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Share to Pinterest15 Fun and Distracting Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
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15 Fun and Distracting Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

By Staff Writer
Share to Pinterest15 Fun and Distracting Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Are you staring down the barrel of a long day indoors with kids bouncing off the walls, thanks to the gloomy weather outside?

Fear not!

Transform your cooped-up little ones from ticking time bombs of energy into happy treasure hunters with a clever twist: an indoor scavenger hunt. This isn't just about keeping the peace; it's an opportunity to turn their boundless energy into an adventure that captivates their imagination and maybe sneaks in a lesson or two. Dive into our treasure trove of indoor scavenger hunt ideas and watch as your home transforms from a battleground of boredom into a thrilling quest for discovery.

Keep reading to unlock the magic!


Hunting for “Something that makes me feel…”

Share to PinterestYoung boy looking for toys
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There’s no faster way to drive yourself mad than trying to entertain a bunch of upset kids who don’t want to be trapped inside. Help your kids feel better about their confinement with a “happy feelings” scavenger hunt. Give them clues that have them searching for things that make them feel happy, or silly, or hopeful, or some other positive emotion.

Then, at the end of the hunt, have them explain why they chose each item they have. They’ll be in a much better, more manageable mood for the rest of the day.


Siblings’ favorite things hunt

Share to Pinterestsiblings writing on paper
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Help your kids get to know each other better through play. Hold a scavenger hunt where each item on the list is something one of their siblings likes, such as “Your sister’s favorite snack,” or “Your brother’s favorite book.” Before you start, have each of your kids write down a list of their favorite things. This should keep them quiet for some time and might even help them get along a little better, too.


Ingredients hunt

Share to PinterestToddler Sneaking To Grab a Colorfully Dyed Easter Egg
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Teach your kids a valuable (and tasty) skill while having fun together by holding an ingredients scavenger hunt. First, pick a recipe for a favorite snack or dessert. Next, write list scavenger hunt list for the ingredients for that recipe. You could have clues like “Something that tastes like our Christmas cookies,” for cinnamon or “Very old grapes,” for raisins.

When you have all the ingredients gathered, it’s time for you and your kids to bake together! Then, finally, you get to eat what you made!


Glow in the dark scavenger hunt

Share to Pinterestittle girl playing with glowsticks in her bedroom
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You’re going to need some glow sticks for this one, but it’s a great way to make a day stuck inside a little more magical. Hide the glow sticks in dark places, like at the back of a closet or under a bed. Then draw all the curtains (or wait for nighttime) and let your kids loose to hunt for things that glow in the dark.


Google Maps Street View hunt

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This is a good scavenger hunt for older kids. It’s also a good way to keep them quietly occupied at their computers for awhile while they learn something about geography. Pick some famous landmarks from around the world. Write some fun clues giving hints about them.

Have your kids produce screenshots of those landmarks from Google Street View to win the scavenger hunt.


Riddle clue hunt

Share to PinterestFriends solving different conundrum as detectives in quest room with old furnitures
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A scavenger hunt is a great opportunity to encourage your kids to develop their minds a little. Just make every clue some kind of riddle! Trying to solve the riddles faster than their siblings will have them putting on their thinking caps and giving their brains a good workout. They’ll feel happy and proud of themselves when they solve the riddles, too.

Solving the riddles will also likely keep them quiet for a good long stretch, which is probably something you will enjoy. You don't even have to come up with the riddles yourself—the internet is full of them.


Alphabet hunt

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This one’s great for young kids. It’s also one that’s very easy to set up. Just write up some simple lists, like “Something that beings with the letter ‘A,’” or “Something beginning with a ‘P’ and ending with an ‘S.’” It will help them learn their alphabet and maybe even some vocabulary words while they play.


Shapes hunt

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Here’s another one for very young kids. Each item on the list is just “Something shaped like a….” Your kids will be distracted by the search, and they’ll get some practice recognizing different shapes in the process. Just make sure that you don’t write any clues that lead to easily broken objects.


Window views hunt

Share to PinterestYoung girl looking out of her window at sunset
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Maybe your kids can’t go outside, but that doesn’t have to stop them from having an outside scavenger hunt. Just make a list with things you can see from one of the windows of your house, such as “A blue house with a brick chimney.” Have them take pictures of each view when they find it. This is a great way to keep them quietly occupied looking out of windows for a while.


Scavenger drawing hunt

Share to PinterestLittle Girl drawing in a big Sketch Book with Felt Tips
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A scavenger hunt can also be a good way to help your kids develop their artistic skills. Instead of having them bring back items for the scavenger hunt, have them bring back drawings instead. Give them different things to draw, depending on their skill level, such as “Your baby brother’s teddy bear,” or “The kitchen.”

You can even make this a regular event, as part of their art education. Use it to teach different art concepts like perspective and framing.


Hunting for “Something that rhymes with…”

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Finding rhymes for things can be a lot of fun, especially for younger kids. So, for a fun scavenger hunt, just come up with a list of things that rhyme with something else, like “Something that rhymes with cable.” They might come back with a book of fables, or maybe a ping-pong table.

There are probably lots of different things your kids could come up with for some rhymes. This is a great way to encourage them to think creatively.


Hunting for “A book with…”

Share to PinterestFather and son reading book while sitting on couch
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A book-based scavenger hunt can be a sneaky way to encourage your kids to read. So have them search the house for a book with a picture of a fox in it, perhaps, or a book with a character named Mary. The clues are just ways to get your kids looking at books in the hope that they see something that will catch their eye.


Hunting for “A song with…”

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You can apply the same principle to songs for a scavenger hunt that, being online, involves less tearing around the house than other scavenger hunts. That way, your kids can have fun exploring different styles of music and maybe learn to appreciate some genres they wouldn’t normally hear.


Chores scavenger hunt

Share to PinterestWoman putting blank to do list on refrigerator door in kitchen, closeup
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Getting kids to do their chores is a never-ending battle. Make it less of a struggle by turning it into a game. Put little post-it notes on different things around the house that need cleaning, or reorganizing, or sorting. Finding the notes can be fun, and after they do the chore associated with the note, they can redeem it for a small reward.

Whoever gets the most notes can have a bigger reward, like getting to choose the monthly family outing.


Math problem clues hunt

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Lots of kids don’t like learning math. You can help your young ones grasp the basics of arithmetic with a scavenger hunt, though. Write all the clues out like they’re something read from a pirate treasure map. Things like “Start at the kitchen table. Walk as many paces as Papa’s age minus the number of years we lived on Beall Street. Look under the nearest piece of furniture.”

If they’re trying to find little treasures like coins or pieces of candy, doing the math will be a lot more fun than studying it out of a school book.



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