The ultimate list of indoor & outdoor scavenger hunt clues for kids!

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Let’s face it, this adjustment period has been...tough—and that’s only considering having to give up personal freedoms while sheltering-in-place. Some of you reading this have been impacted in ways others couldn’t even fathom. 

And not taking those events and effects lightly, but there is some good that has come from all of this.

For instance, one of the cooler things I’ve seen happen is people using this time at home to better themselves and/or family in some way, shape, or form. 

Additionally, we are finding comfort in those simple things we might have easily cast aside had we not been sequestered to life indoors. Reading physical books. Learning to cook new dishes. Playing board games. 

In this regard, there are a number of ways to engage kids at home, with one really fun and creative option being the scavenger hunt (or arg, treasure hunt). Sure, hide and seek is great, and “I spy” can keep everyone busy, but there is something about the scavenger hunt that really gets kids going. Perhaps it’s the “treasure-seeking” or the overall quest-like nature.

For some, it might be the rhyming clues and hint-giving! 

But, if you’re a parent who just wasn’t blessed with the skill to create clever clues, or, more likely, if you don’t have the time to do so, I’ve got you covered. 

Home scavenger hunt clues and hints for kids

Because I have no idea what type of scavenger hunt will suit you best, and where at your home these festivities will unfold, I’ve broken down clues by home area, from the kitchen to yards, bedrooms, garage, and more. 

So, happy hunting! Feel free to iterate and share your own thoughts and ideas in the comments. 

1. I’m in the kitchen, and you’ll never eat me, 
but Scruffy the dog sure loves to greet me.
(Dog food)

2. Give me a tap and I’ll give you some suds,
I come in handy when you're covered in mud.
(Soap/soap dispenser)

3. I’ve got buttons and numbers, and can give things a zap,
I’m here to warm, and heat up your snacks.
(Microwave)

4. I get cold, but my door twin gets colder,
I keep food fresh, and help it from getting older.
(Refrigerator)

5. I take your food and return it to you hotter,
I also crisp it up, and you'll probably want butter.
(Toaster)

6. I’ll give you cubes and cold creamy treats,
when it comes to negative temperature, I can’t be beat.
(Freezer)

7. I get hot, and work two ways,
on top and within, but not on spinning trays.
(Stove/oven)

8. I usually see you two to three times a day,
but I'm also a good spot for homework and play.
(Dining room table)

9. I’m quite dirty, but can be beautiful too,
you’ll find me in colors, like reds, pinks, and blues.
(Potted flowers)

10. You can lay on me or sit, and put me up or down,
I’m better with cushions, and keep you off the ground.
(Patio furniture)

11. ​​I’ll keep you cool on a hot sunny day,
but don’t forget to put me down, or I’ll blow away.
(Umbrella)

12. I go round and round, spinning and spinning,
if you don’t like wrinkles, I’ll keep you grinning.
(Clothes dryer)

13. I take the dirty and soak them until clean,
those grass stains and marks will no longer be seen.
(Washing machine)

14. I have legs, but fold up tidy and flat,
I keep clothes crisp without the laundromat.
(Ironing board)

15. I have all the answers, can create many a thing,
there’s really no telling what my keys and mouse might bring.
(Computer)

16. You’ll put big things on top of me, and small stuff inside,
I’m a good place for pencils and paper to hide.
(Desk)

17. I’ll help you work late, or maybe before the sun comes up,
without my light shining, work in the dark would be tough.
(Lamp)

18. Paper comes in, and paper goes out,
but adding words in between is what I’m all about.
(Printer)

19. Look at me and you’ll see a familiar sight,
you can’t beat my movements, try as you might.
(Mirror)

20. You’ll fill me up and then drain me when done,
adding bubbles always makes me more fun.
(Bathtub)

21. It’s OK to step on me, in fact, you kind of have to,
my numbers change up and down, so are tough to get attached to.
(Scale)

22. You can find me big and small, I hang around all day,
when I’m not needed, I’m out of sight, folded and put away.
(Towels)

23. I can let you know when someone is at the door,
sometimes I’m pushed more than once, or annoyingly, twice or more.
(Doorbell)

24. I can bring good news and magazines but am often full of junk,
I can be creaky, or even squeaky, and can close with a clunk.
(Mailbox)

25. I can show you many things, from cartoons, to movies, to sports,
if your parents had their wish, your time with me would be short.
(TV)

26. I go by many names, can be a lounge or more of a single seat,
my pillows are made for comfort, but make forts pretty neat.
(Furniture)

27. My hands move slow but I’m quick to give you my numbers,
like when you should go to bed, or when to arise out of slumber.

28. I have a drain, and my head is seemingly full of water,
you can use my two knobs to make me cold or get hotter.
(Shower)

29. I’m a welcome sight for tired eyes; and comfy to the max,
the perfect option for nightly dozing, and good for aching backs.
(Bed)

30. I’m mainly used for resting heads to get you through the night,
but watch out, I’m sometimes used for playful, cushioned fights.
(Pillow)

How to write your own riddles & clues

Not satisfied with the above or want to create more riddles on your own? The process is easy!

1. Choose a household item

When it comes to any successful home-based scavenger hunt, the opportunities are endless. As you can see from the above, everything is fair game—from furniture to washing machines. Of course, you also want to make sure the items you’re picking are things you want your kids rushing toward! Thus, that priceless family heirloom? Probably not.

2. Describe the item

Part of what might trip up a lot of people is the thought of “I’m not a writer, how am I going to be able to do this?”

Well, the trick is, and if you look at the clues above, there isn’t anything special about the actual writing—it’s all made up of basic descriptions of what that item looks like or does. 

So, once you have an item in mind, jot down or think about the ways to describe it. Using the examples above, this is as easy as:

Microwave

  • Has buttons/numbers
  • Warms food/”zaps”
  • Cooks food/snacks

One other really simple way to describe your items is to bring them to life, like the table that stands on its legs or the printer that spits out paper.  

As you can see, all that’s left to do now is figure out how to structure it all together so it rhymes…

3. Choose your rhyming words

For some, it might be easier to pick which words you’d like to rhyme, and then write out the sentences. For instance, with the clothes dryer above, I knew I wanted to rhyme "spinning," which because it ends in “ing” would have a lot of rhyme options. 

Plus, the words don’t have to be perfect rhymes. Above I “rhymed" the words “zap” and “snacks” and then again with “hotter” and “butter.” Did you even notice? Perhaps, but not enough to slow you down or trip you up, I'm guessing. 

4. Fill in the blanks

You now know your item, and you’ve described what makes it unique and findable. You’ve also identified at least one way in which you’d like to rhyme. From there, all that’s left is to literally fill in the blanks in order to create a sentence or two. 

One more example

So, putting all of the above in motion, let’s write one more clue. 

Let’s say the item is a shelf, which is step one. Then for step two, we describe the shelf: lives on the wall, is flat, could hold valuables, pictures, or books; could hold an elf!

For rhyming, because shelves are up high and potentially out of sight, we can rhyme “high” and “eye” or because they might tower over kids and hold valuables, we can rhyme “under” and “blunder.”

And putting it all together:

I live on the wall, over the TV and up high. 
You might not even see me without raising your head and eyes. 

Or:

I'm up high on the wall, and easy to walk under. 
Knocking over what I'm holding would be quite the blunder. 

And with that, good luck! 
 

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!

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