Every time summer swings around I have mixed feelings. I'm super excited about the sun, the beach trips, the ice creams, and the relaxed family barbecues. I am less excited about having to occupy my kids all of the way through the summer break.
Thinking of fun and interesting ways to fill the time without sticking them in front of screens is tough. But I've discovered that a scavenger hunt always goes down well, no matter the situation. So I've pulled together a collection of summer scavenger hunts for every possible scenario. From nighttime to camping, to even a pirate theme! You'll never hear the word "bored" again!
Newspaper scavenger hunt
Let's start with the simplest of Sunday morning hunts. It's the first day of the holidays, everyone was up far too early and you just want to read the paper. Our Newspaper Scavenger Hunt is the perfect way to keep the kids occupied while you finish your coffee.
Garden treasure hunt
Once it's a more socially acceptable time to be up and about, this garden treasure hunt from Me and B Make Tea is a great way of encouraging your kids to run around outside. You can download the printable from their website.
Nighttime scavenger hunt
If you're looking to fill some time later in the day then this nocturnal scavenger hunt from KC Edventures is a perfect fit. Not only is it designed around after-dark, but it also includes some cool science concepts. So you're having fun AND learning things!
Park scavenger hunt
If your kids enjoy running around at the park as much as mine do, then this scavenger hunt from Woo! Jr is great for when they've had enough of the swings but don't want to go home just yet. You can download their free printable for 30 different items to find.
Backyard scavenger hunt
For those days when you need to stick closer to home, Mrs Mumaw's backyard scavenger hunt is a useful activity for the kids to do. You can get on with the chores while they run around and explore.
Outdoor alphabet scavenger hunt
Not only are scavenger hunts great fun, but they can also be brilliant tools for learning. Whether you're homeschooling, like Brought to You by Mom, or just making sure your kids don't forget everything during the summer break, you'll love this alphabet scavenger hunt.
Photograph scavenger hunt
For those of you looking to up your child's camera skills, or just hoping the opportunity of using a mobile device will occupy them longer, this is for you! Doodle Craft's photo scavenger hunt might mean you get more interesting photos on your phone than the 34 shots of the ceiling you're used to!
Service scavenger hunt
A long holiday is a perfect opportunity to encourage your children to look outside of themselves and care for those around them. Thirty Handmade Days has created a wonderful Service scavenger hunt filled with things your kids can do to help out others.
Camp scavenger hunt bags
For those of you planning a camping trip at some point during the summer, About a Mom has a great activity you can take with you. Download the free printable scavenger hunt bags here, and be ready for an afternoon of camping fun!
Muffin tin scavenger hunt
I know we're thinking about summer, but this cute (and tidy) scavenger hunt idea with Mama Papa Bubba is great for summer too. You can download the printables you need from their site, and all of the scavenged items stay inside a tray - no mess!
Neighborhood scavenger hunt
Sometimes, encouraging my kids to get up and go for a walk, even around the block, is a challenge. Giving them something to do on the journey helps a lot. When you can't stand another Pokemon Go chat, try this neighbourhood scavenger hunt from The Global Wizards instead!
Bug scavenger hunt
Do you have a tiny creepy-crawly lover at home? Then this bug scavenger hunt from Preschool Powol Packets will be a perfect way to keep them occupied. Just make sure they keep the critters outside!
5 senses scavenger hunt
If you're trying to teach your smaller children about how their senses interact with the world around them, then this 5 senses scavenger hunt from Childhood 101 is a great learning tool. It's also a lot of fun!
4th of July scavenger hunt
So you've planned a party for the 4th of July, you've invited all your friends, and you've got fireworks prepped for later. But how to occupy the kids until then? Well, with this brilliant scavenger hunt from Moritz Fine Designs, that's how!
Road sign scavenger hunt
The key to road trips: plenty of snacks and plenty of stuff to do. This great scavenger hunt from Trish Sutton falls into the latter category. Your kids can look out for road signs and you'll be at your destination before they know it. I'll leave the snacks up to you!
