with your children is a great way to get them outside and get some fresh air and some sun. This activity will also help them learn and discover things that are new to them.

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There are so many benefits of this game. The kids are moving and getting some active time, you get to spend time with them, they get to explore the outdoors, and it is suitable no matter the age of your children.

This list of outdoor scavenger hunts for kids will help them stay active, stimulate their curiosity, and learn new things. These activities come with free printable materials. All you need is a printer, pen, clipboard for easy handling, pack some snacks and drinks – then you are ready to go.

Some parents might also include tasks such as taking photos of the items the kids see as proof. This is more suitable if you are taking out more than two children who will be exploring on their own. If you only have 1 or 2, you can simply go over the checklist with them.

Enjoy our list of the Best Free Printable Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids!

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Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

This one is super perfect for toddlers or children who are still learning their letters. You can bring your kids for a walk around your neighbourhood, park, or the zoo. This is also an awesome way to improve their spelling and writing.

If they are too young, you can even include the name right on the paper and change the rules a little bit. Let’s say you wrote chair for letter C, your toddler will have to spot a chair during your hunt or count how many chairs they spotted instead of writing.

Even if the weather suddenly didn’t want to cooperate, you can still do this inside your home or in the backyard.


Printable: Find download anchor text

Back To School Scavenger Hunt

Shopping for school items can be a stressful job for parents. You can buy some items just to find out that your children didn’t like it 

To make this “task” a bit more enjoyable and have your kids feel included where they can have a say in what backpack, notebook, or pen they like – bring them on a Back to School Scavenger Hunt.

Print the basic checklist below then your child can add more details. For example, under eraser, he or she can add “red eraser” or “superhero eraser”. This scavenger hunt will get your shopping done and your kids excited and feel more involved.


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Beach Scanvenger Hunt

Beach day is the perfect day to bring the children out for some summer sun and fun activities. This scavenger hunt will include printing a list (with images if you want) of beach items such as sun umbrellas, towels, floaters, etc.

On the top of the paper, it says “how many of these items can you spot” or something along that line. You might be thinking that bringing a piece of paper to the beach is a silly idea but don’t worry.

Once you printed the checklist, place it inside a transparent plastic pocket folder and shut the top with tape. Then pack some markers with you to allow your kids to write on the plastic.


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Bug Scanvenger Hunt 

I’m not the biggest fan of bugs but I think it’s a great idea to not pass that fear to growing kids. This bug scavenger hunt is an exciting way for children to learn about different bugs, learn not to be afraid of bugs, and educate kids on which bugs to be wary of.

Print your scavenger hunt list and bring pens. Head to a local botanical garden or a national park. On the box between the image and the text can be a simple check mark if the bug has been spotted or a number.

You can also make the participants will have to count how many times they spotted a particular bug, this is an ideal way to make the activity last longer.



Colorwalk Scavenger Hunt

This one can easily be done as an easy task for toddlers up to 7 years old or a bit of a challenge for children who are learning to write and improving their spelling.

Basically, on the paper, it shows 7 colors. For an easy version, kids should count how many items they find during the walk that represent each color. To make it challenging, participants will have to write down which items, animals, or plants they see in each color. 




Camping Scavenger Hunt

If you and your family love camping this one will make everyone excited. Apart from getting the children occupied, this can be a cool annual activity for the family annual camping trip. You can add the date and location on top of the document.

By doing this, your kids can compare which location or date they found the flattest rock or the biggest anthill. You don’t even have to print this all the time. You can easily print a few copies and laminate them.

Once done, take a photo and remove the writings. When the kids are growing though, you might want to add something more challenging like a specific kind of tree or mushroom.


Printable link: find download anchor text

Fourth of July Scavenger Hunt

Everyone knows that the Fourth of July must be celebrated outside either with family or friends. This scavenger hunt invites participants to find items that are in blue, red, and white colors. This printable has the items ready but you can also make a version of your own.


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Garden or Picnic Scanvenger Hunt

What part of the house scream more outdoor than the garden or a backyard? This one is perfect for spring, summer, and even fall hunting. You can include flower buds that are yet to bloom, any kind of flower or plant, and even different colors of the fall.

You can also include “drink a glass of juice”, “unload the picnic basket”, and “eat a sandwich”. This will ensure that your children are eating and drinking during the activity.

If you don’t have a big garden to have plenty of items to hunt, this is a good time to visit a botanical garden or a national park. You can even set up a playdate with a family friend who has an enormous garden.


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Recycling Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is a little different and required to be done during a specific date or event. For example, there is a birthday party, and for the last game, you can send everyone to do a recycling hunt.

This means players have to collect or hunt a specific number of recyclable items such as plastic bottles, paper cups and plates, cardboards, and even gift wrappers. 

Not only do you invite the children for an exciting little game but also you get a helping hand to clean the area and you teach them which items can be recycled. 

This can also be done during spring cleaning. Send the children to collect recyclable items from the bedroom and get them ready to be sent to the recycling center. The one who found the most can win a prize.



Sight and Sounds Nature Scavenger Hunt

This hunt is super stimulating. It requires seeing and pointing out items on the list and also challenges your children to listen to the sound of nature. 

The printable file is a bit different from the others. It includes specific details like a tree taller than you or a bird singing. If the participants encounter the things on the list, they get to check them off.


Printable link:

Winter Scanvenger Hunt

Winter doesn’t mean staying indoors for three months. During this time, everyone needs to get out, especially when the sun is shining. Gear up with some warm clothes and print this document that will allow your kids to listen, find, smell, look, and feel items that are only available during winter. 

This is such a fun annual activity you can do with your kids to make winter a bit more interesting and get everyone moving and warming up their bodies.



Zoo Scavenger Hunt

You can easily spend the entire day at the zoo while going through this scavenger list. You no longer have to walk aimlessly and read signs and information that don’t really interest your children.

Instead, you can hand them a clipboard, markers, and a checklist of animals they should spot. Whenever they find the animal on their hunt list, you can give a quick 1-3 facts about these animals (use your phone and Google some quick facts). 

Divide the activity into sections. First, go to marine animals, next, head to reptiles. After that, take a break for lunch before resuming to wild animals. You can even do a quick trivia like “name 3 animals that are cold-blooded or animals that are herbivores”. 




These outdoor scavenger hunts for kids are such an awesome way to get some fresh air, learn things children don’t normally see daily, and get in touch with nature.

Don’t limit your option with this list, once you get a hang of how these activities work, you can easily make some of your own such as “aquarium scavenger hunt” if your kid is a marine enthusiast. You may then visit your local aquarium center with your list or bring one if you are heading for a vacation.

You can also make it more challenging. For example, if your child is developing a love for birds, you can go camping and then do a scavenger hunt for different species of birds that are not common.


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Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids