#NoSummerSlide Week 8 – Scavenger Hunting

literacy activity

Do you remember going on scavenger hunts and treasure hunts when you were a kid? Weren’t they just the best?

Until I started creating treasure hunts for my daughter at Easter, I never even considered their hidden literacy value. Ahoy! There is treasure aplenty.

Although they are often used as synonyms, treasure hunts differ from scavenger hunts in that they include clues that ultimately lead to a prize of some sort. A scavenger hunt – which is MUCH easier to create – begins with a list of items and often has a time limit. Whether it is a simple checklist with specific items or a clue-based outing that sends them from one place to the next, your hunters are using their literacy skills!

Creating a hunt can be simple or elaborate. Not feeling creative? Then let the sources at the end of the post spark an idea. With a little luck, you’ll launch a hunt or two, then the kids will take over and create their own, adding in their own ideas and rules. 

Literacy Concepts (All Ages)

  • Reading – Goes without saying. Even if you’re using pictures for pre-readers, they are still recognizing objects and matching what is on the page with what they see in real life!
  • Critical Thinking – They are using their analytical skills to look at items and see if they fit the criteria.
  • Communication – Especially if they’re working with siblings or friends! They have to cooperate and work together.

Tools and Supplies

All of the things you need for an awesome scavenger hunt you already have: 

  • Paper for writing checklists (scavenger) or clues (treasure).
  • Pens/markers for the hunters to check items off their list.
  • Small bags for seekers holding collected items. 
  • Phone camera – letting teens collect images of required items on their phone might be a way to get them enthused in being part of the event.

Prizes can be simple treats like allowing the winner(s) get to eat dessert before dinner, or maybe they win a date night with Mom or Dad to go to the movie/activity of their choice. 


Sources for Creating Scavenger Hunts and Treasure Hunts

Get other Treasure Hunt ideas in our Road Trip series (Part 3).