Get Kids Moving With a Fall Scavenger Hunt

Updated on November 12, 2017

Get your kiddos outside for some fresh air and fun with a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt can be an entertaining, educational activity for any age. For smaller kids who are not yet reading, make your scavenger list using photos next to the words. For older kids who are learning to read, include the words only so the scavenger hunt is an exercise in sounding out words as well as an outdoor adventure.

Here is an example of a Fall Scavenger Hunt list with pictures for little ones who are not yet reading.
Here is an example of a Fall Scavenger Hunt list with pictures for little ones who are not yet reading.

How to Create an Autumn Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Ages: 2 and up
Number of kids: 1 or more
Supplies: One pail or bag for collecting the scavenger items, printout of the scavenger hunt checklist, and nice warm clothing for the kiddos. Optional: Plastic magnifying glass for each child so they can get a closer look at their findings. Remember the tissues if cold weather makes their little noses dribble.
Activity Type: Outdoor/active

Ready, Set, Hunt!

I love scavenger hunts for my four-year-old daughter and her friends because of the enthusiasm it stirs up. First they work together to sound out a word on the list, and the teamwork is adorable. “Is that a d or a b?” they ask each other, and together they figure it out. It’s important to use words they could conceivably read. You know your child and what they can do and what they’re still learning. I like to make my scavenger words readable but challenging.

Type out your scavenger list using any word processing program, or clearly hand write the items on white paper with a fat pen.

After the kids sound out the word, they literally run off looking for the scavenger item. Sometimes they coordinate as they race off, discussing where they might find the item.

For my two-year-old, I make scavenger hunts using pictures along with the words. He loves searching for the items along with the older kids, and the project strengthens his recognition of letters and colors. It is easy to find free clip art on the web. Create your word/photo list using a word processing program or a program like Publisher. If you want to keep it low tech and even engage the kiddos in list creation, gather some fall magazines and cut out images to paste on a list next to hand-written words.

Team Time or Solo Mission?

You can give each child a pail or bag in which to collect their items, or if you’re fostering teamwork you can give them just one receptacle. I prefer to encourage teamwork. I typically provide just one list and one receptacle so they all work together, rather than competing. Make the first item on the scavenger list a “bag,” “backpack,” or “pail” in which to collect the other items.

Where to Hunt?

Your back yard is a wonderful place for a scavenger hunt. Just survey the area from the comfort of your kitchen window and compile a list of things your child can find. If your yard is fenced you can send your kiddos out with their scavenger list and you may have a few quiet moments to yourself.

Scavenger hunts are also great for the local park or a nature walk. There’s a wonderful, wooded walking trail near my in-laws’ house where we can find all kinds of items while getting in some good exercise.

Autumn Scavenger Hunt Items

Here are some scavenger hunt items to include for a fun autumn scavenger hunt in your back yard, at a nearby park, or on a nature walk: pail/bag/backpack, red leaf, green leaf, orange leaf, brown leaf, twig, tree bark, rock, acorn, pinecone, grass, pine needle.

Scavenger Success

Here's a display after a successful summer scavenger hunt. I made a scavenger list that alternated indoor and outdoor items to keep them running! When unable to find a flower in the yard, my creative daughter drew one!
Here's a display after a successful summer scavenger hunt. I made a scavenger list that alternated indoor and outdoor items to keep them running! When unable to find a flower in the yard, my creative daughter drew one!

Display the Findings

After the items have been found, bring the kiddos inside to tape their findings to a display board. First, paste the scavenger list in the center of the board. Then tape the items around the scavenger list and draw a line between each word and its item. My kids love to show off what they have found, and their Scavenger Hunt displays stay up in our house for about a week post-hunt. They relish showing every visitor the words they read, and the items they discovered.

Photo Fun

If your child has their own pint-sized, durable digital camera, you can have her take a picture of each scavenger list item, rather than collecting them. In that case you can include more things on your scavenger hunt that are not collectible, like a fence, bush or tree. This broadens the number and variety of words you can use on the scavenger list.

If your little one wants to keep going after all the scavenger list items have been photographed, have them look for letters amongst the foliage. My daughter has a real knack for finding letters in the branches of trees and bushes. She’ll call out, “Mommy! There’s an A in that tree!” Two neighborly leaves on a branch may look like a B, and a fallen twig in the yard may look like a C, and so on. Have your little photographer click a pic of every letter they find, and try to find every letter of the alphabet in your back yard or a local park.

Fall Fitness

Despite the cooler temperatures outside, there are still plenty of fun things to do. It’s important to keep our kiddos active, and slip in a little reading practice wherever we can. In my household we have just one tv and I try diligently to limit tv time, but the kids still clamor for it. Every minute my kids are running and playing is a victory, and scavenger hunts are an educational and fun way to get them moving.

Happy Hunters!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Great ideas! Congrats on your nomination and welcome to Hubpages!

    • FitFamily profile imageAUTHOR

      FitFamily 

      6 years ago from Lynnwood, Washington

      Thanks so much for the kind messages! I'd love to find a way to attach the scavenger hunt pages so people can easily download, print, and enjoy. Does anybody know how to do that? Thanks a bunch!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination. What a great idea. And lovely pictures.

      Namaste.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Great hub. Love the idea of getting kids moving. As a grandmother in training I love reminders of things to do with kids.

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 

      6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Great hub. Congrats on your Hubnugget nomination!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Ooh the kids looked so adorable. And I know they love scavenger hunts... :D

      Congratulations FitFamily on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way to read and vote: http://enellelamb.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/Who...

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      My mother used to put together scavenger hunts like this together for me. They are one of the highlights of my childhood! Thanks so much for creating this guide :D

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)