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40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printables!}

Inspire your kids with these awesome outdoor scavenger hunts (many with free printables!)

Scavenger hunts with kids are some of our favorite outdoor activities (as you may have guessed 🙂  They can be done together, as an independent activity, with a group of friends and are just so darn easy! Just grab a list & go!


Outdoor scavenger hunt ideas for kids with printable

40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids

It’s those long school days that always get me thinking about how much time our kids are stuck indoors. Even with recess (which has so many caveats these days – too hot, too rainy, etc), the majority of their seven hour school day is in the classroom.  So once they get home from school, I love to have some outdoor activities ready to go!

Here are a few tips for scavenger hunts along with affiliate links for items we love to use:

  • We always bring along a 9 x 12 clipboard where you can attach your scavenger hunt and pen so it won’t get lost or blow away – plus it makes it easy to check off items as you find them.
  • Some kids will be very focused on finding ALL the items (in which case, you may be hunting for a long time 😉 so be sure to introduce the activity with “finding as many items as we can” or tell your kids it’s a hunt you can do over more than one day.
  • And for most hunts, you’ll want to add in the reminder that you’re just looking for the items – they don’t actually have to be collected and brought home with you 🙂  Many of the hunts can be turned into photo scavenger hunts too – all you need is your cell phone!

One of the things I love about this group of hunts is that there’s such a great variety.  Outdoor scavenger hunt seems to be synonmous with a nature hunt — but really, it’s not.  There are so many different types of outdoor experiences for kids and their families — a zoo visit, camping, scouting out holiday decorations, exploring after dark. 

Print a few to keep on hand and time outside will soon be something that happens on a regular basis!


Scavenger Hunts for Outdoor Places

Playground Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Camping Scavenger Hunt (easy) || Easy Coast Mommy

Beach Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Zoo Scavenger Hunts (6 different types!) || Every Star is Different

And another Zoo Scavenger Hunt (find animal traits!) || Edventures with Kids

Boat Ride Scavenger Hunt (& boat safety list) || The Resourceful Mama

I Spy Road Trip Hunt || The Typical Mom

I Spy Camping Hunt (harder) || Growing Up Abel

Apple Orchard & Pumpkin Patch Hunts || The Resourceful Mama

Pond Scavenger Hunt || Natural Beach Living

Outdoor Family Adventure Challenge (a bit of a twist — instead of hunting, the challenge is to ‘go do’ outdoor activities)


Easy scavenger hunts to do outside

Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Every Season

No matter what the season, you can also find a treasure hunt that fits the weather!

Fall Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Autumn Scavenger Hunt || Twitchetts

Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Halloween Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt || Peace but not Quiet

PLUS these 18 Autumn Scavenger Hunts too!

Christmas Decoration Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Winter Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Spring Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

PLUS 20 Scavenger Hunts for Summer


Nature Scavenger Hunts for Kids

Outdoor Texture Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Garden Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Nature Walk & Rock Hunt (2 great printables!) || The Wise Old Owl Factory

Forest Scavenger Hunt (great for a hike!) || Edventures with Kids

Underground Scavenger Hunt – what a cool idea! || Preschool Powol Packets

Go on a Bug Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Simple Outdoor Hunt for Toddlers || Uno Zwe Tutu

Insect Scavenger Hunt || Preschool Powol Packets

Easy Nature Hunt – perfect for younger kids! || Easy Coast Mommy

How Many Birds Can You Find? || Fantastic Fun & Learning

Go on a Sound Walk || Buggy & Buddy

I-Spy Nature & Animal Hunt || The Joy of Boys


Play, Explore & Learn: Outside Treasure Hunts

Backyard Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Nocturnal (after dark) Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids

Rainbow Photo Scavenger Hunt || Totschooling

Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt (great for kids & teens!) || Edventures with Kids

Hunting for Animal Tracks (best done where there’s mud, sand or snow) || Edventures with Kids

Flashlight Scavenger Hunt || Life is Sweeter by Design

Outdoor Texture Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids


More Easy Outdoor Activities

DIY Nature Notebook with 50+ free printables

The Art & Science of Leaf Rubbings


Quick and easy outdoor scavenger hunts