Farm scavenger hunt
If you have a farm near your house, or you're going on a trip during the holidays, then this scavenger hunt can be a great thing to pack just in case. When your kids have exhausted the playpark, they can run around checking off items on the list.
Bird scavenger hunt
If you'd like your kids to know more about nature than you do, then this bird scavenger hunt from Homeschool Creations can help them identify several species in a fun way. It comes with loads of other related resources, too.
Zoo scavenger hunt
Day trips always go on for longer than younger kids want them to. So, if you're not quite done looking at the sloths and capybaras (my personal favourites!), then this zoo-themed scavenger hunt from My Joy-Filled Life will keep the kids going for that little bit longer.
Color scavenger hunt
For those younger children who still want to be running around with their older siblings, this color scavenger hunt idea from I Heart Crafty Things is great. You don't need to be able to read to complete it, so all ages can get involved.
Glow in the dark scavenger hunt
With minimal prep, this after-dark scavenger hunt from The Dating Divas is a fun group activity for the longer summer evenings. With 3 different options, you'll be spoilt for choice!
Campground scavenger hunt
We're back at the campsite with our next offering. Take Them Outside has a fun camping scavenger hunt that you can give the kids to do while you get the fire going for supper. They'll be off enjoying the wilderness in no time at all.
Nature photo hunt
Homemade Heather has a great way of getting your kids out into nature, however old they are. Her scavenger hunt printables have checklist options for older kids and photo options for younger ones. Or you could get them to work together, depending on how they've been getting on recently!
Gratitude scavenger hunt
If your interest was piqued by the service scavenger hunt we saw earlier, then you'll love this gratitude scavenger hunt from Natural Beach Living. It's another great way to get your family thinking about less material things.
Scavenger hunt riddles
If you've got yourself a budding Sherlock Holmes, then this clue-filled scavenger hunt from Jacksonville Mom will test their powers of deduction, and keep them busy for a while. FInd all you need to create it on their website.
Beach scavenger hunt
Off to the beach? Take this printable scavenger hunt from Confession of Parenting with you, and you can eke out another few hours before the next call for ice cream!
Math scavenger hunt
Perhaps your little darlings love their times tables, or perhaps they've forgotten everything they learned in math class by late Friday afternoon on the last day of term. Either way, this math-themed scavenger hunt from I Learn in Color will help ease them back into the skill in a fun way!
Adult scavenger hunt
Whether you're planning a birthday afternoon for your older teens, or a group activity for a bunch of your friends, this grown-up scavenger hunt from Best Day of the Week has some fun activities to get stuck into on a summer's afternoon.
Mall party scavenger hunt
If you're more of a ready-made party planner then this Mall scavenger hunt by Lily Girl Paper comes with everything you need for a great tween or teen party activity. You can purchase it from Etsy.
Pirate scavenger hunt
For another ready-to-go party idea, this pirate-themed treasure hunt by Get Outside Club is great for your swashbuckling deckhands! It includes everything you need for a full afternoon of clue-solving fun. You can purchase it here.
Birthday party nature hunt
If you're planning a more outdoorsy birthday party then this nature scavenger hunt by Birch Tree Paperie fits well into a camping weekend or just an afternoon in the park. Find it via Etsy, here.
Park treasure hunt
Including some cute pictures and some great clues, this treasure hunt is great for those little ones who love hanging out at the play park. You can buy everything you need for a great birthday party activity from DesignsAholic on Etsy.
Harry Potter scavenger hunt
Do you have a child who would rather be at Hogwarts? Get them ready to be Hermione or Harry for a day with this Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt by Print Go Go. Available from Etsy.
Virtual scavenger hunt
Sometimes, getting together with your nearest and dearest just isn't possible. Thankfully, technology has caught up with our need to connect, and friends are just a Zoom call away. Purchase this virtual scavenger hunt by Top Party Games on Etsy and people can join in the fun wherever they are!