Ideas for Outdoor Scavenger Hunts

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With a little imagination, scavenger hunts can be appropriate for nearly every party theme. There are several ways to plan a scavenger hunt. Hunts are enjoyed by both kids and adults. Use a scavenger hunt as a way to spice up a party or a long car ride. A digital camera is a handy thing to take along on a hunt.

There is no problem adding extra-large things to the list -- just take a picture.

Kids' Hunts

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When planning a kids' scavenger hunt, the list of items can't be too difficult to find. Include items that the kids might find at a park or in the neighbourhood. Give them a jar if they are finding insects. Throw one unusual or hard-to-find item in the list for a challenge, like a popped balloon on a string or a coin. Hide clues in the yard or the house to help kids find their next item. Use a treasure map for added interest.

Vacation Hunt

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Few things are worse for a kid than a long, boring car ride. Play a scavenger hunt game during the trip to pass the time. Write ideas on index cards. Add some easy ones like a red car or a stop sign. Also add harder ones that the kids will really have to watch for. Mix the cards all together and let the kids draw from a stack. The game can continue while you are sightseeing on vacation. Give out prizes in different categories like hardest to find or funniest.

Using a Camera

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Nearly everyone has a digital or a cell phone camera, so make a camera part of a scavenger hunt with an older group of kids or adults. Create a list of things that must be photographed. Have the group get a shot of everyone standing in front of an American flag with their hands over their hearts. Request a photograph of a man smoking a cigar or a shop selling cupcakes. With a camera party, you can be more creative since the items don't need to be collected, only photographed.

Halloween Hunt

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The camera idea also works well for a Halloween scavenger hunt. Give each team a list of costumes to find. For added challenge, be specific. Instead of listing a witch, request a witch in a green hat or striped tights. Add descriptions to the list, such as scary or evil, and see what the teams come up with. You can also add scenery or props like tombstones in a front yard or a scarecrow. Be sure to set a time limit and a meeting place.

Baby Shower Hunt

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This hunt is actually a way of helping the mom-to-be with baby necessities. Instruct the guests to show up with a predetermined amount of cash. Divide everyone into teams, put their cash into a communal fund and go to a mall. Give each guest a list of inexpensive items that mom will need. Include specific things, such as a baby bottle with a green cap, a bottle of lotion for mom or a onesie that says "I Love Grandma." Throw in a few funny or hard-to-find items. Of course, mom gets to tag along as well. Come back to the house to show off the goodies.