School Scavenger Hunt Ideas

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Help your students learn more about the school and its faculty while building camaraderie by working together to complete a campus scavenger hunt. After you’ve chosen a theme for the scavenger hunt and compiled the list of items the students must find, keep the kids safe by confining the search to the school grounds. Ensure the class activity won’t disturb other students or teachers’ instructional time by scheduling it during lunch or recess.

1 School Supplies

Send the kids on a “treasure hunt” for specific types of writing utensils and school supplies. Give each team a clipboard, pencil and a list of 10 to 15 items that they must find in an area other than your classroom. Instruct the kids to write down the specific spot that they found the object rather than collecting the items to show to the class.

Ask the kids to find such school-related supplies as a 3-inch-long pencil, a blue dry erase marker, a red stapler, a microwave oven, an apple, artwork featuring a painted handprint, a number line or a cork-covered bulletin board. Give the kids a time limit, and award prizes such as pencils or plastic sports bottles to the group that finds the most objects on the list.

2 Teacher Trivia

Help the students get to know the teachers better with a list of scavenger hunt items that they must either find or find out by talking to the faculty. Ask the kids to find pictures, such as one teacher’s 5-year-old son, another teacher’s dog or a faculty member in an old school yearbook. Include trivia questions that the kids will need to talk to teachers to answer, such as which teacher has been at the school the longest, which teacher actually graduated from the school or which teacher attended 10 Rolling Stones concerts.

In addition to requiring the kids to list the correct teacher’s name, require the students to collect the teacher’s signature by the item on the list to ensure they’ve found the answer in person rather than simply “sharing” answers.

3 Photo Hunt

Organize a lighthearted scavenger hunt that requires the kids to capture images on digital cameras around campus. Loan each group a camera, and send them on a photo hunt to fulfill requests such as “make a human pyramid” or “take a group picture with the principal.” Review the photo files on each camera to determine which group wins the scavenger hunt.

4 Book Search

Send the kids on a scavenger hunt that will not only help them find academic resources on campus, but also discover new books to read. Provide the kids with a list of books that they must find in classrooms, the library or the front office. Consider items such as an encyclopedia, a hardcover thesaurus, a Spanish dictionary, a biography of George Washington or specific titles such as “Tom Sawyer” or “Charlotte’s Web.” Make the search challenging by limiting the number of books they can in the library to two or three.

Drea Christopher is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English. She has more than 10 years of experience producing features and SEO articles for national consumer publications, trade magazines and industry leading Web content providers. She has a particular interest in craft, entertaining, education, home and garden and health-related topics.